Keywords: climate change, carbon dioxide, El Nino, Southern Oscillation, greenhouse gases, GHG emissions, regional modelling, temperature, Australia
Climate science in Australia with particular reference to climate change
The factors governing the global circulation of the atmosphere are briefly discussed and the unique situation in the Southern Hemisphere is described. The El Nino-Southern Oscillation phenomenon exerts a major influence on the climate of the Pacific and leads to extreme variability of climate. Any changes due to human-induced greenhouse gas emissions must be set against this variability. Models for simulating present-day climate are described and their use for prediction of possible changes of temperature and precipitation under conditions of increased greenhouse gases is discussed. The link between predictions and scenarios is examined and the current lack of reliance of regional modelling is stressed.