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Insights from CMIP6 for Australia's future climate


Grose, MR and Narsay, S and Delage, F and Dowdy, AJ and Bador, M and Boschat, G and Chung, C and Kajtar, JB and Rauniyar, S and Freund, MB and Lyu, K and Rashid, H and Zhang, X and Wales, S and Trenham, C and Holbrook, NJ and Cowan, T and Alexander, L and Arblaster, JM and Power, S, Insights from CMIP6 for Australia's future climate, Earth's Future, 8, (5) Article e2019EF001469. ISSN 2328-4277 (2020) [Refereed Article]

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Copyright Statement

2020. The Authors. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution‐NonCommercial‐NoDerivs License, which permits use and distribution in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, the use is non‐commercial and no modifications or adaptations are made

DOI: doi:10.1029/2019EF001469


Outputs from new state‐of‐the‐art climate models under the Coupled Model Inter‐comparison Project phase 6 (CMIP6) promise improvement and enhancement of climate change projections information for Australia. Here we focus on three key aspects of CMIP6: what is new in these models, how the available CMIP6 models evaluate compared to CMIP5, and their projections of the future Australian climate compared to CMIP5 focussing on the highest emissions scenario. The CMIP6 ensemble has several new features of relevance to policymakers and others, for example the integrated matrix of socio‐economic and concentration pathways. The CMIP6 models show incremental improvements in the simulation of the climate in the Australian region, including a reduced equatorial Pacific cold‐tongue bias, slightly improved rainfall teleconnections with large‐scale climate drivers, improved representation of atmosphere and ocean extreme heat events, as well as dynamic sea level. However, important regional biases remain, evident in the excessive rainfall over the Maritime Continent and rainfall pattern biases in the nearby tropical convergence zones. Projections of Australian temperature and rainfall from the available CMIP6 ensemble broadly agree with those from CMIP5, except for a group of CMIP6 models with higher climate sensitivity and greater warming and increase in some extremes after 2050. CMIP6 rainfall projections are similar to CMIP5, but the ensemble examined has a narrower range of rainfall change in austral summer in northern Australia and austral winter in southern Australia. Overall, future national projections are likely to be similar to previous versions but perhaps with some areas of improved confidence and clarity.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:Australian climate, climate variability, CMIP6, regional projections
Research Division:Earth Sciences
Research Group:Climate change science
Research Field:Climatology
Objective Division:Environmental Policy, Climate Change and Natural Hazards
Objective Group:Understanding climate change
Objective Field:Effects of climate change on Australia (excl. social impacts)
UTAS Author:Kajtar, JB (Dr Jules Kajtar)
UTAS Author:Holbrook, NJ (Professor Neil Holbrook)
ID Code:138577
Year Published:2020
Web of Science® Times Cited:106
Deposited By:Oceans and Cryosphere
Deposited On:2020-04-16
Last Modified:2022-08-29
Downloads:25 View Download Statistics

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