Climate Data Downloads

Climate projections are available for download here at a ~5km resolution for Australia. The data associated with the future climate projections include:

With respect to the emission scenarios, Representative Concentration Pathways (RCPs) has been adopted by the IPCC to replace the Special Report on Emissions Scenarios (SRES) used in the AR4 report (Solomon, Qin et al. 2007); RCPs are to be used in the AR5 IPCC report due in 2014.

Methods and data sources

Climate projections were sourced through a collaboration with Drs Rachel Warren and Jeff Price, Tyndall Centre, University of East Anglia, UK. This data is available on

Although new GCM runs for RCPs have not been fully completed, several research groups have implemented methods to utilize knowledge gained from SRES predictions to recreate predictions for the new RCPs using AR4 GCMs (e.g., Meinshausen, Smith et al. 2011; Rogelj, Meinshausen et al. 2012). The methods used to generate the GCM predictions for the RCP emission scenarios are defined at and in associated publications (Mitchell and Jones 2005; Warren, de la Nava Santos et al. 2008; Meinshausen, Raper et al. 2011). This data was downscaled to 0.05 degrees (~5km resolution) using a cubic spline of the anomalies; these anomalies were applied to a current climate baseline of 1976 to 2005 – climate of 1990 – generated from aggregating monthly data from Australia Water Availability Project (AWAP; These monthly temperature and precipitation values user used to create 19 standard bioclimatic variables. These bioclimatic variables are listed at

All downscaling and bioclimatic variable creation was done using the climates package (VanDerWal, Beaumont et al. 2011) in R (

In summary, 19 climate surfaces for each of 1297 projections (current + 9 emission scenarios × 18 GCMs × 8 time points) are available at a ~5km resolution for Australia. A recent paper looked at the climate projections under both the old SRES and the new RCPs (Rogelj, Meinshausen et al. 2012) which showed that 1) the RCP range mostly covered the range of SRES projected temperatures, and 2) the temperatures projected for the highest RCP (8.5) were fairly consistent with the highest SRES (A1FI). From this work, and our own preliminary investigations, it appears that we will focus on the RCPs for all future projections, and will limit work done with SRES emission scenarios.

Tips for downloading large files

Avoid Internet Explorer

There is a limit in early versions of Internet Explorer that means you may not be able to download files larger than 2Gb. If you are using Internet Explorer you should consider upgrading your web browser.

Use wget

Unix-like systems often include a command-line tool, wget. Wget is available for Windows, Linux and OSX, and lets you download files from a terminal, without using a web browser.

If you have wget, you can run a command like this in your terminal to download a file:

wget -c

Replace the example URL with the URL to the file you want to download. You can find the correct URL by right-clicking the download button and copying the file location. The -c flag means it will resume an incomplete download if interrupted (otherwise wget will create a new file).

Modelling Coverage

Australia, 2.5arcmin (~5km) World, 0.5deg (~50km)
Centre for Tropical Biodiversity and Climate Change Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research JCU Logo eResearch Centre, JCU