The CSIRO Climate Adaptation National Research Flagship will have a particular focus on better understanding and preparing for the impacts of climate change, which the draft Garnaut Report described as "locked-in" up to 2030.
"The quantity of greenhouse gases already in the atmosphere, together with natural time-lags built into the climate system, mean that some ongoing climate change is now unavoidable," Flagship Director Dr Andrew Ash said.
It is predicted that Australia's average temperature will rise by between 0.7 and 1.2 degrees by 2030, while rainfall is likely to decrease by 2 per cent to 5 per cent over much of the continent.
"Many of the decisions that will shape Australia in 2030 are being made today - such as new infrastructure and urban developments - so now is the time to incorporate climate adaptation into our thinking," Dr Ash said.
"Thankfully, as Professor Garnaut says, Australia's adaptation potential is high and we therefore have the capacity to plan for and respond to the impacts of climate change.
"The Flagship's scientists will work with communities and governments in our cities, on our coasts, in managing our natural resources, and in our primary industries and fisheries to help these groups prepare for and respond to climate change."
Funding for the Climate Adaptation Flagship was first announced just over a year ago. Since then CSIRO has been expanding its research into climate adaptation and establishing new collaborations and partnerships around the issue.
In the 2008-09 financial year the Flagship's research budget will be close to $30 million.
The Climate Adaptation Flagship expands CSIRO's response to climate change, complementing its internationally recognised climate-systems science, and extensive portfolio of research into low-emission technologies and water-use efficiency.
CSIRO initiated the National Research Flagships to provide science-based solutions in response to Australia's major research challenges and opportunities. The nine Flagships form multidisciplinary teams with industry and the research community to deliver impact and benefits for Australia.