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Key messages

  • Rainfall has declined in the south from April to October, and increased in the north from November to March since 1990.
  • Annual and spring rainfall is projected to decline significantly across the state by 2050.
  • Average annual temperatures have increased in the last 40 years, especially in the arid northeast.
  • Higher maximum temperatures and more days above 40°C are projected.
  • Sea levels along the coast are rising, and the rate of rise is projected to increase.
  • Global carbon dioxide concentrations in the atmosphere are higher today than they have been in 800,000 years and current greenhouse gas emission levels track close to the highest scenario modelled by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
  • The Paris Agreement seeks to limit average global temperature rise this century to below 2°C above pre-industrial levels. This limit is considered the point beyond which the effects of climate change will have dangerous and potentially irreversible impacts for humans and ecosystems.
  • Without immediate reductions at a local, national and global scale, temperature rises of 3°C or
    4°C (relative to the pre-industrial period) by as early as 2060–70 are more likely.
  • Energy related emissions account for more than 70% of global emissions. Australia, and particularly South Australia, are endowed with extraordinary renewable energy potential.