Climate specialists from Australia’s Bureau of Meteorology are helping Pacific nations save precious weather data threatened by decay, vermin attack and tropical weather.
Climate change will impose a complex web of threats and interactions on the plants and animals living in the ice-free areas of Antarctica.
Increased temperatures may promote growth and reproduction, but may also contribute to drought and associated effects. These scenarios are explored in a new book, Trends in Antarctic Terrestrial and Limnetic Ecosystems: Antarctica as a Global Indicator, co-edited by Australian Antarctic Division biologist, Dr. Dana Bergstrom.
In Australia we call them bushfires. In other parts of the world they are called forest fires, and global climate change and increasing human populations mean they are increasing in frequency and ferocity.
Bureau of Meteorology Research Centre climate scientists believe they have part of the answer to significant declines in Australian regional rainfall and subsequent stream flow since the 1970s.
The economic potential of carbon is the focus of a new fire project on the Tiwi Islands, 80 kilometres north of Darwin in the Northern Territory and home to 2,000 Aboriginal Australians. Nearly half of the Tiwi Islands are burnt every year, resulting in significant greenhouse gas emissions. Reducing the extent of fire may provide substantial financial benefits under the emerging carbon economy.
Aboriginal Elders from the Traditional Tribal Groups in the Willandra Lakes World Heritage Area are collaborating with researchers to produce the first integrated account of the history of human settlement, landscape evolution and past environmental change for Australia’s foremost ‘Ice Age’ archive.
Annually, almost as much stormwater falls on Melbourne as its citizens use, but only a fraction is captured and reused. Billions of litres of stormwater literally go down the drain and into Port Phillip Bay, degrading the ecological health of Melbourne streams and the bay.
Australian Rivers Institute’s Assoc. Prof. Peter Pollard has researched rainforest lakes and rivers to test a provocative theory. The respiration of bacteria living and ‘breathing’ in these freshwater ecosystems is a major pathway for the return of rainforest carbon back to the atmosphere as the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide.
Up to 30 per cent of the fuel needed for Australia’s road transport and the aviation industry could be generated through biofuels, creating tens of thousands of jobs and adding $5 billion to Australia’s economy.
And one of the prime sources of biofuel, according to Southern Cross University’s Centre for Plant Conservation Genetics, could be eucalypts.