CSIRO to help adapt to climate change
CSIRO’s role in measuring, forecasting and adapting to climate change has been expanded with the announcement last week by Prime Minister John Howardof A$43.6 million in funding over four years for the establishment of a Climate Adaptation National Research Flagship.
The new Flagship, to be developed in collaboration with partners such as the Bureau of Meteorology and the Australian Greenhouse Office, will complement and add to the extensive atmospheric, climate and environmental research carried out by CSIRO over many years.
CSIRO Chief Executive Dr Geoff Garrett said the new Flagship was vital to providing a co-ordinated effort to delivering timely scientific solutions which will enable Australia to adapt more effectively to the impact of climate change.
“Climate change is creating not only critical national challenges, but also opportunities, and we must continue to develop the technological infrastructure and solutions necessary to adapt to it,” Dr Garrett said.
“The ability to accurately predict climate change variations and the resultant effects, risks and costs at local, regional and national levels is essential if Australia is to build a coherent and appropriate response to climate change.
“With the increased modelling capacity and scientific understanding the new Flagship will bring, Australia will be better able to make informed national planning, regulation and investment decisions,” he said.
“Climate change is creating not only critical national challenges, but also opportunities, and we must continue to develop the technological infrastructure and solutions necessary to adapt to it,”
Dr Garrett said.
One of the main areas of work for the Climate Adaptation Flagship will be the development, with the Bureau of Meteorology, of the Australian Community Climate and Earth System Simulator (ACCESS) which will integrate climate and water knowledge. With better knowledge of the impact of climate change, the aim is to reduce the costs associated with adaptation and to identify new opportunities.
CSIRO, working in partnership with a range of other organisations, is uniquely positioned to help address the problems of climate change prediction in order to enable better land management, improve the management of the impacts of climate change, and better predict and understand extreme events.
CSIRO’s National Research Flagships were launched in 2003 to address major national challenges in areas such as energy, water and health and also opportunities for industry development and job creation. This will be the seventh Flagship.
Last year’s independent review of the Flagships Program, chaired by former Government Chief Scientist, Dr Robin Batterham, highlighted the fact that the Flagships are delivering powerful scientific solutions to national problems, successfully driving large-scale activity addressing Australia’s National Research Priorities in a collaborative, cooperative, and intensively managed manner.
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