Regional Climate Modelling in South-east Australia

This project uses regional climate models to produce future climate projections and investigate future changes in various climate extremes including extreme precipitation and heatwaves.

Principal investigator

Jason Evans
Magnifying glass

Area of science

Agricultural And Veterinary Sciences, Climate Science, Earth Sciences, Environmental Sciences, Geosciences

Systems used


Applications used

Partner Institution: UNSW| Project Code: n81

The Challenge

This project will address several important related problems:
1. What is the best method to produce regional climate change projections that indicate the most likely future climate as well as the range of plausible future climates that must be considered in impacts and adaptation studies, while explicitly accounting for the level of model independence?
2. How will precipitation change at the sub-daily time scale due to climate change?
3. Where did the water that rains in various parts of Australia come from?
4. How does the expansion of cities in Australia impact the local climate?
5. How do heatwaves develop and intensify, and how does this change across cities to produce the large spatial variability in heat often seen?

The Solution

A series of regional climate model simulations are performed to investigate how climate changes in the future given a greenhouse gas emission scenario. The simulations use high resolution (10km) over southeast Australia. Present day and future scenario simulations are then compared to quantify changes in climate including extreme precipitation and heatwaves. Further analysis is performed to understand the mechanisms causing the simulated changes.

The Outcome

These regional climate model simulations would not be possible without access to the supercomputer time supplied by the Pawsey Supercomputing Centre.

List of Publications

Di virgilio, G., J.P. Evans, A. Di Luca, M.R. Grose, V. Round, M. Thatcher (2020) Realised added value in dynamical downscaling of Australian climate change. Climate Dynamics, accepted 15 April 2020.

Spinoni, J., P. Barbosa, E. Bucchignani, J. Cassano, T. Cavazos, J.H. Christensen, O.B. Christensen, E. Coppola, J. Evans, B. Geyer, F. Giorgi, P. Hadjinicolaou, D. Jacob, J. Katzfey, T. Koenigk, R. Laprise, C.J. Lennard, M.L. Kurnaz, D. Li, M. Llopart, N. McCormick, G. Naumann, G. Nikulin, T. Ozturk, H.-J. Panitz, R.P. da Rocha, B. Rockel, S.A. Solman, J. Syktus, F. Tangang, C. Teichmann, R. Vautard, J.V. Vogt, K. Winger, G. Zittis and A. Dosio (2020) Future global meteorological drought hotspots: a study based on CORDEX data. Journal of Climate, 33(9), 3635-3661, doi: 10.1175/JCLI-D-19-0084.1.