Climate change in Tasmania

In 2006 the CSIRO released a report on climate change in Tasmania that they prepared together with Hydro Tasmania and the Tasmanian Partnership for Advanced Computing (TPAC).

The main conclusions in the report indicated that, up to the year 2040, Tasmania will be minimally affected by climate change. This is primarily because Tasmania is surrounded by ocean, so the island will experience warming at a slower rate than elsewhere.

Climate change is occurring worldwide and, even with significant reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, this change is set to continue.

Tasmania has low levels of carbon emissions compared to other parts of Australia. Nevertheless, opportunities are being sought to ensure that these levels do not rise.

What changes are forecast for Tasmania’s climate?

  • Rainfall in Tasmania

    The research model predicted that annual rainfall in Tasmania will increase by seven to eleven percent in the west and central areas, and will decrease by around eight percent in the north-east. Increased rainfall is expected in all areas of Tasmania in winter and early spring.

  • Temperatures in Tasmania

    Results found that maximum temperature trends were insignificant in all areas of Tasmania except the north-east where the projected warming by 2040 is 0.33 percent.

    In the winter, and in late spring/early summer, the minimum temperatures in Tasmania are expected to rise by about one percent by 2040.

  • Wind in Tasmania

    Wind speeds in Tasmania are projected to increase by a small amount, with the strongest trends in winter/early spring and early summer. The greatest increases are indicated in the north-west of Tasmania in late autumn. The wind direction shows an increase in the westerly component in all areas of Tasmania.

  • Evaporation in Tasmania

    Annual potential evaporation is projected to increase in all areas of Tasmania except the west coast and associated highlands where small decreases are indicated.

Bruny Island lighthouse
Bruny Island lighthouse. Tasmania will be minimally affected by climate change because of the surrounding ocean.
© Tourism Tasmania and Garry Moore

forests in tasmania act as carbon ‘sinks’

Forests act as carbon ‘sinks’ absorbing the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and storing the carbon.

Around 40 percent of Tasmania is set aside as conservation reserves. The forest and native vegetation acts as a natural carbon store.

renewable energy in tasmania

Tasmania is unique in that a large proportion of its energy is from renewable sources. Tasmania generates about 90 percent of its electricity from hydro-electricity and wind.

It is a Tasmanian government objective to pursue economic opportunities from Tasmania’s renewable energy system and to develop additional renewable energy resources.

A detailed report on the climate change strategy of the Tasmanian government can be found on the Department of Primary Industries and Water website.