The Climate Commission report (The Critical Decade) is a reasonably good and well-balanced summary of the science around climate change, clearly noting the uncertainties that exist – uncertainties which make climate change a diabolical policy problem. The Climate Commission’s summary of a possible climate change-SEQ floods link illustrates the uncertainties in our understanding of the possible impacts of climate change:
The bottom line is that although a conclusive link between the southeast Queensland rainfall events and climate change cannot be made, such a link is plausible even if it is not discernible yet. From a risk perspective, this is useful knowledge, and suggests that it would be prudent to factor in a climate change-induced increase in intense rainfall events in urban and regional planning, the design of flood mitigation works, and any reviews of emergency management procedures.
It’s hard to disagree with the Commission’s conclusion that it’s best to be prudent with respect to the possibility of a link between climate change and extreme weather events.