Climate Futures Research Group
Global science, Australian impacts
Working with industry and government to quantify risk and identify solutions under climate change.
Climate Futures brings world leading climate science expertise to the challenges of local planning and adaptation. It bridges the gap between fundamental climate science and the local adaptation needs of Australian industries, government agencies and communities.
The science of climate change is unequivocal. There is overwhelming scientific evidence that the earth is warming and that increased concentrations of greenhouse gases caused by human activity are contributing to our changing climate. Change is a feature of the 21st century global climate. The need to understand the consequences and impacts of climate change on Australia and to enable planning for adaptation and mitigation of climate change at a regional level is widely recognised across industry and government.
Increased temperatures are only one aspect of climate change. Global warming also causes changes to rainfall, wind, evaporation, cloudiness and other climate variables. These changes will not only become apparent in changes to average climate conditions but also in the frequency and intensity of extreme events such as heatwaves, flooding rains or severe frosts. While climate change is a global phenomenon, its specific impacts at any location will be felt as a change to local weather conditions. This means we need regional studies to understand the effects of climate change on specific areas. Climate Futures is providing this localised climate information, producing fine‑scale climate change projections that will allow for the analysis of climate impacts at different locations, and of changes to seasonality and extreme events.
We work in close consultation with industry and government agencies around Australia to develop targeted, fine-scale climate model projections to support operational decision making. Our clients include emergency services, hydroelectric companies, agricultural producers, alpine resort operators, forestry managers, wine makers and aquaculture producers. Our work draws on the collective expertise of world-leading climate scientists from across multiple agencies, including advisors to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).
Climate change will be a determining factor in the life of Australians for many years to come, influencing our prosperity to the tune of billions of dollars annually. The work of Climate Futures is helping to ensure that Australia is well prepared for the future.
We are a Geography and Spatial Sciences project in Hobart, Australia.
Australia’s Wine Future
Climate Futures has produced a comprehensive 'Climate Atlas' of climate change-induced effects on Australia's wine growing regions.
Victoria’s Alps under climate change
Climate Futures is working to support critical decisions about future investment in ski resort infrastructure.
Australia’s Wine Future – A Climate Atlas
The Climate Atlas is the culmination if a 4-year research project with Wine Australia.
Review of Climate Change Research on Tasmania 2019
This report identifies 27 existing major projects and a further 50 complementary projects related to climate change in Tasmania.
Explaining climate change at the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery
Dr Rebecca Harris participated in a public panel discussion on climate change at the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery (TMAG).
The Conversation: Australian bushfires: what will recovery look like?
An explainer on post-fire ecosystem recovery published by Climate Futures researchers in The Conversation has had over 100,000 reads.
Find out about our team below - for more information and full publication lists go to each researchers profile page.
Bec Harris is the Director of the Climate Futures research group. She is a Senior Lecturer in Climatology and a Lead Author on the IPCC’s Sixth Assessment Report, Climate Change 2021: Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability, contributing to Chapter 2, Terrestrial and freshwater ecosystems and their services and the Cross Chapter paper on Deserts, semi-arid areas and desertification.
Dr Harris’ principal research interests are in the area of climate change impacts on biodiversity, species distributions and thermal biology. Her research integrates regional climate projections with ecological and social research to contribute to landscape management decisions necessary to adapt to climate change. Recently, her research has focussed on ecosystem stability in response to climate variability and extreme events; changes to native and invasive species distributions; shifts in growing season and phenology and changing fire fuel loads under future climate change. The outcomes of this work has been applied to emergency services (bushfire preparedness), agriculture (biosecurity, viticulture), conservation management and adaptation in the wine and ski industries.
Nathan Bindoff is Professor of Physical Oceanography at the University of Tasmania’s Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies (IMAS). Professor Bindoff was the coordinating lead author for the ocean chapter in the Inter-Governmental Panel on Climate Change Fourth Assessment Report and Fifth Assessment reports.
Professor Bindoff and his colleagues documented some of the first evidence for changes in the Indian, North Pacific, South Pacific and Southern Oceans and the first evidence of changes in the earth’s hydrological cycle from ocean salinity.
His most recent work is on documenting the decline in oxygen content of the oceans and dynamics of the Southern Ocean.
Dr Remenyi’s work is focused on converting leading-edge scientific research into relevant, useful, usable information for decision makers. His training in economics, analytical chemistry, marine biogeochemistry, data analysis and interpretation as well as field sampling and project management enable him to bring different skills to the various teams he works within and across a range of disciplines.
He dedicates significant time to stakeholder engagement, is a member of a number of committees and working groups and is a regular workshop facilitator. He also provides the technical expertise for services such as data provision, analysis, presentation and interpretation for stakeholders and within the Climate Futures team.
Dr Love has a background in atmospheric physics (PhD, University of Adelaide). His research has focussed on small scale dynamic processes in the atmosphere including waves, tides and turbulence, and their relationship to large scale circulations. These studies have been conducted primarily using ground based radar remote sensing and weather balloon observations together with a range of computational modelling techniques.
Other research interests include El Niño Southern Oscillation and the Quasi-Biennial Oscillation in the tropical middle atmosphere. Having joined the ACE CRC Climate Futures program in 2016, Dr Love is currently analysing the impact of climate change on weather-related fire risk factors in the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area.
Dr Earl has a background in applied meteorology and climatology, completing his PhD in the UK at the University of East Anglia in 2013. He then moved down under to work as a post-doc at the University of Melbourne (2013-2017) and the University of Tasmania (2018-). His research background includes observational climatological analysis of mean wind and gust speeds, providing applications for the insurance and wind energy sectors. This work involved comparing the abilities of forecast models to predict damaging winds during extra-tropical cyclone events, while also conducting meso-scale numerical modelling of events for a better understanding of the sub-storm scale processes involved. Nick is passionate about applying his knowledge to help reduce humanity’s vulnerability to future climates. His recent work includes anthropogenic impacts on the environment through examining weekly cycles in urban meteorological and other parameters. He also has a comprehensive background in remotely sensed fire analysis, examining trends in global and regional active fires, highlighting links with large-scale climate drivers (e.g. ENSO and IOD). Nick joined the Climate Futures team in 2018 and is currently focused on compound events and changes with climate change.
Nick is an international marathon runner and is aiming to represent Great Britain at the Olympics in 2020 and England at the Commonwealth Games in 2022.
Dr Mocatta is a former journalist, a Lecturer in Communication at Deakin University, and a media and communication researcher with a strong interest in science communication and environmental communication. She is currently a Research Fellow in Climate Change Communication with Climate Futures. Dr Mocatta studies media discourse and policy around energy transitions, climate change and environmental justice in a variety of national contexts. She is especially interested in the relationship between environmental harms and social inequality, and ways in which this relationship plays out in the media.
At Climate Futures, Dr Mocatta’s role includes both research translation and communicating climate science, and conducting new research on the interface between science and the media. Dr Mocatta is a Research Affiliate at the Center for Science and Technology Policy Research at the University of Colorado, Boulder, and a collaborator in the MeCCO (Media and Climate Change Observatory) project at the University of Colorado, Boulder.
Dr Mocatta is currently working on a book (together with Dr Erin Hawley) Environmental Communication in a Time of Crisis to be published by Routledge in 2022.
Discipline of Geography and Spatial Sciences
University of Tasmania
Private Bag 78
Room 314, Geography Building
School of Technology, Environments and Design
Discipline of Geography and Spatial Sciences
University of Tasmania
Sandy Bay Campus