Pacific Climate Change Science Programme (PCCSP)

Sub-regional Level

Pacific Climate Change Science Programme (PCCSP)


09 March 2012



Capacity BuildingResearch and Development





Bureau of Meteorology; Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO); Respective countries


Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment (SPREP)

Supporters / Donors

Global Environmental Facility, Least Developed Country Fund (GEF-LDCF); Australian Government

Description of Intervention

Many people living in the Pacific Islands and Timor Leste report their climate is changing. Climate variability and change present challenges to economic activities such as agriculture and tourism, as well as individual livelihoods. These changes are being felt in a variety of ways, as described by a representative from Timor Leste attending a climate science workshop in 2010: “People in agriculturally-dependent rural areas suggest the rainfall pattern has changed. Those living in the highlands report increased winds, and fishermen in coastal areas say they are noticing more frequent large waves”.

Only limited scientific research about climate variability and change has been undertaken in the region. The Pacific Climate Change Science Programme (PCCSP) is helping 14 Pacific Island nations and Timor Leste better understand their current and future climates and is providing information critical to adaptation planning. The PCCSP is part of Australian Government’s International Climate Change Adaptation Initiative, which commenced in 2008 to help meet high-priority adaptation needs of vulnerable countries in the Asia-Pacific region, especially Pacific Island countries and Timor Leste.

Problems to be Addressed

Climate Variability and Change in the Pacific Islands and Timor Leste


Enhanced understanding of the nature and magnitude of climate change for robust sector-specific adaptation measures


• The PCCSP is working with partner countries to improve the understanding of the current and possible future effects of the climate features: the South Pacific Convergence Zone, the Inter Tropical Convergence Zone and the southwest Pacific Monsoon.
• The PCCSP is working with National Meteorological Services to collate and analyse historical climate records. This work is improving the scientific understanding of past changes and underpins analysis of future climate change.
• The PCCSP is working with regional organisations and partner countries to improve understanding of oceanic changes, including temperature, salinity, circulation, sea level rise and acidification.
• The PCCSP are developing projections for how climate in the region may change in the future. This information will be provided to partner countries to inform their adaptation initiatives and development planning.

How It Fits into the EbA Concept

Informed adaptation initiatives and development planning

Results / Outputs

A Technical Report on the results from the PCCSP became available in November 2011. This extensive, peer-reviewed report is also complemented by 15 short brochures providing summaries of each partner country’s current and projected future climate.

Lessons Learned

Some lessons learnt from the project so far:
• The project is helping to build more understanding of the climate of the region (causes and impacts, temperature variation and El Niňo-Southern Oscillation and year-to-year variability);
• The project showed that the climate has changed (average temperature has increased and rainfall patterns are changing);
• It demonstrated that the ocean’s physical characteristics have changed (sea surface temperature rising, ocean salinity rising and sea level rising);
• Capacity building provided to Meteorological staff involved in the project in the region; and
• Has set a good example of collaboration to address climate change in the region.

Upscaling / Outreach Activities

Sharing of information, lessons learnt and expertise between Australia and the 15 partner countries

Contact Details

For more information please contact:

Dr Gillian Cambers
Program Manager

Pacific Climate Change Science Program

Tel: +61 3 9239 4400  •

Private Bag 1, Aspendale
VIC 3195 Australia 

For communications or media enquiries please contact:

Jill Rischbieth
Communications Officer

Pacific Climate Change Science Program

Tel: +61 3 9239 4400

Private Bag 1, Aspendale
VIC 3195 Australia