Joint media release: Launch of the State of the Climate Report 2022

23 November 2022

The Hon Tanya Plibersek MP, Minister for the Environment and Water
The Hon Ed Husic MP, Minister for Science and Industry


The Minister for Science and Industry Ed Husic and the Minister for the Environment and Water Tanya Plibersek today launched the State of the Climate Report 2022. 

The report underlines why the Australian Government is acting with urgency to tackle climate change in line with our international obligations and the expectations of the Australian people.

It was prepared by two of Australia’s leading climate research agencies, the CSIRO and the Bureau of Meteorology.

State of the Climate has found changes to weather and climate extremes are happening at an increased pace across Australia.

The report, released every two years, shows an increase in extreme heat events, intense heavy rainfall, longer fire seasons and sea level rise. The report draws on the latest climate monitoring, science and projection information to detail Australia’s changing climate now and into the future. 

The report details that concentrations of greenhouse gases, such as carbon dioxide, are at the highest levels seen on Earth in at least two million years. This is causing Australia’s climate to warm. 

The report also documents the continuing acidification of the oceans around Australia, which have also warmed by more than one degree since 1900.  

The warming of our oceans is contributing to longer and more frequent marine heatwaves, and this trend is expected to continue into the future. 

This report highlights the need for urgent action on climate change, which the Albanese Government has already begun, including:

•    Updating our 2030 emissions reductions target to 43% and legislating the Climate Change Act

•    Investing $20 billion to Rewire the Nation, to drive up penetration of renewables and help drive the grid to 82% renewable energy by 2030

•    Implementing our safeguard reforms to reduce emissions from Australia’s biggest 215 emitters

•    Delivering a $1 billion Disaster Ready Fund to help communities with disaster resilience and risk-reduction initiatives

•    Stronger laws on ozone depleting gases and signing the methane pledge. 

Reports like the State of the Climate Report 2022 provide important research to help guide the country’s response. 

State of the Climate 2022 is the seventh report in a series published biennially by the Bureau of Meteorology and CSIRO, which together play an integral role in monitoring, measuring and reporting on weather and climate.

Quotes from the Minister for the Environment and Water Tanya Plibersek MP: 

“This report is sobering reading. 

“Australia is experiencing climate change now, with impacts being felt by many communities, ecosystems and industry sectors. 

“The State of the Climate report draws on the latest climate monitoring, science and projection information to describe changes and long-term trends in Australia’s climate.

“The government is acting on climate change. We believe the science. We’ve already legislated our 43% emissions reduction target and are investing in transforming our energy systems.

“For our environment, for our communities, this report reinforces the urgent need for climate action.”  

Quotes from the Minister for Industry and Science Ed Husic MP:

“The State of the Climate report reinforces the urgent need for action on climate change.

“We were elected with a mandate to tackle the challenges posed by climate change after a decade of denial and delay.

“We are acting across government to bring down emissions while creating jobs and economic opportunity.

“Within our $15 billion National Reconstruction Fund we have dedicated up to $3 billion towards renewables and low emission technologies.

“CSIRO and the Bureau of Meteorology are vital agencies providing information and advice so that our actions are based on the latest science.

“We are a government that listens to the science; that acts on the science.”

Download a copy of the report and images provided by CSIRO at this link.

BACKGROUND INFORMATION

KEY FINDINGS IN THE REPORT

•    Australia’s climate has warmed on average by 1.47 (+/-0.24) degrees since 1910, leading to more frequent extreme heat events.

•    Sea surface temperatures have increased an average of 1.05 degrees since 1900.

•    There has been an increase in extreme fire weather and a longer fire season across large parts of the country since the 1950s.

•    Snow depth, snow cover and the number of snow days have decreased in alpine regions since the late 1950s.

•    There has been a decline of about 15% in April to October rainfall in SW Australia since 1970.

•    In SE Australia there has been a decrease of about 10% in April to October rainfall.

•    There has been a decrease in the number of tropical cyclones observed in Australia since 1982.

•    Global mean sea level has risen by about 25cm since 1880; half of this rise since 1970.

•    Ocean acidification around Australia continues to rise, with the rate of change increasing.

FUTURE CLIMATE

•    National and global temperature rise to continue

•    Sea level rise to continue

•    Marine heatwaves to be more frequent and intense

•    Warmer weather with more heatwaves and fewer cool days

•    Fewer tropical cyclones but a higher proportion of high-intensity storms

•    Cool season rainfall decline in southern and eastern Australia

•    Heavy rainfall to become more intense

•    Longer fire season and more dangerous fire weather