The Australian Climate Change Science Program


(Dr Helen Cleugh, CSIRO) The Australian Climate Change Science Program is an amazing collaboration between Bureau of Meteorology, CSIRO and the Australian Government. It's actually the longest running climate change science program in Australia. (Dr Graeme Pearman, Retired CSIRO Scientist) The program was set up because at around about the time — mid 80s — it became clear from research that we'd been doing for 15 years that the concentration of a whole range of greenhouse gases was increasing in the atmosphere. Also around about that time it became clear that the temperature of the planet looked like it was going up. And although we weren't certain about this relationship it meant that we really needed to do more research. (Dr Pep Canadell, CSIRO) What has happened over the years is that the program and our science has actually developed and matured, at the same time climate change and emission changes were really happening just before our eyes.

(Dr Karl Braganza, Bureau of Meteorology) We had Australia's hottest day on record, we had the hottest month on record, we had the hottest week on record and we had the hottest summer on record and those temperatures were really widespread. (Dr Lean Rotstayn, CSIRO) We don't know that much about how aerosols affect climate in the southern hemisphere and Australia. (Dr Paul Fraser, CSIRO) Initially our work with the climate change program involved the establishment of a major greenhouse gas measurement facility here at CSIRO and that measures all of the major greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. (Dr Helen Cleugh, CSIRO) Without the investment by the ACCSP we wouldn't understand the important role that oceans play in the climate system. (Dr Kathy McInnes, CSIRO) Typically events that we might experience say for example once every 100 years under current climate, with future sea level projections will occur much more frequently. (Dr Aurel Moise, Bureau of Meteorology) I'm interested in what drives the monsoon and what drives the changes to the monsoon in the future.

(Dr Scott Power, Bureau of Meteorology) It's really important that we better understand what causes those natural cycles but also how they might change in response to both natural processes but also human forced climate change. (Dr Penny Whetton, CSIRO) Knowing more about how the climate is likely to change regionally is actually important for making decisions around adaptation and mitigation. (Dr Karl Braganza, Bureau of Meteorology) What the science is aiming to do is downscale projects so that they're actually accurate or have some precision at really small special scales. That's where people live, that's where they want to know what's going to happen. (Dr Rob Colman, Bureau of Meteorology) Well ACCSP is fundamentally important to climate change science in Australia. It has been going for nearly 25 years and over that time it's been really one of the cornerstones of climate change science research in this country. (Dr Helen Cleugh, CSIRO) The science was telling us that there was going to be global warming and anthropogenic climate change and they had the foresight to think about what science was need to equip Australia to meet that challenge. (Dr Graeme Pearman, Retired CSIRO Scientist) I didn't set out to be a pioneer, it's something that actually really does interest me in my interest in human behaviour and the climate change issue.

We were interested in looking at these gases because of what might happen in 20 or 30 or 50 years time. (Dr Helen Cleugh, CSIRO) And I'd like to think we've got the same foresight to manage the program to be as vibrant and important in 20 years time or 25 years time as it is today..