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Northern Australia

One of the major impediments to development of northern Australia is the variable and dynamic nature of the region’s tropical, sub-tropical and arid environments.  The extremes of wet and dry, the frequency and intensity of disturbances such as cyclones and fires, and our relatively poor understanding of how northern Australia’s ecosystems function all pose fundamental problems for resident communities, as well as mineral, energy, agricultural, tourism and other industries trying to expand from the south.

Despite the relatively modest size of TERN’s investment, compared to the magnitude of the task, the potential for our approach to deliver cost-effective benefits to the region’s communities and industries is already clear. As a consequence, every TERN facility is either already active in the north or is generating products that are being used by northern stakeholders.

On this page we provide a snapshot of some of the sometimes surprising ways in which TERN’s infrastructure is being used – frequently by researchers and managers based in the north - to improve understanding and management of this dynamic region of Australia.

Some particularly interesting TERN activities in northern Australia include:

TERN facilities in action in northern Australia

All 11 of TERN's facilities are either already active in the north or generating products that are being used by northern stakeholders.

What have they been up to recently?


Cyclones and fires: what
remote sensing tells us



Survey teams head north to sample key ecosystems



26 working groups solving
northern problems


Helping plan for sea level rise in Kakadu

Australian SuperSite Network

Hives of activity at the northern most SuperSites



Australian Transect Network

Northern Australia next stop in traverse of world's key biomes
Plot-based plant data from 4200 northern Australia sites now available


Making connections across disciplines in northern Australia


Northern Australia's four LTERN plot networks


Why is the groundwater acidic in northern Australia?


Soil and Landscape Grid of

Improving cost-effectiveness of industry investment in the north



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