Special CIG Seminar
Seminar Abstract

Holger Meinke

Thursday, November 4, 2004

Climate variability, change and seasonal forecasting in Australia - global lessons from two decades of local effort

Actionable climate knowledge must achieve two key outcomes: risk management practices that reduce vulnerability for individuals, businesses and communities as well as sound, climate-sensitive policies resulting in broader societal benefits. Australia has been at the forefront of climate applications research for decades, particularly in relation to the rural sector. We found that participatory, stakeholder driven R&D that combines climate science with quantitative simulation tools can lead to better risk management and policies. To address decisions at different time scales, Australian research efforts are directed towards:

a) investigating phenomena such as the Madden-Julian Oscillation (30-60 days), ENSO-related variability, decadal / multi-decadal climate variability and climate change, and
b) converting this research into actionable knowledge.

Decisions made on-farm have implications downstream. Hence, environmental and societal risks (eg. run-off, drainage, erosion, salinity, pesticide movements, health impacts) need to be considered and quantified. This requires the ability to effectively consider multi-goal objectives through the evaluation of alternative action outcomes. Systems simulation models are essential tools to provide such objective information on which to base such decisions. Here we report on the global relevance of lessons learned in Australia.

Speaker Bio:

Dr. Holger Meinke is the Principal Scientist at the Department of Primary Industries and Fisheries in Australia.