No let-up in onset of global warming: CSIRO/BoM report

Dangerous fire weather days will become more numerous in future, and fire seasons for southern and eastern Australia will last longer.

The CSIRO and the Bureau of Meteorology are also predicting a continued decrease in cool season rainfall across many regions of southern and eastern Australia, shorter but more intense heavy rainfall events, and fewer (but more intense) tropical cyclones.

The forecasts are contained in the latest State of the Climate report published last week.

CSIRO Climate Science Centre director Dr Jaci Brown said: “Due to increasing greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, Australia’s climate is continuing to warm, and the frequency of extreme events such as bushfires, droughts, and marine heatwaves is growing”.

Australia’s changing rainfall pattern was another key observation documented in the report, with contrasting trends being observed across the north and south of Australia.

Bureau of Meteorology Climate Environmental Prediction Services manager Dr Karl Braganza said: “In the southwest and southeast of Australia we are seeing drier conditions, particularly in the cool season months of April to October.

“In southwest Australia, for example, cool season rainfall has decreased by around 16 per cent since 1970. These trends are projected to lead to more time spent in drought in the coming decades.

“In contrast, rainfall has increased across most of northern Australia since the 1970s,” he said.