Climate systems science

Climate science uses computer models and understanding of the fundamental processes governing the atmosphere and ocean to explore past, present and future variability of Earth’s climate system. Climate science has provided the evidence to identify human influences on the climate system and to quantify possible future pathways in a warming world. Climate scientists have summarised this understanding in the six major Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Assessment Reports with increasing evidence and detail, based on improved models and observations of the climate system.

Climate science also provides information about future climate projections at a regional scale, including changes in average temperature and rainfall, as well as changes to climate extremes such as droughts, floods and heatwaves. Working in collaboration with the impacts and adaptation communities, climate scientists continue to refine understanding of the possible challenges we may face in a warmer world. Areas of active research include modelling climate extremes, understanding how major modes of variability such as El Nino Southern Oscillation will change with warming, and providing climate projections in the context of uncertainty using approaches such as storylines and probabilistic projections.

Program lead

Dr Josephine Brown, Senior Lecturer, School of Geography, Earth and Atmospheric Sciences

Early career research co-lead

Dr Andrew King, Senior Lecturer, School of Geography, Earth and Atmospheric Sciences

Grants and resources

ARC Centre of Excellence for Climate Extremes

National Environmental Science Program Climate Systems Hub