Southern Slopes – the climate change story for southeast Australia and Tasmania (6405)
New national projections for Australia will be reported within eight clusters of Natural Resource Management (NRM) zones using the newest CMIP5 dataset of global climate model (GCM) outputs and techniques for downscaling those GCM outputs. The Southern Slopes cluster covers southern mainland Australia and Tasmania, which is a temperate maritime zone within the mid-latitudes with a diversity of local climates and influence of climate drivers across a relatively small area. Climate projections from CMIP5 for the cluster are broadly similar as in the previous CMIP3 models, with the lowest projected warming in any region of Australia due largely to the moderating influence of the adjacent Southern Ocean. Projected rainfall change depends largely on the changes to the dominant pressure and circulation features such as the subtropical ridge of high pressure and the mid-latitude westerly storm tracks, but also influences such as the incidence of low pressure systems along the east coast. The diversity of climate influences across the region means that there is substantial potential for downscaling to provide added value to the climate projections. The latest projections from CMIP5 and downscaling of GCMs are outlined, including context on the drivers of change expected with a warming climate.