Chief Investigators Neil Holbrook, Amelie Meyer and Peter Strutton

The ARC Centre of Excellence for Climate Extremes reduces Australia’s economic, social and environmental vulnerability to climate extremes.

We do this by:

  • Developing and leading fundamental climate science
  • Improving the predictions of extreme weather and climate events
  • Fostering collaborative science between 5 of Australia’s leading universities and our partner organisations
  • Training and investing in the climate science leaders of the future
  • Sharing our knowledge with Governments, policymakers, industry and the community

Climate extremes affect many facets of Australian society including health, soil and water, agriculture, infrastructure, energy security and financial security. Our research programs focus on 4 core areas – weather and climate interactions, attribution and risk, drought and ocean extremes. These are all underpinned by our work in climate modelling – improving the models that analyse extremes of the past and predict extremes into the future.

Established in August 2017, we were funded by the Australian Research Council as a Centre of Excellence. Five of Australia’s leading universities are partners in the Centre – the University of New South Wales, Monash University, the Australian National University, the University of Melbourne, and the University of Tasmania, with investment from The Bureau of Meteorology, New South Wales Government’s Research Attraction and Acceleration Program and the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage.

The establishment of the Centre – the first of its kind globally – marked a shift from investigating climate averages to a specific focus on the process-level understanding that explains the behaviour of climate extremes that directly affect Australian natural and economic systems. With this increased evidence-based understanding as our foundation, the Centre improves Australia’s capability to predict climate extremes, reducing our national vulnerability.

The ARC Centre of Excellence for Climate Extremes focuses on the processes underlying extreme rainfall, droughts, heatwaves and cold air outbreaks. Because these are all affected by the background climate, including variability on many timescales, we maintain research efforts on climate variability, teleconnections and climate sensitivity. Our research is necessarily quantitative, understanding the physics, dynamics and biology of climate extremes and describing them in the Australian Community Climate and Earth-System Simulator. Central to our research is the high-performance computers and data environment provided by the National Computational Infrastructure.