Data in demand: Australian flux data downloads surge thanks to new global open-access
Data on the exchanges of heat, water and carbon dioxide between key Australian terrestrial ecosystems and the atmosphere collected by TERN OzFlux are now openly-accessible via the global flux measuring network FluxNet. We take a look at who’s downloading the data and what they’re doing with it.
People using TERN: Wouter Maes
A European Commission Marie Skłodowska-Curie research fellow has used TERN’s research infrastructure to produce extremely high-resolution maps of vegetation water use efficiency that can be used to assess drought and climate change induced effects on ecosystems.
The impacts of fuel reduction burns on soil greenhouse gas exchange
Researchers using TERN infrastructure have, for the first time, found that repeated fuel reduction burns in temperate forests have little long-term impact on soil greenhouse gas exchange. The new findings fill an important information gap and provide new science to the ongoing debate surrounding prescribed burning targets in Australia.
A network of towers around Australia continuously measures the exchanges (flux) of carbon dioxide, water vapour and energy between the terrestrial ecosystem and atmosphere. This network of towers is the OzFlux Facility of TERN and is also part of a global network of over 400 flux towers, most of which are located in the northern hemisphere. The OzFlux Facility is a national partnership with significant contributions from universities and research agencies around the country, coordinated by CSIRO Marine and Atmospheric Research based in Canberra.
OzFlux provides a common set of core measurements at multiple sites and time scales to improve understanding of ecosystem function and biogeochemical cycles for use in ecosystem and land surface models.
OzFlux data are being used to improve our understanding of the response of carbon and water cycles in Australian ecosystems to climate variability, disturbance (fire, insects), land management and future changes in precipitation, temperature and carbon dioxide levels. OzFlux data are also being used to test and improve CABLE, the land-surface model in ACCESS being developed jointly by CSIRO, the Bureau of Meteorology and Australian universities.
OzFlux is providing researchers with data to answer the following questions:
- What are the key constraints to ecosystem productivity?
- How resilient is ecosystem productivity in the face of climate change and variability?
- What is the current water balance of the ecosystem and how will it change in future?
Answers to these questions are central to informing land management and climate adaptation and mitigation policies.
For more information on OzFlux and to access the OzFlux data portal you can visit the OzFlux website.
Watch this video of the flux tower at the Calperum Chowilla Supersite to see the component parts of a tower, and the kinds of measurements taken.
The OzFlux tower network and parameters measured at each site:
Dr Helen Cleugh
CSIRO Marine and Atmospheric Research
More OzFlux news:
An exciting new data sharing partnership between NASA and TERN will help deliver precise information on the water and carbon exchanges everywhere on Earth’s surface, vital for climatic forecasting.
Critical infrastructure for National Environmental Science Program. January 2015 marks the start of the National Environmental Science Programme’s planning phase so we take this opportunity to chat with hub leaders Dr Helen Cleugh and Professor Hugh Possingham about their hubs’ plans for the coming year and the importance of TERN’s infrastructure to their research.
TERN research improves forestry policy and practice. Research at long-established TERN monitoring sites in production forests sheds new light on interactions between logging practices, carbon stocks and biodiversity protection and leads to improvements in forestry practices.
Several fields of ecosystem science capitalise on OzFlux network. The data, networks and analytical models being delivered through TERN’s OzFlux facility are being increasingly frequently used in diverse multidisciplinary research contexts. Just this month, a special issue of an international scientific journal included ten OzFlux-related papers.
Flux towers help us understand Perth’s declining watertables. The past two years have seen a significant decline in the watertable in the most important groundwater recharge area for the city of Perth, in Western Australia. Local infrastructure established through TERN’s OzFlux facility is being used to investigate the reasons why, along with some of the ecological and social consequences.
There is a clear need to improve our understanding and predictive capabilities regarding climate change and its impacts on Australian ecosystems. OzFlux is using its 30 instrument-laden towers across the continent to coordinate national micrometeorological observations and data management processes.
OzFlux is engaged in all data-related steps of the ecosystem research cycle, from collection through to provision of publicly-accessible, curated datasets. The secret of their success has been the development and adoption of a standard approach to managing near real-time data streams.
Recent attendees at an OzFlux workshop have described how they are benefiting from OzFlux' 'soft' infrastructure contributions. Click here to read more.
Big problems need big solutions - and OzFlux plays a key role in cross-disciplinary collaboration and integration to improve our understanding of carbon and water cycles in Australia. Click here to find out how.
- OzFlux works closely with the Australian Supersite Network, and at the Tumbarumba supersite in NSW the partnership between these two TERN facilities is expected to improve understanding of how logging practices affect carbon and water fluxes, and overall ecosystem function. Read more here.
Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy(NCRIS).