Climate models suggest a warming of 0.4 to 1.4°C inland and 0.3
to 1.0°C on the coast. The confidence for this forecast is
moderate to good; i.e. above 50 per cent but not as high as 95 per
cent. In some areas such a rise would produce a 50-100 per cent
increase in the number of days above 35°C.
Sea levels should rise by between 10 and 25 cm. Due to thermal
expansion of the oceans and melting of glaciers. Similar confidence
to temperature predictions.
Dry season rainfall should decrease slightly. All the rainfall
predictions are less certain than those for temperature and
Wet season rainfall changes are less certain. Predictions vary
depending on the model used. Models suggest increases in intensity
and more extreme rainfall events.
The timing and geographic distribution of rainfall is also
difficult to predict. Such changes will have important impacts on
natural ecosystems, crops and the pastoral industry.
Cyclones may increase in intensity by up to 20 per cent and persist
further south. Woody weeds could spread in the rangelands. These
plants benefit from increased CO
and from disturbed conditions more than many other plants.
Fire regimes could change. Clearly changes in extreme temperatures,
rainfall and vegetation could affect fire regimes. It's just that
no one knows exactly how.
The health of indigenous people may face the greatest risk from
climate change. Poor water quality, sanitation and lack of other
health resources make indigenous communities particularly
vulnerable to climate change impacts.
The positive side? There may be benefits to some crops that grow
well in higher temperatures and CO
levels and more flooding in coastal waters means we may get more
Australian Department of Climate Change
The website of the Australian Greenhouse Office
CSIRO Marine and Atmospheric Research
DPIF Climate Services
This web site provides seasonal forecasts and for climate outlooks for Queensland, as well as more general information about climate and weather
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
SILO: Agricultural and Meterological Information
The SILO web site provides climate outlook information across Australia. Some services are provided on a user-pays basis.