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New climate data from the Goyder Institute lays down the challenges for SA to meet

Mar 2, 2015
Author: Goyder Institute


South Australia is well-placed to respond to future climate change challenges, with the release of the most comprehensive set of climate projections concerning South Australia.

The Annual Conference opening address featured Climate Change Minister Ian Hunter, launching the data which is the result of the Goyder Institute’s five year ‘SA Climate Ready’ project.

“These climate change projections – which predict a 50 per cent reduction in annual flows into our largest reservoir within the next 100 years – are based on the best available science to ensure that South Australia is on the front foot in planning for climate change impacts,” he said.

Director of The Goyder Institute, Dr Michele Akeroyd, said, “ The Goyder Institute is making South Australia the most climate ready State in the nation by helping to improve understanding to inform planning for future investments in critical infrastructure. The long life span and significant investment in critical infrastructure such as roads, transport, energy and water management projects means they must be able to withstand the effects of climate change for decades to come.

"South Australia now has an agreed set of climate change projections that can be applied by Governments and the private sector when making these long-term decisions. The projections are based on high quality science, bringing together the best and latest data for South Australia based on South Australian conditions.”

A group of world-leading scientists led by Dr Simon Beecham from the University of South Australia spent five years analysing climate change models which best represent this State’s climate drivers and developing more relevant and targeted data. Data is available for six climate variables (rainfall, temperature maximum, temperature minimum, areal potential evapotranspiration, solar radiation, vapour pressure deficit), using two emission scenarios (intermediate and high “representative concentration pathways”) through to 2100.

The key features of SA Climate Ready include:

  • Data aligned to the South Australian NRM regions, so it is directly relevant to region scale adaptation planning;
  • detailed data that was generated using an approach that has been successfully applied for hydrological impact research in southern Australia;
  • selection of global climate models based on their ability to represent the influence of climate drivers such as the Indian Ocean Dipole and the El Niño-Southern Oscillation on South Australia’s climate; and,
  • results that were tested through an “application test bed” verifying the applicability of the climate projections data to hydrological modelling in South Australia.

A series of supporting material is available from this project:

The detailed data for each weather station can be downloaded from the State Government’s Enviro Data SA website.