Picture: Cyclone Debbie off the Australian coast (2017). Credit: NASA (adjusted by CLEX for illustrative purposes)

CLEX authors and colleagues from major Australian science organisations investigating climate examined the simulation of Australian climate in the new, state-of-the-art Coupled Model Intercomparison Project, phase 6 (CMIP6) models.

The study focussed on three key aspects of CMIP6:

  • what is new in these models,
  • how the available CMIP6 models perform compared to CMIP5, and
  • their projections of the future Australian climate compared to CMIP5.

The results showed that projections of Australian temperature and rainfall from the available CMIP6 ensemble broadly agree with those from the CMIP5 ensemble, except for a group of CMIP6 models that indicated a greater increase in some extremes after 2050.

CMIP6 rainfall projections were similar to CMIP5, but the ensemble examined had a narrower range of rainfall change in austral summer in northern Australia and austral winter in southern Australia.

Overall, future national projections are likely to be similar to previous versions but perhaps with some areas of improved confidence and clarity.

  • Paper: Grose MR, Narsey S, Delage FP, et al. Insights from CMIP6 for Australia’s future climate. Earth’s Futur. doi: 10.1029/2019EF001469 (2020)