Fire danger rating today, tomorrow, in 2050, in 2080?
The NSW Office of Environment and Heritage has made use of TERN eMAST and the NCI’s data services to publish key data on past and forecast projections of severe fire danger across large parts of south-eastern Australia—vital information for improved hazard reduction and fire management policy and practice.
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Ecosystem Modelling and Scaling Infrastructure
The Ecosystem Modelling and Scaling Infrastructure Facility (e-MAST) is enhancing the capacity for assimilation and integration of data into modelling applications. By assembling data sets and developing software e-MAST enables testing, updating, and improvement of models used for such applications as future climate scenarios and assessment of primary production, at a wide range of temporal and spatial scales.
Using data from a variety of sources including TERN Facilities such as AusCover, Eco-Informatics, the MSPN, and OzFlux, e-MAST is providing the tools to systematically test and improve ecosystem models so that their practical potential is realised.
The e-MAST infrastructure is designed to work with a range of ecosystem models with applications from landscape management to carbon accounting and climate prediction. e-MAST can also link biophysical and biogeochemical processes to biodiversity conservation, water resources and fire risks. Thus, e-MAST can unlock the potential of TERN’s data streams by integrating modelling with a wide range of data types.
e-MAST’s world-leading effort is made possible through the sharing of data and collaboration across different scientific communities. In addition to working closely with other TERN Facilities, e-MAST has strong links with the Australian National Data Service (ANDS), National Computational Infrastructure (NCI), and the CSIRO. Through its work, it is also creating new opportunities for multi-disciplinary collaboration within the wider Australian ecosystem research community.
Components of the e-MAST Facility
TERN climate and land surface data helps identify climate refugia and map bushfires, their impacts and future hazards: Climate and bio-climate data provided by TERN’s ecosystem modelling facility, eMAST, are being used in practical applications that assess, model and predict ecosystem change across the Australian continent.
Early and accurate predictions of grape yields: Two exciting new TERN projects show signs of bearing fruit for the Australian viticulture industry by assisting with yield and quality prediction.
- People using TERN: Tim Hoar. A senior scientist at the USA’s National Centre of Atmospheric Research is using TERN to build international links in ecosystem data and modelling.
- The wealth of observational data now available are an exciting opportunity not only to benchmark the performance of complex systems models, but also to refine the assumptions on which model predictions may be based. e-MAST is using these data to test and improve the performance of Australia’s fundamental climatological, hydrological and ecosystem models.
- e-MAST Facility Director Prof Colin Prentice is one of the editors of a new book 'Understanding the Earth System'. Available through Cambridge University Press, the data-rich book offers a concise reference point for researchers and students, and is a valuable resource for professionals and policymakers working on any aspect of global change.
- The deluge of Australian ecosystem data starting to pour from multiple TERN facilities, as well as many other sources, is enabling the e-MAST team to get to work improving our capacity to model big integrative questions. For example, how much carbon can be stored in Australia’s natural landscapes?
- Read the feature about e-MAST in the March 2012 issue of the TERN e-Newsletter.