The New South Wales and Australian Capital Territory Regional Climate Model (NARCliM) project is developing new, fine-scale climate projections for New South Wales (NSW) and the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) using a regional climate model.
NARCliM is funded through a consortium of project partners including:
- NSW Government Office of Environment and Heritage
- University of New South Wales Climate Change Research Centre (CCRC)
- ACT Government Environment and Sustainable Development Directorate
- Sydney Water
- Sydney Catchment Authority
- Hunter Water
- NSW Government Department of Transport
- NSW Government Department of Primary Industries
- NSW Government Office of Water
NARCliM aims to improve projections of future changes in temperature, wind and rainfall across NSW and the ACT and hence provide information for managing the impacts of climate change on health, settlements, agriculture, weather extremes and services, such as water and energy supplies.
NARCliM uses the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) regional climate model, a dynamical regional climate model that gives high resolution projections of temperature, rainfall and many other meteorological variables. WRF has been demonstrated to be effective in simulating temperature and rainfall in NSW and provides a good representation of local topography and coastal processes. It has been jointly developed by several major weather and research centres in the United States and is widely used internationally.
There are four components to the NARCliM project.
The modelling component is mainly being run and supervised at the CCRC. The modelling effort will culminate in projections being produced for several climate variables, including temperature, rainfall, wind, relative humidity, sea surface temperature and soil temperature.
NARCliM will generate a very large dataset, estimated to be at least 1 petabyte in size (1 million gigabytes), which will be systematically managed by the NSW Government Office of Environment and Heritage.
Data retrieval and access
NARCliM is designed to give the community easy access to both raw climate model data and, more importantly, information that combines the model projections into climate statistics that can be readily used by the public and agencies like local government. Inquiry, summary and visualisation tools are being developed using feedback from a user reference group. This will include tools to calculate fire weather hazard or extreme events, such as flood risk.
A report synthesising and interpreting the projected changes in climate across NSW will be jointly completed by staff from the NSW Government Office of Environment and Heritage and the CCRC.