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Australia is a continent of extremes, and the frequency and intensity of extreme events is likely to increase as climate change takes hold. Do we understand enough about the underlying processes to estimate risk and manage situations to reduce the impact on people, property and ecosystems?

What are climate changes likely to mean for different forms of land use in different areas? And what are the best ways to conserve species given that their habitat ranges will be different in future? Can we use remote sensing to predict spatial patterns in the risk of bushfire and the impacts of fire on water resources, carbon storage, and ecological habitat at a scale fine enough for management on the ground?

The uncertainties of a highly variable and changing climate mean that answering such important questions is difficult.  Difficult, but not impossible thanks to the TERN’s infrastructure and the products and research it continues to generate. TERN is providing data and ecosystem modelling resources that will vastly improve the predictions scientists make about the ways in which climate change might be manifested.

Good science, underpinned by research infrastructure that facilitates its integration across disciplines, is needed to increase our understanding of climate, ecosystem function and the complex interactions between them.

Climate Sub-Themes and Projects:

Measuring our breathing planet

July 2017

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.


Decades of data sustaining the Australian Alps

June 2017

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.


Raincoat for a rainforest: Simulating drought in the Daintree

February 2017

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.


Angry summers and ecosystem health

January 2017

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.


Global efforts to understand drought sensitivity

January 2017

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.


QLD climate change projections now available via TERN

January 2017

High-resolution climate change projection data for Queensland created by the Queensland Government’s Department of Science, Information Technology and Innovation (DSITI) are now openly available via the TERN Data Discovery Portal.


Drought ends great green boom and Australia’s carbon budget shifts

December 2016

Flux and satellite data collected and delivered by TERN infrastructure has been used to monitor the greening and browning of Australia’s vegetation and infer its very significant impact on the nation's carbon budget.


Wired woodlands signal stress as climate dries

September 2016

CSIRO's ECOS magazine features the vital woodland research that our collaborative monitoring infrastructure at the Great Western Woodlands in Western Australia is facilitating.


People using TERN: Wouter Maes

December 2015

A European Commission Marie Skłodowska-Curie research fellow has used TERN’s research infrastructure to produce extremely high-resolution maps of vegetation water use efficiency that can be used to assess drought and climate change induced effects on ecosystems.


TERN climate and land surface data helps identify climate refugia and map bushfires, their impacts and future hazards

April 2015

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.


Improving understanding of extreme coastal events

January 2014

We Australians prize our coastlines. Yet agencies responsible for managing these dynamic ecosystems frequently struggle to access the data and infrastructure they need to prepare for and learn from storm surges, flooding and erosion events. TERN’s Coasts Facility is here to help.

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