Planning for a Changing Climate

Published 06 November 2013

AustraliaA group of leading scientists, experts and natural resource management organisations are gathering at the University of New England this week.

Their aim: to anticipate the impact of climate change in the region and research the ways in which we can adapt accordingly.

Climate change threatens to pose unprecedented challenges for the management of biodiversity and carbon in the region due to impacts on rainfall, water availability, fire, vegetation, and the distribution of invasive species.

The consortium, led by the University of Southern Queensland and involving academics from the University of New England, brings together researchers, state agencies and regional NRM organisations to improve the quality and accessibility of regional climate information.

The consortium is focusing on the Building Resilient NRM Communities in the Central Slopes Project, which will deliver information for the central cropping lands of Queensland and New South Wales from the Darling Downs to Bathurst.

The Australian Government is supporting the Consortium’s research and analysis of regional climate impacts.  The project team are meeting at UNE on 6 and 7 November 2013 to agree on the priorities for the project with the majority of the information products to be produced in the next 12 to 18 months.

The project will deliver information to assist in identifying carbon sequestration opportunities; understanding likely changes in cropping production; land management issues; ground cover changes; changes to the abundance and distribution of plants and animals and the impacts on riverine ecology.

A climate information session will be held on the afternoon of Thursday 7 November, which will provide more detail on the results of the IPCC 5th Assessment Report and climate drivers for the region, as well as a more detailed discussion of regional projections for climate change. This session is being held for local government staff, departmental staff, university researchers and NRM professionals in the Armidale region.

Partners in the consortium include the 5 regional Natural Resource Management (NRM) organisations in the Central Slopes (the Condamine Alliance, Queensland Murray Darling Committee, Border Rivers-Gwydir CMA, Namoi CMA and Central West CMA); University partners (USQ and University of Canberra) and state agencies (specifically DAFF QLD and OEH NSW).

For more information about the project, please contact:
Dr Michael Drielsma (Michael.drielsma@environment.nsw.gov.au)
Professor Geoff Cockfield (geoff.cockfield@usq.edu.au)
Lynne Turner (Lynne.Turner@usq.edu.au)