The country’s climate has warmed on average by 1.47C since national records began in 1910, according to the new State of the Climate report released earlier this week.

It reinforces what we already know about climate change impacts on mountain environments:

  • Since the 1950s, extreme fire weather has increased and fire seasons are starting sooner and ending later. We can see the impacts of this in burnt out snow gum woodlands and alpine ash forests in a state of ecological collapse.
  • Snow depth, snow cover and number of snow days have decreased in alpine regions since the late 1950s. (This decline has been known and reported on for years).

We all know that, with mountains of a very modest elevation, and at a mild latitude, we are lucky to have snow at all. We all know the difference that 1oC can make in a climate which has borderline snow.

And if we read the science, we know that we have time to act to head of even worse climate change. But we need to act now.

You can read the report here.

Background to the report

The State of the Environment reports are produced by the Bureau of Meteorology and CSIRO.

‘This seventh biennial State of the Climate report draws on the latest national and international climate research, encompassing observations, analyses and future projections to describe year-to-year variability and longer-term changes in Australia’s climate. The report is a synthesis of the science informing our understanding of Australia’s climate. It includes new information since the last report in 2020, such as that published in the 2021 Sixth Assessment Report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). The State of the Climate report is intended to inform a range of economic, environmental and social decision-making by governments, industries and communities.

Observations, reconstructions of past climate and climate modelling continue to provide a consistent picture of ongoing, long-term climate change interacting with underlying natural variability’.