Projections of future climate change

Climate, Sustainability and Society public lecture series: Dr Penny Whetton

Projections of future regional climate change: what might we expect in Victoria

When: 6 to 7 pm, Thursday 23 August (with refreshments provided after the lecture)

Where: McKay Lecture Theatre, Bendigo campus (videoconferencing available to other campuses)


The global climate system has warmed by around 1 degree Celsius over the past century.  This rate of warming is likely to accelerate in the century ahead if global emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases are not substantially reduced.  In this presentation, Penny will review the scientific evidence for past and future global climate change, and will explore the implications for Australia and specifically Victoria.
Current science indicates that, across Victoria, there will be a warming of 1 to 4 degrees Celsius by 2070, and more heatwaves, higher sea levels, higher fire danger and a likely decline in winter rainfall, but also increased drought and extreme rainfall events. Possible changes to summer rainfall are much less clear.
What are the potential impacts on systems such as water resources, ecosystems and human settlements? Will we be able to limit the extent of potential climate change through global efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions? How will we adapt to the changes that we cannot avoid?
Dr Whetton will be speaking on a wide range of climate change-related issues around what is known about future climate.

The Climate, Sustainability and Society public lecture series supports a multidisciplinary subject offered to undergraduate students. Three prominent speakers will draw on science, social science and economic perspectives to address the issues surrounding climate change and sustainability
More details coming soon about the remaining Climate, Sustainability and Society lecture series including:

•         Dr Wendy Craik AM (Commissioner, Productivity Commission) will speak in Albury-Wodonga

•         Julian Burnside AO QC (human rights and refugee advocate) will speak in Melbourne.


PennyWhetton(TB)Dr Penny Whetton is a Senior Principal Research Scientist in the Climate Projections Science Team at CSIRO Marine and Atmospheric Research. She leads the Better Scenarios project in the Climate Adaptation Flagship.

A major component of Dr Whetton's research is analysing the regional output of enhanced greenhouse general circulation model experiments, and using this information to construct regional scenarios of future climate change for use in impact and adaptation assessment.

She also works on regional climate change impact assessment. She has been the main contributor to, and editor of, the CSIRO's Australian climate change projections released in 1992, 1996, 2001 and the projections released by CSIRO and the Bureau of Meteorology in 2007. She is also contributing to planning new projections to be released in 2013-14.

For more information please contact

Associate Professor
Katherine Legge
E: T: 03 5444 7393