Climate science – impacts
Tasmania's climate is already changing.
The latest Australian climate change projections from the Bureau of Meteorology and CSIRO show how the climate is expected to change over the coming decades. Australia’s climate has already warmed on average by 1.44 degrees C since 1910, with most of the warming recorded since 1950.
In the last five years, Tasmania has experienced two significant bushfire events, a record marine heatwave off the East Coast, prolonged dry periods in 2015-16 and 2019-20, and the worst statewide flooding seen in 40 years. These events have had an environmental, economic and social impact on governments, businesses, communities and households.
The projections for Tasmania are:
- Average temperatures will continue to rise
- Less rainfall in winter and spring
- More hot days and fewer frosts
- More extreme rainfall events
- Harsher bushfire weather
- Mean sea level will continue to rise.
Learn more about
Impacts of climate change
What do we know?
There is a range of scientific information available about the projected impacts of climate change at the local, national and international levels. The Tasmanian Government uses these resources to plan for, and adapt to, a changing climate. The three main sources of information are the Climate Futures for Tasmania project, the CSIRO/Bureau of Meteorology, and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
Download the Climate Change Fact Sheet (PDF).
Climate Futures for Tasmania
The Climate Futures for Tasmania (CFT) project is the most important source of Tasmanian climate change projections on a local scale. Between 2010 and 2012, the Antarctic Climate and Ecosystems Cooperative Research Centre published the CFT reports that presented the first fine-scale local climate information for Tasmania.
Through CFT modelling, we have an understanding of how the Tasmanian climate is likely to change between now and 2100. In addition to general data there is specific information for agriculture, coastal impacts and water and catchments.
General CFT Reports
- General Climate Impacts Technical Report – Summary (PDF 4MB)
- General Climate Impacts Technical Report – Full Report (PDF 17MB)
- Climate Modelling Technical Report – Summary (PDF 9MB)
- Climate Modelling Technical Report – Full Report (PDF 30MB)
Climate Futures for Tasmania maps
- The Land Information System Tasmania LISTmap provides access to over 300 publicly-available map layers, such as geology, primary industries, biodiversity and climate change.
- The CFT climate change projections available on LISTmap include projections for three time periods, and for high and low carbon emissions scenarios. They include mean frost risk, annual rainfall, mean temperature change, pan evaporation change, and relative humidity change.
Local government area climate profiles
Local-level climate information is available to assist councils, resource managers and businesses to better understand the expected climate changes in their area and adapt to these changes. Read the local government area climate profiles.
In 2015, CSIRO and the Bureau of Meteorology released comprehensive information about observed and projected climate change in Australia on the Climate Change in Australia website.
- The Southern Slopes Cluster Report summarises the key climate change projections for the Southern Slopes region of Australia which includes Tasmania.
- About Climate Analogues show how a changing climate will affect individual towns in Australia over the coming decades. The online tool matches a region’s likely future climate conditions with the current climate experienced by another region, using average annual rainfall and maximum temperatures. For example, with an average temperature increase of 2° Celsius, the climate of Launceston will be more like Melbourne, Goulburn or Armidale by 2030.
- The Australian Climate Futures Tool uses the existing Climate Futures data and details the ‘best’ and ‘worst’ cases of the likely impacts of a changing climate, depending on the level of greenhouse gas emissions. The tool is designed to help users understand and apply climate change projections when preparing impact assessments and planning for climate change adaptation.
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is the leading international organisation for the assessment of climate change. It is a scientific body managed by the United Nations and has 195 countries as members. Thousands of scientists from around the world contribute to the IPCC to review and assess the most recent scientific, technical and socio-economic information about climate change. The IPCC also sets international guidelines for measuring and calculating greenhouse gas emissions.
IPCC Emissions Scenarios
Future greenhouse gas emissions are the result of complex systems that are shaped by how societies and technology change over time. The IPCC develops emissions scenarios which are used in the analysis of possible climate change, its impacts, and the options to reduce emissions. Emissions scenarios are a set of assumptions about future greenhouse gas emissions, land use and other factors that influence climate change. They provide alternative images, or storylines, of what may happen in the future. A detailed explanation of these scenarios is available in the IPCC’s Special Report on Emissions Scenarios.
Understanding the potential health impacts of climate change is also important so we can build community resilience. Some of the risks to our health from a changing climate include increased frequency and severity of natural disasters such as bushfires or floods; increased air pollution and pollen; and mental health challenges from displacement and migration. Learn more about climate change and health on the Public Health Services website.
These changes present both risks and opportunities which is why it is important that we take action to adapt and reduce our vulnerability - learn more about what these opportunities are for Tasmania to reduce emissions and adapt to a changing climate.