Climate Futures for Tasmania


Tasmania is surrounded by the sea and has a varied topography leading to significant differences in local climate on a scale that is far smaller than can be captured using a global climate model. This level of detail provides very little confidence to users that projections at a local scale are meaningful or helpful.

The Climate Futures for Tasmania project was conceived as an integrated assessment of the high resolution, dynamically downscaled climate models (about 10 km grid cells across Tasmania) with operationally meaningful models. It addressed the need for relevant, locally specific information about expected changes to climate that reflects the highly variable topography of Tasmania and many strong regional variations at a finer scale resolution than is available from global and national scale models.

Since 2010, Climate Futures for Tasmania has produced a series of products and reports of anticipated climate change impacts for new audiences, including summaries for local government areas. The published project results reflect the specific information required by the participating end user groups, such as Hydro Tasmania, grape growers and aquaculture operators, for their operational decision-making. The project results allow them to apply anticipated future conditions to their decisions to see how they would have to adapt.

Risks and Impacts Addressed 

Hazard definition as revealed by downscaled, (10 km) future climate trends. Risk and impact assessments of:

·         Catchments and flows

·         Agricultural impacts

·         Extreme events including coastal maximum storm tide events

·         General climate trends at a small-scale.

Drivers for Adaptation Action 

Realisation that key to success was integration of the climate models with the downstream models of impacts on operations (catchment models, wind impact models etc. already held by some users) and participation by the users in project development and communication of the results.

Outcomes Achieved 

·         Climate maps, graphs, tables of trends in key climate parameters at a local scale

·         Application of future climate conditions to operational models showing impacts

·         Climate trends for each Local Government Area (LGA).