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30 Posts in ‘Land & Terrain” Found

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Australia’s Environment in 2020

Improved rainfall conditions have pulled our environment out of its worst state on record, but recovery is slow, partial and precarious. That’s the main conclusion from Australia’s Environment, the latest in an annual series of environmental condition reports, released on Tuesday 30 March 2021. The report, and its website, provide a summary of key environmental indicators and how they changed in 2020.

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Paddock to reef: Australia’s newest monitoring SuperSite

The TERN-Queensland Government project to introduce continuous environmental monitoring sensors into the Burdekin region is progressing well.
The new monitoring equipment will allow TERN to deliver essential measures on the ecosystem functioning of grazing landscapes and enable improved pasture modelling for Queensland and beyond. Join us as we check in on the site’s progress.

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Ecosystem tipping points: Carbon sink to source within 30 years

Earth’s terrestrial biosphere currently absorbs nearly one-third of anthropogenic CO₂ pollution. However, new research using long-term data from TERN suggests that rapid warming and increased emissions under business-as-usual climate scenarios might halve that absorption rate within decades.

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Site of the Month: Howard Springs

For this month’s site feature, we’re headed to the top of the Northern Territory where one of Australia’s longest-running ecosystem flux monitoring stations is located.
The Howard Springs OzFlux site has been operating continuously since 2001, diligently capturing carbon, water and energy exchanges from Australia’s productive, extensive and ecologically important tropical savanna ecosystems.

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Centre Spotlight: Harry Butler Institute

Our first spotlight of the year is on Murdoch University’s Harry Butler Institute, and its research into biosecurity, terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems, energy, waste and much more. Read on to meet the researchers who are helping Australia prepare for a fierier future and provide much-needed guidance on mine closure and relinquishment.

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Forests are nature’s shock-absorbers

A recently released study using TERN is calling attention to the remarkably protective role forests and wetlands play in lessening the impacts of extreme weather on natural and modified landscapes. The research uses an innovative new method to measure the ability of different vegetation types across global biomes to buffer temperature extremes. The method also provides managers with a tool to evaluate the threat to biodiversity of such extremes.

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Monitoring Australia’s life-sustaining ‘Critical Zone’ resources

A consortium of Australian universities has secured $1.2M of Australian Government funding to help create a network of Critical Zone Observatories (CZO) across Australia. The funding will enable research into Australia’s outer skin—from treetop to bedrock, where water, atmosphere, ecosystems, soil and rock interact—to better understand and manage the availability of its life-sustaining resources.

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Site of the Month: Calperum Mallee SuperSite

This month’s site feature has us travelling into red dirt country again – to TERN’s Calperum Mallee SuperSite in the Riverland of South Australia. Over its 10-year lifetime, the site’s infrastructure has monitored ecosystem processes that shed light on how Australia’s widespread vegetation called Mallee is able to survive in such hot, dry, fire-prone conditions.

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Ecosystems & Global Change Scientists John Hunt and Scott Graham  with equipment set up for data collection at Ashley Dene farm in Springston.  Image by Brad White for Manaaki Whenua

Site of the Month: Ashley Dene

For this month’s site feature, let’s journey to Te Waipounamu, the South Island of New Zealand. The Ashley Dene OzFlux site is located in one of New Zealand’s large dairy regions, on the Canterbury Plains, and its data are essential contributions to research projects on the carbon, water and nitrogen exchange of dairy forage systems.

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Site of the Month: Alice Mulga SuperSite

More than a decade of ecosystem measurements in Australia’s Red Centre are providing an unprecedented understanding of the health and function of Australia’s vast arid ecosystems. The data tell a tale of a tough life in the desert, with highly variable rainfall patterns and carbon dynamics, but of which, thanks to research infrastructure investments, Australia’s scientists are developing an intimate understanding.

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