German and Australian researchers are seeking opportunities in transition.
Moving away from fossil fuels is challenging, but it also
presents huge opportunities. At the Energy Transition Hub, more than 140
Australian and German researchers are working together to tackle the social and
technical challenges and take advantage of the trade and export opportunities.
Continue reading Finding the way to zero-carbon energy
What happens when disaster builds on disaster
Climate change will bring hotter weather and rising seas,
but what it means for natural disasters such as floods and fires is less clear.
Part of the difficulty is that such catastrophes are often
“compound events” in which multiple factors combine to wreak havoc.
Continue reading Compound interest
South Australian winemakers are looking to Europe as the climate—and what drinkers want—is changing.
Grapes don’t ripen the way they used to. As temperatures climb, they are getting sweeter faster.
Winemakers find that by the time the crop achieves the right colour or level of tannins, the grapes contain more sugar. More sugar means heavier, more alcoholic wine. At the same time, drinkers are preferring lighter wines Continue reading Making wine in a warming world
Location matters for species struggling to survive under a changing
A new study led by Macquarie University has found we need to provide
more safe havens for wildlife and plant species to survive under climate change
in New South Wales’ west.
Along the Great Dividing Range, the vulnerable spotted-tailed quoll will
be forced to move into higher habitats as the climate changes, but can find
sanctuary in protected areas like Kosciuszko National Park.
The squirrel glider, also listed as a vulnerable species, will have more
suitable places to live under climate change. However, few of its potential new
homes in central western New South Wales are adequately protected.
Continue reading More safe havens for native plants and animals needed in NSW’s west
French and Australian scientists are working together to understand how climate change is affecting reef sharks in French Polynesia, why corals in New Caledonia can survive extremes of temperature and acidity, and what fish markets mean for reef health.
On Mo’orea in French Polynesia, Dr Jodie Rummer leads a project studying baby sharks to see how they will cope with climate change.
“Healthy reefs need healthy predators,” Jodie says. “And healthy predators need healthy reefs.” Continue reading Reef rescue
An Aussie eucalypt can ‘remember’ past exposure to extreme heat, which makes the tree and its offspring better able to cope with future heatwaves, according to new research from Macquarie University.
This finding could have important implications for restoring ecosystems and climate-proofing forestry, as the number of hot days and heatwaves increase due to climate change.
“Unlike animals, which can bury deeper into the soil or flee to cooler locations, plants are stuck in one spot and so must be able to withstand extreme conditions in situ,” says Dr Rachael Gallagher, senior author of the paper published in the journal Functional Ecology.
Continue reading Trees remember heatwaves
By Macquarie University
Rising ocean temperatures due to climate change will not only be felt by smaller organisms like coral, but will also impact apex predators, according to new research.
The study from the Macquarie University Fish Lab found that increasing water temperature by just 3ºC altered the behaviour of hatchling sharks.
Baby sharks incubated at temperatures predicted by the end of the century had very different turn preferences compared to sharks reared in present day water temperatures.
Continue reading Warming oceans will affect sharks’ brains
Damselflies are evolving rapidly as they expand their range in response to a warming climate, according to new research led by Macquarie University researchers in Sydney.
“Genes that influence heat tolerance, physiology, and even vision are giving them evolutionary options to help them cope with climate change. Other insects may not be so lucky,” says Dr Rachael Dudaniec, lead author of the paper. Continue reading Are damselflies in distress?
Why is a banana leaf a million times bigger than a common heather leaf? Why are leaves generally much larger in tropical jungles than in temperate forests and deserts? The textbooks say it’s a balance between water availability and overheating.
But it’s not that simple.
A global team of researchers, led by Associate Professor Ian Wright from Macquarie University, revealed that in much of the world the key limiting factor for leaf size is night temperature and the risk of frost damage to leaves.
Continue reading The mystery of leaf size solved
Mapping reefs with drones; robots destroying crown-of-thorns starfish; coral as a rain-maker; and more—researchers at the Queensland University of Technology (QUT) are investigating new technologies to protect Australia’s reefs.
Continue reading Technology to save the reefs—Queensland University of Technology