Research to understand and manage Australia’s changing and variable climate.
About this hub
The Earth Systems and Climate Change Hub ran from 2014-15 to 2020-21 and aimed to ensure Australia’s policies and management decisions are informed by the latest Earth systems and climate change science, now and into the future.
Earth Systems and Climate Change Hub impacts highlights some of the hub’s impacts across its 6-year research program.
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At a glance
|NESP funding||$23.9 million|
|Hub leader||Professor David Karoly|
|Approved projects||Earth Systems and Climate Change Hub projects|
Understanding Northern Territory climate change impacts on mango production
Mangoes are the Northern Territory’s largest horticultural product, and the Territory is the country’s largest grower of mangoes. Mango flowering is sensitive to the changing climate, specifically minimum and maximum temperatures at particular times in the growing season.
Hub researchers worked on a project with the Northern Territory Department of Primary Industry and Resources and the Australian Mango Industry Association to determine changes to temperatures in growing regions, and how these changes would affect new and existing commercial mango plants.
Characterising extreme fire conditions
Australia has experienced a sequence of severe fire seasons in recent years, leading to the loss of many properties and lives. The seasons have stretched the capabilities of fire services and communities. Understanding if conditions are changing, and how future risks may need to be managed, will help with planning to minimise future losses.
Hub researchers produced a dataset of weather conditions influencing fire activity extending back to the 1950s, providing an overall view to fire weather in our changing climate.
Planning for climate change in Gondwana rainforests of Australia
The high-elevation forests of the Gondwana Rainforests of Australia World Heritage Area are home to many rare and threatened species. These rainforests receive around half of their annual water requirement from clouds and fog. Shifts in the cloud base in a changing climate have important management implications for these regions.
The hub worked on a project with managers of the Gondwana Rainforests of Australia World Heritage Area to provide climate change projections, particularly of cloud base height, to help with planning for the future. The new data is being used to model future changes in habitats and distribution of key species in the forests.
Understanding marine heatwaves
Ocean temperature extremes, particularly marine heatwaves, can cause significant impacts to marine ecosystems, including biodiversity, fisheries and aquaculture. Rising ocean temperatures and increased pressure on marine ecosystems and fisheries mean understanding trends and changes in ocean temperature extremes is important for informing marine management and planning activities.
This hub factsheet provided a science update on current and future trends in global and Australian marine heatwaves, and the influence of our changing climate on these trends now and into the future.