Australia has always been a country of extremes. As a consequence Australian ecosystems – and the communities and industries that depend upon them – are, on the whole, a pretty resilient lot. But with all indicators pointing to likely increases in frequency and/or intensity of extreme events such as drought, heatwaves, bushfires, cyclones and floods in coming decades, is this resilience at risk?
The Commonwealth Science Council clearly thinks so, citing tens of billions of dollars in economic cost to the country due to extreme events in recent years, and identifying research into mitigation, management or adaptation as a National Science and Research Priority.
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.
Some of the ways in which TERN’s nationally networked capabilities are already being wielded by scientific and management agencies across the country in the context of extreme events can be seen in a series of public presentations that are now freely available online. More details about some of these capabilities can be found below:
Published in TERN newsletter April 2015