The national science agency’s focus on solutions
The world’s climate is changing and driving changes in global markets, policies and industries – often in ways we cannot fully predict.
Australia needs to navigate major societal, business and government transitions in ways that manage the risks and take advantage of opportunities. Impacts of climate change are being observed now; their magnitude and consequences into the future depend on decisions and actions we take today.
CSIRO is addressing challenges faced by individuals, communities, business, industries and governments through our multidisciplinary research that connects climate knowledge and information to climate adaptation and mitigation responses.
We are doing this through:
- Innovative new solutions for industry to manage climate risks, including transition risks, and adapting to a carbon-constrained economy.
- Helping business to reduce the impact of economic shocks and capture opportunities during change.
- Preparing society for climate risks, including natural disasters, and building resilience.
- Supporting decision makers to make informed and effective decisions.
- Providing underpinning science to meet our national goals and contribute to global research and agreements.
CSIRO has a comprehensive portfolio of research and development to address the breadth of interconnecting and complementary science areas needed to manage the risks and opportunities to Australia posed by climate change.
We address three integrated pillars:
- Information (data and knowledge) to support decisions
- Mitigation approaches and novel technologies to reduce emissions
- Adaptation expertise to build climate resilience across all sectors
We’re helping Australians better understand and respond to a changing climate
Regional Weather and Climate Guides to help build farm business resilience
The Bureau of Meteorology, FarmLink and CSIRO have partnered to provide farmers with practical guides that will include information such as the reliability of rainfall, likelihood, severity and duration of climate extremes like droughts, floods, and heatwaves, as well as the timing of key weather events like the autumn break, wet season onset and retreat, and the average date of first and last frost. The guides will help farmers make decisions on crop planting, stocking levels and managing water storages. The guides are being developed for National Resource Management regions across Australia by the end of 2019.
Weather Together – providing farmers with personalised local weather forecasts
In an Australian breakthrough, we are working with the Bureau of Meteorology to transform weather forecast data and tailor it for farmers and agribusiness in a way they’ve never had before. CSIRO has developed a complex algorithm to transform the Bureau’s weather forecasts so they are more accurate for specific locations. This is done by ingesting data from individual on-farm weather stations and using this to continually ‘learn’ how the forecast differs to what farmers experience on their farms.
Helping the Great Barrier Reef resist, repair and recover
The Reef Restoration and Adaptation Program brings together Australia’s leading experts to help preserve and restore the Great Barrier Reef. Despite being one of the best-managed reef ecosystems in the world, the Reef is under extreme pressure with increasing sea temperatures leading to coral bleaching, ocean acidification and increasingly frequent and severe weather events. The frequency and severity of these impacts is being exacerbated by climate change. In partnership with others we are looking at how we can help the Reef adapt and build resilience.
Drought tolerant crops
For decades, CSIRO has been breeding drought tolerant and water efficient crop varieties. Using Delta Carbon Technology to identify plants that use water more efficiently, CSIRO has bred the wheat variety ‘Drysdale’ that yields at least five per cent more than other varieties under dry conditions. CSIRO is also helping farmers to manage water resources on their farms by developing user-friendly decision support tools. We are researching different crop and pasture management techniques that can best conserve water in different regions.
Climate information for the electricity sector
CSIRO is a delivery partner alongside the Bureau of Meteorology and the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) on a project that will improve the reliability and resilience of the National Electricity Market (NEM) to the risks from climate change and associated extreme weather. The Electricity Sector Climate Information project will provide useable science-based climate change data and information tailored to the needs of AEMO risk managers to inform decision-making and support long-term climate risk planning and management for the NEM.
|Disaster preparedness and response||Changing the face of disaster risk management through innovation in sharing risk information and revealing and addressing the root causes of vulnerability.|
|Renewable and low emissions technologies||Reducing customer energy costs and building climate resilient communities by innovating new low carbon, renewable and clean fuel technologies, as well as whole of system integration support.|
|Climate smart agriculture||Sustainably improving productivity and delivering global food security while reducing agricultural emissions through innovative technologies.|
|Cities and coasts||Transforming urban and coastal development with new ways to assess whole‑of‑city carbon footprints, improving building strength and energy efficiency, addressing pressures in the coastal zone, and unlocking new types of collaborations.|
|Climate science||Observing and diagnosing climate change, to inform decisions and actions across all sectors, and improve our understanding of the climate system’s interaction with environmental and human systems.|
|Climate modelling||Integrating physical, social and economic information using world-leading models to investigate future climate scenarios that underpin adaptation and mitigation plans and policies.|
|Enabling Adaptation Pathways||Developing, in partnership with stakeholders, tools and processes to help people plan for the future. These are designed to support decision makers and researchers to diagnose adaptation problems and explore the social, environmental and economic costs and benefits of adaptation initiatives.|
|Capacity building||Building the capacity of the Australian government, neighbouring nations and industry to understand and respond to climate challenges, especially transition risks.|
|Provision of tailored climate data||Providing authoritative data sets for ongoing research, plus tailoring climate information and data to meet the needs of Australian sectors and communities – from global and national down to regional and even local scales.|