Climate research

Our expert climate scientists are part of a multi-disciplinary team delivering a strong research base to support effective policies that help us adapt to and mitigate the effects of climate change.

Coastal erosion at Collaroy beach

Climate change is happening now. In New South Wales, average temperatures have been steadily rising since the 1960s. This and other associated changes, such as lengthening fire seasons and more severe droughts, are having significant impacts across the state.

The NSW Government is responding by undertaking research programs that help industry, government, business and the community to understand and adapt to our changing climate.

A multidisciplinary approach

Climate science requires collaboration and brings together many disciplines, organisations and scientists from all over the world. Australia draws on these global scientific resources for critical data, tools and research.

The NSW Department of Planning and Environment’s (the Department’s) climate scientists, modellers, data specialists, science communicators and knowledge brokers work together on complex and integrated climate impacts and adaptation research. The Department also works with researchers across Australia including from the University of New South Wales’ Centre of Excellence for Climate Extremes, the University of Sydney, Murdoch University, the ACT and South Australian governments, the Bureau of Meteorology and CSIRO.

Climate research program

We work to:

  • design and deliver relevant and meaningful climate data to local communities through the NSW and Australian Regional Climate Modelling (NARCliM) project
  • leverage off our latest regional climate projections (NARCliM) data to develop future projections of the impacts of climate change such as heatwaves, extreme rainfall, drought and bushfire weather
  • develop resources and tools to support the practical application of climate change data to manage risk from climate change to critical infrastructure
  • establish a baseline dataset to assess urban heat and green cover in the Sydney Greater Metropolitan Area to improve understanding of the impacts of urban heat under a changing climate
  • assess and evaluate climate change impacts on socio-economic systems, including vulnerable communities, economic sectors and integrated regional impacts; for example through the Climate change, human health and social impacts node, part of the NSW Adaptation Research Hub.