Research program: The role of land surface forcing and feedbacks for regional climate

The land is a core component of the climate system because it stores heat, water, and carbon. More significantly of course we live on the land, source our water from the land, and grow our crops on the land. How the land affects climate, and how climate variability and change affects the land is therefore a key research focus.

We have several research themes in the land research program. These are necessarily interwoven, and also commonly interact with other research programs.


Land Model development, evaluation and approaches to modelling

The land surface scheme CABLE is our primary research tool. CABLE is the Community Atmosphere Biosphere Land Exchange model.

CABLE code and supporting information are hosted at our Partner Organization NCI.

You can find the CABLE Community page here and the Cable Community Roadmap 2012-2017 here.

The CABLE annual report for 2012/13 can be found here.

We use PALS as a system for evaluating CABLE

Publications related to this theme are available here


Land processes and feedbacks

We explore the processes and feedbacks associated with different land types over Australia. They will examine regional energy and water budgets and how land types affect climate – particularly irrigated areas, urban spaces and fire affected regions. Impacts of land cover change, and how land processes respond to climate change and variability, are particularly relevant.

Major tools for exploring these feedbacks are Regional Climate models (RCMs) as they explicitely couple the land to the atmosphere. Through this work we collaborate with regional climate projects nationally, such as NARCliM and, internationally, such as CORDEX.

Publications related to this theme are available here


Land processes and extremes

Land processes can affect a range of surface extremes, though our understanding of this remains limited.

Publications related to this theme are available here


Slow processes in the land

We examine the processes that explain how energy, water and carbon vary in Australian soils and vegetation.

Publications related to this theme are available here



Chief Investigators
Professor Michael Roderick (ANU)
Professor Andrew Pitman (UNSW)
Dr Lisa Alexander (UNSW)
Dr Todd Lane (University of Melbourne)

Partner Investigators
Dr Ying Ping Wang (CAWCR-CSIRO)
Dr Christa Peters-Lidard (NASA-Goddard Space Flight Centre, USA)
Professor Hoshin Gupta (University of Arizona, USA)
Professor Rowan Sutton (NCAS, UK)

Associate Investigators
Dr Gab Abramowitz (UNSW)
Dr Randall Donohue (CSIRO)
A/Prof Jason Evans (UNSW)
Prof Graham Farquhar (ANU)
Prof Peter Rayner (University of Melbourne)

Centre Researchers
Dr Daniel Argueso (UNSW)
Dr Claire Carouge (UNSW)
Dr Mark Decker (UNSW)
Dr Jeff Exbrayat (UNSW)
Dr Melissa Hart (UNSW)
Dr Ruth Lorenz (UNSW)
Dr Fubao Sun (ANU)
Dr Jatin Kala (UNSW)

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