Ecosystem scientists have always been interested in understanding the carbon cycle – how and why carbon moves through the landscape, its sources and sinks. This includes carbon dioxide exchanges between the atmosphere and vegetation, soil, and aquatic systems, as well as uptake and loss of carbon through vegetation growth and loss. Recently there has been increasing general interest in how human activities may be affecting Australia’s natural carbon cycles.
TERN’s nationally networked infrastructure, multidisciplinary capabilities and end-user-focused products are delivering better ways of measuring and estimating Australia’s current and future environmental carbon stocks and flows. This helps increase certainty for our partners and stakeholders working to understand and manage carbon-related issues in state and federal government agencies, industry, NGOs and the ecosystem science community.
Water is always a topic of interest to Australians, living and working as we do on the driest inhabited continent on Earth. We are regularly faced with numerous challenges caused by having too little or too much water. So it’s not surprising that TERN infrastructure is being used by stakeholders all over the country to increase understanding of our water resources. TERN is working to more effectively monitor and report on catchment management, investigate the functioning of nearly waterless ecosystems and groundwater systems, and generate comprehensive visualisations of destructive floods. Recently TERN’s reach has even extended to the frozen waters of Antarctica.
On this page you will find regularly updated links describing TERN’s multidisciplinary, networked approach to reducing uncertainty about Australia’s environmental carbon stocks and flows. You will find links describing the efforts of TERN and our many partners to increase and share our understanding of Australia’s water resources and to plan for the sustainable management of these precious resources.
An impressive compendium of research on the cycling of carbon, water and nutrients in multiple natural and managed landscapes has been completed. 19 peer-reviewed papers, all using the TERN land observatory and its data, present the latest science on themes including the global carbon cycle, extreme climate events, agriculture, water budgets, land productivity, plant growth and much more.
Hot, tired, thirsty, stressed? No so for Northern Australia’s unique savanna eucalypts which, according to new research using TERN’s Top End research infrastructure, stay cool and stress free even during the scorching dry season. But just how do they manage the stress and what will happen if dry seasons get longer, drier and hotter due to a changing climate? Read on to find out.
New research using TERN delivered data is set to change the way we predict photosynthesis in plants. Just published in Nature Plants, the research proposes a unified model of CO2 uptake by species and ecosystems that can be used to predict future global terrestrial sinks for anthropogenic CO2.
Water—or the lack of it!—is always a topic of interest to Australians, living and working as we do on the driest inhabited continent on Earth. TERN’s integrated ecosystem-observing infrastructure produces open data on multiple phenomena at the same time and location, ranging from biodiversity to hydrology. Here we bring you stories of the way some scientists are using TERN’s open access, co-located infrastructure to increase understanding of our groundwater resources and the terrestrial ecosystems that depend on them.
Every hour, every day, over all seasons and across the changing years an international network of automated environmental observation towers watches the planet breathe in and out and measures its exchanges of gas and water. The pivotal role TERN plays in this global flux-measuring network was on display at the recent FluxNet Conference, which reported that the network’s Australasian component and the data and science it facilitates continue to punch well above their weight.
Seven decades of long-term monitoring data from the Alps, now openly available via TERN infrastructure, are not only increasing our understanding of impacts such as fire, grazing and exotic species invasions, but also informing land-management decisions by government agencies and private enterprise and helping document a small but important part of the Alps’ natural heritage.
How might the world’s rainforest ecosystems respond if droughts become more frequent in the future? This question is behind a bold experiment happening right now at TERN’s research site in far north Queensland’s Daintree Rainforest.
As Australia swelters through another hot summer, a team of researchers is using TERN data to assess how heat waves affect the energy balance, carbon uptake, water use, and overall health of Australia’s ecosystems.
Australian researchers are using TERN infrastructure to take part in a landmark global experiment that investigates the impact of drought on our ecosystems, and helps to predict and mitigate their continental- and regional-scale impacts.