Senior Lecturer Dr Jatin Kala, Murdoch University 

Climate projections at a regional level 

Western Australia Government Department of Water and Environmental Regulation, Murdoch University, and the NSW Government Department of Planning and Environment partnered with Pawsey to produce the most reliable and comprehensive Western Australian climate change projections to date.

The state-of-the-art projections will extend 75 years into the future and will help business, industry, and all levels of government to better understand the impacts of climate change.

Dr Jatin Kala, Senior Lecturer in Atmospheric Science at Murdoch University, is leading the Climate Science Initiative’s scientific team producing detailed climate projections for WA.

Global climate models divide the world into grid cells ranging from 150 to 280 kilometres in size. Because of their size, these cells are often too big to examine the impacts of climate change at local scales – such as for regions or towns.

Regional climate models can help us understand how our climate may change and impact a specific region or community. The Climate Science Initiative partnership will make it possible to produce the most detailed climate change projections for WA ever produced.

These regional models better account for regional influences (e.g. mountains and coastlines), storms, and extreme events but producing them is often limited by computational power and data storage.

Dr Kala’s team will use Setonix to run simulations from 1950 to 2100 at four-kilometre resolution which would not be possible without Pawsey and prohibitively expensive if run on commercial systems.

But thanks to Pawsey’s infrastructure, the regional climate model is expected to inform long-range planning decisions for the WA Government.