In lands ‘of droughts and flooding rains,’ predicting the weather means saving both lives and livelihoods.
The work of Indonesian and Australian scientists, which began with a visit to Jakarta in 1981 by climate scientist Professor Neville Nicholls, has given the countries the ability to forecast rain in the dry season, and during the lead up to the wet season. This means the fires, haze, and food shortages that often go hand in hand with droughts can be predicted—and planned for.
Continue reading Predicting fire, flood, and food shortages
The work of Indonesian and Australian scientists is resulting in re evaluation of Jakarta’s seismic risk by Indonesian Government agencies.
The team is scanning the Earth from thousands of kilometres in the air, right down to chemical traces found in rocks, as they hunt out telltale signs of future earthquakes and the damage they might do. They’ve highlighted a major new seismic threat for East Java as well as the tsunami threat to Bali, Lombok, Nusa Tenggara, and other coasts along the Flores Sea; and have identified active faults in the Nusa Tenggara region of Eastern Indonesia, measuring the rates of strain building up.
Continue reading Reassessing Jakarta’s seismic risk
Why did Stegodon, the elephant-like animals that were once widespread throughout Asia, decline and eventually disappear?
Stegodon were a group of trunked mammals, related to (but not the ancestors of) modern elephants. As they dispersed to many of the Southeast Asian islands with scarcer food resources, they evolved to become ‘dwarfed’.
Continue reading What happened to Asia’s lost ‘elephants’?
Ninety-nine per cent of all tsunami-related deaths have occurred in the Asia-Pacific region, according to the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific. Indonesian and Australian scientists have been working to reduce this figure—by creating artificial earthquakes and tsunamis.
Building off more than 15 years of research from Indonesian, Singaporean, American, and Australian scientists, the team created a collection of scenarios, for earthquakes of different magnitudes and the resulting tsunamis that would affect West Sumatra, Indonesia.
Continue reading Making waves: artificial tsunamis to prepare for the worst
The 2003 discovery of a fossil of a small, human-like creature, Homo floresiensis (nicknamed ‘Hobbit’), in Indonesia by the late Professor Mike Morwood and Professor Raden Soejono shook up palaeoanthropologists worldwide. But there was more to find.
In 2010 Mike and his team returned to the island of Flores. With researchers from the Geology Museum Bandung, Geological Survey Institute of Indonesia and Pusat Penelitian Arkeologi Nasional, and with the help of 120 trained field workers from the Ngada and Nage Keo districts, they initiated one of the largest fossil digs in Southeast Asia. They found pygmy elephants, Komodo dragons, giant rats, and stone tools.
Continue reading The little people of Flores
Indonesian and Australian scientists are part of a team searching for buried treasure: using the movement of tectonic plates to predict when and where giant deposits of gold and copper should form, while building an understanding of the conditions these deposits are created in.
The project, which was begun in 2013 and due for completion in 2016, is using Southeast Asia as a ‘natural laboratory’ to explore these natural processes and their products. Knowing when and how deposits formed can help us understand geological processes occurring today.
Continue reading Predicting where gold and copper lie
From 2016 a specially-equipped standard railcar will be rocking and rolling along the tracks of East Java. It will have carefully positioned sensors to detect its movement during normal operation, including its displacement and vibration.
The railcar instrumentation has been designed by Monash University’s Institute of Rail Technology to provide data on the condition of the track. This will allow engineers to accurately estimate safe loads and running speeds.
Continue reading Riding the rails to an efficient freight system
The Australian and Indonesian governments have recognised railways, roads, and ports as important areas for investment over the next 20 years.
The Australia-Indonesia Centre has developed a suite of projects that will help the country create the resilient infrastructure it needs to grow.
Continue reading Building sustainable, resilient ports and cities: The Australia-Indonesia Centre Infrastructure Cluster
Port cities can be lively, vibrant hives of activity—the hub of a nation’s economic health—if they’re planned well.
Indonesia’s busiest port, Tanjung Priok, has roughly two and a half times the container traffic as the Port of Melbourne. But it also has a reputation as one of the least efficient ports in Asia. Indonesian President Joko Widodo has recognised the need to transform the nation’s ports and plans to develop 24 new ports by 2019. One recently established, state-of-theart port is Teluk Lamong in Surabaya.
Continue reading Building port cities
• Building port cities
• A safe and efficient rail system
• East Java’s new freight system
Indonesia is undergoing massive economic growth. That’s going to place huge requirements on the nation’s infrastructure, including ports and transport. And a changing climate increases the risk of environmental disasters. Take ports for example: maritime trade is vital to the island nations of Indonesia and Australia— to maintain connections between cities within and without. But ports need to work with the environment they’re built into, and both countries need to improve efficiency and accessibility for goods and passengers to move between land and sea.
Credit for banner image: Max Richter.