Skip to main content

State of the Climate 2020 Report

By November 24, 2020January 20th, 2021No Comments
Image of Australia with 8 text boxes reading: global temperature rise to continue, sea level rise to continue, marine heatwaves to be more frequent and intense, warmer with more heatwaves, fewer cool days, fewer tropical cyclones but a greater proportion of high-intensity storms, cool season rainfall decline in southern and eastern Australia to continue, heavy rainfall to become more intense, longer fire season and more dangerous fire weather

The latest State of the Climate report by the Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) and the CSIRO reveals a more extreme climate future. The report, released on 12 November 2020, details that we will face more extreme fire seasons and “big weather” events such as major flooding, severe cyclones and long-lasting droughts in Australia.

Reductions in emissions in the first part of 2020 due to COVID-19 are relatively small in terms of the current rate of carbon dioxide accumulation in the atmosphere. We must understand these climate risks and how they might affect us so we can look after the future wellbeing of our people, local areas, ecosystems and economy.

Climate change is happening now

The report outlines that Australia is experiencing climate change now, and the warming trend is going to continue with Australia projected to experience more extremely hot days and fewer extremely cool days.

Key points from the report include:

  • Since records began in 1910, Australia’s climate has warmed on average by 1.44 degrees Celsius.
  • In the southeast of Australia there has been a decline of around 12 per cent in April to October rainfall since the late 1990s.
  • The world’s oceans, especially in the southern hemisphere, are taking up around 90 per cent of the extra energy resulting from enhanced greenhouse gas concentrations.

You can also watch this short video summarising the key findings.

Over the past few years Australia has witnessed dramatic changes in fire threats, rainfall coverage, ocean sinks, and flooding levels and the scientists are telling us we can expect more unpredictable weather in years to come.

For local municipalities like Merri-bek, changes in weather and climate extremes—such as extreme heat, heavy rainfall and drought— will directly impact the wellbeing of our communities and key infrastructure and planning decisions into the future.

Click here to read the report.