Climate Change Murchison

Climate Change Murchison

See Murchison climate report |

Climate and related environmental changes expected

The great majority of the Murchison subregion is classified by the CSIRO, according to Hobbs et al. classification as “Dry” (where the moisture index & growth index is high in warm season, low in cool season; CSIRO, 2008), and “Arid” according to ABARE (2012). In this region the most likely impacts of climate change will manifest as:

  • Fire will be important but limited by growth rates and grazing
  • More summer and autumn rain may increase suitability for new species from north and new pasture species
  • Potential for overgrazing high as productivity decreases with reduced annual average rainfall and increasing temperatures
  • Pastoralism may decline with some retirement of drying areas
  • Reduced ground and surface water would have big impact on agriculture and refuge dependent native flora and fauna
  • Salt incursions into freshwater swamps and rising salt in groundwater systems as a result of reduced freshwater/rain infiltration, along with other pressures on coastal resources including habitat availability that may be lost due to sea level encroachment



Average annual increase in temperature in the range of +1°C to +2°C by 2050

  • Summer +1°C to +2°C
  • Autumn +1°C to +1.5°C
  • Winter +1°C to +1.5°C
  • Spring +1°C to +2°C

Average annual change in rainfall to decrease by -2% to 10% by 2050

  • Summer -2% to 5%
  • Autumn -2% to 5%
  • Winter -5% to 10%
  • Spring -5% to 10%

Average annual relative humidity to generally decrease by -1% to -3% 2050

  • Summer -0.5% to -2%
  • Autumn -1% to -2%
  • Winter -1% to -3%
  • Spring -1% to -2%

Annual average wind speed to remain constant through to a 5% increase by 2050

  • Summer 0% to +2% (northern extent no change to -2%reduction)
  • Autumn 2% to +10% (northern extent no change to +2%)
  • Winter -5% to -10% (northern extent no change to +5%)
  • Spring remain constant

Annual average potential evapotranspiration will remain unchanged or increase by up to 4% by 2050

  • Summer 0% to +4%
  • Autumn +2% to +4%
  • Winter +2% to +4%
  • Spring 0% to +4%