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Features

Harvesting virtual forests

Forests store more carbon than any other above-ground ecosystem on the planet.  Just how much, though, is hard to know without cutting them down.  Enter ‘virtual harvesting’, a non-destructive remote sensing technique for accurately measuring biomass that has just been undertaken at TERN’s tropical forest observing sites.

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Australia's newest weed

All that glitters is not gold when it comes to Australia's newest weed. The previously unrecorded species of clover, found during TERN’s survey of Australia’s alpine region, has just been identified as Golden Clover. Native to Europe and never found in Australia before, find out how Trifolium aureum was spotted and what the discovery may mean for our native ecosystems.

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‘Kyoto Statement’ on Asia-Pacific actions on SDGs

163 representatives from across the Asia-Pacific region, including TERN Australia, have committed to an ambitious action statement on achieving the global targets set by the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Paris Agreement and Sendai Framework. The ‘Kyoto Statement 2018’ was formalised during October’s GEOSS Asia Pacific Symposium, a key forum for strengthening regional cooperation.

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Winds of change: next-gen pollen mapping and forecasting

An innovative project is using TERN satellite data together with on-ground time-lapse cameras and pollen monitors to track grass pollen sources, their evolution, and impact areas. The forecasts generated will help alleviate Australia’s $30B medical and socioeconomic allergy burden and change the lives of millions of Australians for the better.​

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Drought’s impact on the environment

Researchers are using TERN infrastructure in Western Australia, Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland to take part in a landmark global experiment that investigates ecosystem response to drought. The experiment’s findings will help to predict and mitigate the impacts of drought in Australia and around the world.

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Dry, drier… Repeat environmental surveys deliver detailed drought data

More than 100 TERN ecosystem monitoring plots have now been sampled multiple times. The open data from these plots allow researchers to better understand how plants are impacted by drought and are a powerful resource for understanding environmental change and climate adaptation.

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It’s a long way to the top if you wanna survey Cape York

TERN has added 24 more permanent plots to its national network of over 600 ecosystem surveillance sites.  The new sites just added in Far North Queensland mean that TERN now provides open-access to environmental data and samples from 85% of Australia’s major terrestrial vegetation groups and over 50% of the nation’s bioregions.

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#FieldWorkFail? Making the most of incomplete long-term datasets

Let’s face it, sometimes fieldwork just doesn’t go to plan. Thankfully, however, there’s an exciting new modelling solution, called MARSS, that allows users to investigate incomplete datasets caused by missing values. Join us as we talk to the scientists who have tested MARSS modelling using a 22-year-long TERN dataset.

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Sensitive sensors survive savanna scorching

When collecting data on fire it’s to be expected that things are going to get a bit hot sometimes. The annual clash between sensitive science infrastructure and seasonal bushfires unfolded yet again this year at TERN’s tropical savanna ecosystem observing site.  Read on to find out how the site burnt but added to TERN’s long-term dataset—essential for Top End fire understanding and management.

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TERN's role in national greenhouse gas accounting

TERN data are being used by one of our closest partner’s, the Australian Government’s Department of Environment and Energy to calibrate and validate Australia’s carbon models and greenhouse gas accounting. Our high-quality data are vital in ensuring the accuracy of Australia’s carbon model predictions and helping meet national reporting requirements under international climate and sustainability frameworks.

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55 global superstars of space-borne data validation

The international Committee on Earth Observation Satellites has added TERN’s Australia-wide network of 12 ecosystem process monitoring SuperSites to their list of top 55 global sites for the calibration and validation of satellite-derived global bio-geophysical data products.

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Space-borne laser and radar ecosystem monitoring

Europe’s, America’s and India’s space agencies are set to take a giant leap for ecosystem science: monitoring Earth’s most complex processes and measuring and mapping the planet’s forests in high-resolution 3D. TERN is playing a vital role in these missions by providing the on-ground observation infrastructure and data required to calibrate, validate and improve the accuracy of these global bio-geophysical satellite data.

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TERN NASA global climate project blasts off

Another collaboration has blasted off between NASA and TERN that’s set to dramatically improve global climate monitoring. NASA’s ECOSTRESS mission to the International Space Station launched from Cape Canaveral last week, providing critical climate data to scientists, helping them have a better understanding of how crops, the biosphere and the global carbon cycle respond to water availability and drought.

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The impact of climate change on South Australia’s flora

A new synthesis has identified the implications of climate change for South Australia’s plant species and the state’s biodiversity. What does a warmer future mean for SA’s plants, including its 418 endemic species? Can plants adapt to environmental change, or will they eventually be driven to local extinction? Read on to get the answers to these questions and more as the researchers discuss their findings.

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Stepping stones to better climate models

New research from Australia’s prestigious Centre of Excellence for Climate System Science has laid down some vital stepping stones for further improving the models we rely on for future climate predictions. By providing model-ready data on southern hemisphere ecosystems, TERN has enabled this global scale analysis that provides important benchmarks for evaluating the predictability of climate models.

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A national mangrove observing system

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.

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Australia’s new Threatened Species Index: the ASX of conservation

Just as the ASX 200 tracks the trend of the financial world, Australia will soon have its own index for monitoring the trajectory of its threatened species. As the first of its type in the world, the index will provide reliable and robust measures of changes in biodiversity to support more coherent and transparent reporting and protection of threatened species.

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People helping TERN: our fantastic volunteers

Join us in celebrating National Volunteer Week with a special thank you to all our field and lab volunteers who have already contributed over 2,000 hours in 2018. Meet some of them and find out how you too can help deliver our environmental research infrastructure and gain indispensable research skills and experience.

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New science shows ‘a little dirt never hurt’

It’s something that parents all over the world have suspected forever, but now the benefits of playing in the dirt have been backed by science. In fact, new research using TERN data and tools indicates that exposure to the right kind of soil actually benefits human health at the population level and reduces our collective risk of sickness.

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People using TERN: Ashlea Doolette

Every year our farmers apply many tonnes of expensive fertiliser because Australia’s soils are naturally deficient in phosphorus. To help reduce this reliance on fertiliser, Dr Ashlea Doolette from the University of Adelaide is using TERN to learn from our ‘phosphorus-efficient’ native plants and develop novel approaches that could save our agricultural industries millions of dollars every year.

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