Walker Institute  

Working with the Queensland Government

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Climate change in Australia

Australia has faced many periods of drought and flooding over its history. The early years of the 21st century saw severe drought conditions over much of Australia. While Queensland is currently (Dec 2010/Jan 2011) experiencing devastating flooding.

During the drought conditions seen in the early 21st century, drastic water restrictions were in place and the 2006/2007 winter crop yields were the lowest for over 10 years.

What causes these epidsodes of drought and flooding? Are they related to human induced climate change or are they natural variations?

To address the critical issue of climate change, the Government in the north eastern state of Queensland has formed a collaboration with the Walker Institute.

Our scientists are working with the Queensland Climate Change Centre of Excellence to improve climate forecasts - for anything from a month to many decades ahead - and to develop the ability to cope with the impacts on agriculture, water resources and business sectors like insurance.

Dr Nicholas Klingaman is funded by the Queensland government to study rainfall in Queensland.

See the press release >>




Latest news

Briefing on cyclone Yasi

Briefing on Jan 2011 floods

Visit of Hon Kate Jones MP, Queensland Minister for Climate Change and Sustainability >>

Scientists visit Queensland, Aug 07 >>

Managing the risks of climate change

Our expertise in climate and its effects on agriculture, land-use and water resources will be used to help manage the substantial risks of climate for society and businesses in Queensland.

We're improving climate models so they are more realistic in the tropics, from individual tropical rain clouds to the much larger scales of the Australian/Asian monsoon and El Niño. With improved models we can assess with more confidence whether man-made climate change is contributing to the current drought and improve the quality of climate forecasts for the coming season to many decades ahead.

Higher resolution climate models being developed at the Walker Institute will be used alongside high resolution observational data to improve seasonal forecasts of the likely location, frequency and severity of a range of hazardous weather events and to assess how such events might change over the coming decades.

With our expertise we can also assess flooding and drought risk under different climate conditions, and the impacts on water quality, water esources and agriculture.



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