Climate Analogues: a way to experience the future (climate)

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Tuesday, April 17, 2018
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Tue. 17 April 2018 2:30 pm – 3:30 pm AEST (12:30 am EST).


Understanding how projections of future climate will affect your town or an area of interest is often hard to imagine, understand and therefore plan for. If climate projections show that your area of interest will be hotter and drier or wetter and hotter, what does this really look and feel like?

Locating areas where the current climate is similar to the projected future climate of a place of interest (a ‘climate analogue’) is a simple method for visualising and communicating the impact of projected changes, and can be helpful when starting to consider adaptation strategies to a changing climate.

The Climate Analogues tool within the Climate Change in Australia website matches projected future rainfall and temperature for a location of interest with the current climate experienced at another location. In this way the tool can be used to explore plausible future climates under a range of different scenarios. Initially showing towns that match in a broad sense, the tool can be tuned to refine the results to take account of season-specific projections and seasonal patterns. The analogues approach provides an ‘experiential’ way to understand future climate. When the tool shows an analogue town, the user will usually have at least some understanding of what it would be like to live in that town. In this way, users can mentally experience the future climate of their own town.