How is climate change affecting South Australia?

According to the Australian Academy of Science, “Earth’s climate has changed over the past century. The atmosphere and oceans have warmed, sea levels have risen, and glaciers and ice sheets have decreased in size. The best available evidence indicates that greenhouse gas emissions from human activities are the main cause. Continuing increases in greenhouse gases will produce further warming and other changes in Earth’s physical environment and ecosystems.”

In its findings, the world’s leading body for assessing climate change – the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) - reports that human influence on the climate system is clear. Information on the latest climate change science is available on the IPCC website.

Climate change will continue to affect our state and our community in a number of different ways.

While South Australia’s climate has always been highly variable, a warming trend has been observed since the 1970s. According to the latest data, average temperatures across the State have warmed almost 1 degree Celsius over the past century. Rainfall has also declined over most of the state since the 1970s, particularly for autumn and spring rainfall over the agricultural regions. In South Australia, we had our second-warmest year on record in 2014.

Find out more about the projected changes in rainfall and temperature in South Australia.

The CSIRO, in collaboration with the Bureau of Meteorology, has released climate change projections for Australia. In addition to these national-scale projections, the Goyder Institute for Water Research has released climate projections data for South Australia. 

Find out more about these climate change projections for South Australia.

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