Dynamically downscaling climate projections for Victoria

This project developed high resolution (5km) climate change simulations for Victoria as well as (50km) climate change simulations for Australia. These simulations are designed to assist with developing climate change projections for the Victorian Government and the Australian Wine Industry. The simulations will also contribute to the CORDEX international intercomparison project.

Principal investigator

Marcus Thatcher Marcus.Thatcher@csiro.au
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Area of science

Applied Science, Earth Sciences, Earth System Science

Systems used


Applications used

Conformal Cubic Atmospheric Model
Partner Institution: CSIRO Ocean and Atmosphere | Project Code: pawsey0266

The Challenge

Although global climate models help us understand potential changes to the Australian climate, we have limited understanding of some of the local changes in climate. This includes changes in extreme weather (e.g., rainfall), urban climate and coastal climates. The simulations are designed to provide researchers with additional information regarding how global climate change can affect the local climate and weather.

The Solution

The current resolution of global climate models (e.g., 100-200km) requires important processes (such as convection) to be parametrised. Unfortunately such parameterisations are imperfect and can lead to errors in the prediction of the simulation. The high resolution simulations (5km) allow us to investigate situations where the convective parametrisation is partially resolved, as well as better representing local influences on the climate such as mountain ranges, coasts and urban areas.

The Outcome

Using the Pawsey Centre’s computing resources, we were able to complete an ensemble of 5 km resolution, 140 year climate simulations based on six Global Climate Model predictions and two emission scenarios. The simulation results indicate enhanced drying at elevated terrain, as well as allowing us to make better estimates of changing extreme rainfall. These simulation results will be used by state government departments and the Australian wine industry for managing the impact of climate change.

List of Publications

Grose M, SYKTUS J, Thatcher M, Evans J, Ji F, Rafter T, and Remenyi T “The role of topography on projected rainfall change in mid-latitude mountain regions” submitted to climate dynamics

Other papers and technical documents are in preparation