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Tasmanian Climate Change Office

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Climate change: key facts and figures

What is climate change?

Climate change is a change in global climate patterns over many decades that has been brought about by increasing levels of greenhouse gas emissions, primarily from the burning of fossil fuels. Climate change is causing average global temperatures to become hotter which leads to changes in rainfall patterns, increasing frequency of extreme events such as bushfires, cyclones and floods, and acidification of the ocean.

What are greenhouse gases (emissions)?

Greenhouse gases (GHG) trap heat in the atmosphere and make the Earth warmer. The gases with the most significant impact on global warming are water vapour, carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide. Other common greenhouse gases include ozone and chlorofluorocarbons.

GHG emissions are measured in carbon dioxide equivalents (CO2-e). Each greenhouse gas varies in terms of its contribution to climate change so these are combined into a single, consistent value of CO2-e. Learn more about Tasmania's greenhouse gas emissions.

More information about climate change, the projected impacts for Tasmania and what you can do, is available to download in the following Fact Sheets:

Tasmania and climate change

Climate change is a serious and complex issue, which presents challenges and opportunities for Tasmania. The Tasmanian Government is focused on taking practical actions to reduce the State’s emissions and respond to the impacts of a changing climate.

The benefits of taking action on climate change include achieving cost savings by using resources more efficiently, building on Tasmania’s competitive strengths in areas such as renewable energy, and stimulating innovation, growth, and investment as well as creating jobs.

The impacts of climate-related extreme events represent a major risk for Tasmania. Assisting our businesses, communities and government to prepare for, respond to, and recover from these events is a priority. However, the comparatively modest impacts of climate change forecast for Tasmania offer a number of opportunities for growth.

The Government is leading a number of projects to manage climate risks and capitalise on opportunities, and there are also a number of other emissions reduction projects underway in sectors such as transport and energy.

Learn more:

Curious Climate Tasmania

In 2019, the Curious Climate Tasmania project was set up. The project invited Tasmanians to submit their climate change questions, which were then answered by a team of scientists and researchers. The team provided answers to the most popular questions from each region - East Coast, West Coast, Northern and Southern Tasmania.

Short videos of answers to the most popular climate change questions are available on the Curious Climate Tasmania website.

Curious Climate Tasmania is a collaborative project between the Centre for Marine Socioecology (CMS), the Institute of Marine and Antarctic Studies (IMAS), the University of Tasmania (UTAS), ABC Radio, the Tasmanian Institute of Agriculture (TIA) and the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO). The project was sponsored by the Tasmanian Climate Change Office and National Science Week 2019.