March 14, 2022 | Published by | ,

The research vital to understanding what’s to come

Photo: Andy Pitman (File photo)

The ARC Centre of Excellence for Climate Extremes has released a retrospective of Australian weather and climate extremes of 2021, written by an outstanding group of emerging Australian climate experts.

The state of weather and climate extremes 2021 is available for download here.

“As the Australian community struggles with the current weather and climate extremes, it’s vital we invest in building a deeper understanding of recent events in a broader context” says Andy Pitman, Director of the ARC Centre of Excellence for Climate Extremes (Climate Extremes).

‘‘’The state of weather and climate extremes 2021’ is a collaboration across Australia’s leading climate extremes experts, led by a team of outstanding early-career scientists. These researchers are transforming Australia’s modelling of climate extremes and giving business and Government the deeper understanding needed to reduce our country’s vulnerability to these extremes. Our climate experts are looking back at major recent events, so we can better understand the climate extremes of the future” says Pitman.

Key climate extremes in 2021 highlighted in the report include:

  • A marine heatwave in Western Australia, highlighting the value of research into how better predictions can be made in future.
  • Heatwaves on land in Western Australia, highlighting the value of research on the links between heatwaves and weather systems, soil moisture and climate change.
  • Extreme rainfall leading to flooding in Eastern Australia in March (2021), with the Centre’s research showing that the probability of weather events like the one that caused the extreme rainfall could increase by 80% over Sydney by the end of the 21st century due to climate change.

Read more in the full report ‘The state of weather and climate extremes 2021’

“Australia is a nation that is strongly affected by weather and climate extremes, and the year 2021 demonstrated this yet again” says Ian Macadam, lead Knowledge Broker at Climate Extremes and contributing author of the report.

“There are many unanswered questions about how these extremes may behave in the future but our country is fortunate to have the resources and talent to carry out research to address these. This research is vital to understanding what’s to come. It’s about identifying and filling the research and science gaps for better predictions and planning for climate extremes. The ARC Centre of Excellence for Climate Extremes is supporting these researchers in their important work, which will only become more important as we soon assess the extremes of 2022 and advise decision makers on the science.”

Media contact: clex@unsw.edu.au

The ARC Centre of Excellence for Climate Extremes (Climate Extremes) reduces Australia’s economic, social and environmental vulnerability to climate extremes. Funded by the Australian Research Council (ARC), it brings together five Australian universities and a suite of outstanding national and international Partner Organisations.

The participating universities are the University of New South Wales, Monash University, the Australian National University, the University of Melbourne, and the University of Tasmania.