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  • Rikki Lambert

Australian climate getting warmer: CSIRO state of the climate report

The nation's chief science agency says the nation's climate is getting warmer, on trend, with a spokesman conceding it seems counter-intuitive amid Australia's southern cold and wet snap.

Director of Agriculture and Food, Dr Michael Robertson, told FlowFM:

"I'm based in Perth and we've just had our coldest November I think for 20 years. People might scratch their heads and say what's this all to do with a general warming trend. When you look at the overall average yearly temperature, we are continually having a warming trend in our climate records. Since records started to be collected in about 1910, our aat has risen by 1 and a half degrees. that might not seem like very much but what's associated with that is more extremes - so we're seeing more heatwaves, more frosts in some parts of the country, and overall more days that are above certain warm thresholds."

After evocative images of water flowing over major dams like Wyangala in New South Wales, Dr Robertson said the CSIRO is working with farmers on various ways to improve water management:

"The big challenge for agriculture is, how do we manage the ups and downs of our rainfall patterns? Some of it will be through water storages like dams. There will be other clever things that we can look at farmers doing in terms of new technology to help to capture more rainfall in our soils by improving our soils and how we manage them. Other technologies around using our underground aquifers as water banks, so during these times of floods, pumping water underground where it can stay safe from being evaporated away and withdrawn again like a bank during a dry spell."

Hear the full interview on the Flow podcast player:


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