The Actuaries Institute has released its latest Australian Actuaries Climate Index (AACI) covering winter 2022, which reflected a brief reprieve from La Niña, extreme rainfall in certain areas, and a cold snap in the south east.
Australia’s weather is mainly influenced by climate cycles of the El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO), the Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD), and the Southern Annular Mode (SAM), which had a significant impact during the Winter quarter.
The latest AACI report showed a 0.32 index in winter 2022 compared to 1.10 in autumn 2022 and 0.40 last winter, with the positive index value indicating weather extremes being above the 1981-2010 historical average used as the AACI baseline.
The report further revealed that North Queensland recorded its second-highest extreme rainfall index value during winter 2022, while a cold snap in July dropped extreme warm temperature index values in Victoria, Tasmania, and parts of South Australia.
Commenting on the latest data, Rade Musulin, chair of the Actuaries Institute Climate Risk Working Group, said Australia experienced a brief reprieve in July and August after seven consecutive months of the ENSO climate cycle being in a La Nina phase.
“However, Australia re-entered a La Niña phase at the beginning of September, which will likely bring another spring and summer of higher-than-average rainfall, especially on the east coast,” Musulin continued.
Institute chief executive Elayne Grace added that the latest data shows the continuation of extreme climate variations, increasing the urgency on all Australian governments and industries to find workable pathways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
“We know that vulnerable Australians are especially exposed to the risks posed by a changing climate. The frequency of extreme weather events and natural disasters across the country in recent years highlights the need for collaborative and urgent action to improve resilience,” she said.