Indian Ocean Climate Initiative - Western Australia

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How does IOCI inform adaptation

Climate is a key determinant of our lifestyle. A multitude of everyday lifestyle decisions, yearly business and resource management decisions and strategic longer term decisions are based on our expectations of the behaviour of regional climate.

In recent years, awareness of our changing climate has increased. The average winter rainfall over the last 32 years in south-west WA, for example, is now 17% less than during the first half of last century. Results from IOCI research have helped WA adapt to the consequent reduction in water availability. So now it is not a question of IF we have to adapt but HOW we can best adapt to the changing climate.

IOCI Stage 3 will enable ‘downscaling’ of the large global atmospheric circulation models used by the CSIRO and BoM which have coarse resolutions of approximately 200 x 200 km2 to a finer scale of approximately 25 x 25 km2 or smaller. Such downscaling will result in climate predictions that are substantially more useful for adaptation planning and decision-making at a regional and sub-regional level.

The emphasis of IOCI Stage 3 now includes not only the south-west of Western Australia, but also the north-west. IOCI scientists are  studying some aspects of the climate of critical importance to the key State export infrastructure located in that region, including the formation and prediction of tropical cyclones under different global warming scenarios and if the current trend of higher rainfall in the northern tropics is likely to persist over time.

IOCI will extend our knowledge to ensure that adaptation decisions are made using the best possible information about future climate. Work in IOCI aims to further our understanding of WA’s future climate in the south west and in our resource-rich north-west.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 25 October 2011 11:32

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