Use data on climate change impact, says scientist

An Australian climate scientist has urged the end-users of climate science data to use it to plan and respond or adapt to the impact of climate change.

The C.S.I.R.O. (Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation) Climate Science Centre Programme Manager, Dr Geoff Gooley, told a 7–8 December virtual workshop that data coming out from the Next Generation of Climate Projections for the Western Tropical Project should be put to good use. 

Giving an update on the project and its significance to the region, he said its importance is crucial.

“The NextGen projections are crucial in the knowledge value chain for Pacific climate change science and services,” he said, according to a statement released by the Apia-based Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environmental Programme (S.P.R.E.P.).

“I encourage all providers, intermediaries and end-users of science-based services within this value chain to use climate change projections to plan and respond/adapt to climate change impacts.” 

The C.S.I.R.O. is an agency of the Australian government responsible for scientific research and is a partnership in the Next Generation of Climate Projections for the Western Tropical Project. This project, which is funded by the Australian Government through the Australia-Pacific Climate Partnership and the C.S.I.R.O., is implemented by the C.S.I.R.O Climate Science Centre in partnership with the Climate Change Resilience programme of the S.P.R.E.P. 

It provides Pacific Island countries with climate change science to inform decision making at the policy and sectoral level.

Last week’s workshop gave updates on the project as well as sought feedback from participants on project outputs to date – on top of raising awareness of the role of national meteorological and hydrological services and key sectors – in sharing climate change projection to guide policy, planning and implementation for resilience.

Case studies discussed during the workshop offered insight on how climate science can be used for planning and climate-based decision-making in industries across agriculture such as coffee, cocoa and root crops as well as for tourism, health and other development sectors.

S.P.R.E.P. Climate Change Resilience Programme Director, Tagaloa Cooper, emphasised that the workshop was part of a series of activities with the goal of supporting Pacific Island countries to make informed decisions based on credible climate science.

She said they hope Pacific Island countries will use this reliable information on climate science to achieve their aspirations for a sustainable and resilient future while highlighting the work being done by the various government officials and representatives and how it is key to bridging the gap between climate science and policy.

Throwing more light on the benefits of the project, the Australia-Pacific Climate Partnership Team Leader Dr. Kate Duggan said the collaboration focuses on the big job of ensuring that the good science produced in the Pacific is accessible so that people can factor the changes they’re experiencing into their livelihoods, their businesses and their communities.

She further stated that they see this as crucial to the localisation of taking action on climate change in the Pacific by Pacific countries and people, adding that Australia-Pacific Climate Partnership would like to continue its support for the work started with the NextGen Project and that the next stage will build on the large volume of work already completed.

The 7–8 December workshop participants included representatives from the Australia-Pacific Climate Partnership, the C.S.I.R.O., Pacific national universities, the University of the South Pacific (U.S.P.), Federated University, Japan International Cooperation Agency, private sector representatives and S.P.R.E.P. 

The 14 partner countries of the NextGen Project were also represented.

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