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Carbon and Water


Understanding the interacton between ecosystems and climate including the exchange of gases, & response to extreme events.
 

Ecosystem scientists have always been interested in understanding the carbon cycle – how and why carbon moves through the landscape, its sources and sinks. This includes carbon dioxide exchanges between the atmosphere and vegetation, soil, and aquatic systems, as well as uptake and loss of carbon through vegetation growth and loss. Recently there has been increasing general interest in how human activities may be affecting Australia’s natural carbon cycles.

TERN’s nationally networked infrastructure, multidisciplinary capabilities and end-user-focused products are delivering better ways of measuring and estimating Australia’s current and future environmental carbon stocks and flows. This helps increase certainty for our partners and stakeholders working to understand and manage carbon-related issues in state and federal government agencies, industry, NGOs and the ecosystem science community.

Water is always a topic of interest to Australians, living and working as we do on the driest inhabited continent on Earth. We are regularly faced with numerous challenges caused by having too little or too much water. So it’s not surprising that TERN infrastructure is being used by stakeholders all over the country to increase understanding of our water resources.  TERN is working to more effectively monitor and report on catchment management, investigate the functioning of nearly waterless ecosystems and groundwater systems, and generate comprehensive visualisations of destructive floods. Recently TERN’s reach has even extended to the frozen waters of Antarctica.


On this page you will find regularly updated links describing TERN’s multidisciplinary, networked approach to reducing uncertainty about Australia’s environmental carbon stocks and flows.  You will find links describing the efforts of TERN and our many partners to increase and share our understanding of Australia’s water resources and to plan for the sustainable management of these precious resources.

Carbon & Water Sub-Themes and Projects:

 

 

 
A national mangrove observing system
 

June 2018

In a giant leap towards the creation of Australia’s first nationwide mangrove observing system, TERN has provided open access to decades of historical and newly acquired field and Earth observation data. These data alert scientists and managers to environmental change, allow them to understand the causes and impacts of this change to sustainably manage our valuable mangrove ecosystems, and enhance Australia’s contribution to the global Sustainable Development Goals.

 

 
Watching over our incredible eucalypt ecosystems

March 2018

Join us as we celebrate National Eucalypt Day with a special video showcasing how the TERN observatory is measuring the nation’s precious eucalypt ecosystems to allow scientists to detect their responses to environmental change and understand what this means for the future. Watch the short video and find out more about how we’re watching over our incredible and valuable eucalypt ecosystems.

 

Spotting the signals of climate adaptation

February 2018

Why are some plants able to grow across multiple ecosystems and others not? Does this flexibility make them more adaptable to climate change?  Meet the team of scientists who are investigating these questions and providing vital insights into predicting plants’ responses to climate change and how to revegetate degraded landscapes more successfully.

 

New science on carbon and water in Australian landscapes

January 2018

An impressive compendium of research on the cycling of carbon, water and nutrients in multiple natural and managed landscapes has been completed. 19 peer-reviewed papers, all using the TERN land observatory and its data, present the latest science on themes including the global carbon cycle, extreme climate events, agriculture, water budgets, land productivity, plant growth and much more.

 

People using TERN: Jen Peters

November 2017

Hot, tired, thirsty, stressed? No so for Northern Australia’s unique savanna eucalypts which, according to new research using TERN’s Top End research infrastructure, stay cool and stress free even during the scorching dry season. But just how do they manage the stress and what will happen if dry seasons get longer, drier and hotter due to a changing climate? Read on to find out.

 

A universal model for predicting plant CO2 uptake

September 2017

New research using TERN delivered data is set to change the way we predict photosynthesis in plants. Just published in Nature Plants, the research proposes a unified model of CO2 uptake by species and ecosystems that can be used to predict future global terrestrial sinks for anthropogenic CO2.

 

Earth as an integrated system: don’t forget the groundwater 

August 2017

Water—or the lack of it!—is always a topic of interest to Australians, living and working as we do on the driest inhabited continent on Earth. TERN’s integrated ecosystem-observing infrastructure produces open data on multiple phenomena at the same time and location, ranging from biodiversity to hydrology. Here we bring you stories of the way some scientists are using TERN’s open access, co-located infrastructure to increase understanding of our groundwater resources and the terrestrial ecosystems that depend on them.

 

 

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