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Extreme Events

Australia has always been a country of extremes, but all indicators are pointing to likely increases in frequency and/or intensity of extreme events in coming decades. What do we need to be better prepared? This is a timely conversation for Australians to be having.

Science can’t prevent extreme events. But good ecosystem science - underpinned by collaborative research infrastructure such as that being delivered through TERN - is a demonstrably cost-effective way to increase our understanding of the complexities of their impacts, and therefore better inform preparedness and adaptation by communities, industries and management agencies.

How? Collected here is an impressive range of examples of scientists and managers using TERN’s research infrastructure to attack problems associated with fires, cyclones, droughts, dust storms, heatwaves and floods. Among them:

On this page you will find regularly updated links describing the efforts of TERN and our many partners to understand the science of extreme weather events.

People using TERN: Andrew Edwards

February 2017

A research fellow from the Darwin Centre for Bushfire Research is using TERN delivered data to map fire severity across the Top End for more informed regional fire management and more accurate national carbon accounting.


Raincoat for a rainforest: Simulating drought in the Daintree

February 2017

How might the world’s rainforest ecosystems respond if droughts become more frequent in the future? This question is behind a bold experiment happening right now at TERN’s research site in far north Queensland’s Daintree Rainforest.


Angry summers and ecosystem health

January 2017

As Australia swelters through another hot summer, a team of researchers is using TERN data to assess how heat waves affect the energy balance, carbon uptake, water use, and overall health of Australia’s ecosystems.


Global efforts to understand drought sensitivity

January 2017

Australian researchers are using TERN infrastructure to take part in a landmark global experiment that investigates the impact of drought on our ecosystems, and helps to predict and mitigate their continental- and regional-scale impacts.


Drought ends great green boom and Australia’s carbon budget shifts

December 2016

Flux and satellite data collected and delivered by TERN infrastructure has been used to monitor the greening and browning of Australia’s vegetation and infer its very significant impact on the nation's carbon budget.


Fire danger rating today, tomorrow, in 2050, in 2080?

April 2016

The NSW Office of Environment and Heritage has made use of TERN eMAST and the NCI’s data services to publish key data on past and forecast projections of severe fire danger across large parts of south-eastern Australia—vital information for improved hazard reduction and fire management policy and practice.


Visualising floods to strengthen understanding and resilience

September 2013

A collaborative project involving TERN, CSIRO and ANDS, and incorporating datasets from a wide range of stakeholders including IMOS, TERN’s Coasts facility, local councils, government agencies, and non-government agencies, will generate the most comprehensive picture yet of the diversity and extent of the impacts of the 2013 flood events in the Logan and Albert catchments of south-east Queensland.

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