ARC funds the extreme edge of climate research

The Australian Research Council has funded a new Centre of Excellence to transform the direction of Australian climate research and help us to understand and reduce the country’s vulnerability to climate extremes.

The ARC Centre of Excellence for Climate Extremes led by Prof Andy Pitman will focus on quantifying and understanding the causes of climate extremes with the primary goal of improving predictions.

This will help Australians to better anticipate extreme events, which will have a direct impact on industry, economy and society.

Prof Andy Pitman, in welcoming the announcement, noted the costs to the Australian economy, and to social and environmental systems from climate extremes, which are around $8 billion a year.

“This is a fantastic opportunity to drive innovation at the intersection of high performance computing, massive data, maths, physics and climate science,” Prof Pitman said.

“We are committed to delivering new science that directly helps our management of climate extremes including enhancing our ability to forecast how they will change in the future ”.

The Centre brings together world-leading researchers from five Australian universities and a range of national and international partners.

The universities include Australian National University, Monash University, University of Melbourne, University of New South Wales and the University of Tasmania.

Key national partners include the Bureau of Meteorology, CSIRO, National Computational Infrastructure, Risk Frontiers and the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage along with other major national and international partners.

International partners include NASA, National Centre for Atmospheric Research (US), Met Office (UK), Max Planck Institute of Meteorology (Germany), Swiss Federal Institute, University of  Arizona and the CNRS (French National Centre for Scientific Research).

The Centre will commence operations in 2017 with a focus on five distinct areas:

  • To understand the processes that cause climate extremes
  • To translate this understanding into a new Australian climate prediction system
  • To examine the past, present and future behavior of climate extremes.
  • To transform Australia’s capacity in climate research by educating the next generation of researchers
  • To reduce Australia’s vulnerability to extremes.

The Centre will build on and extend some of the impressive work on climate extremes that has already been produced by the ARC Centre of Excellence for Climate System Science.

For more information or to arrange an interview, contact:

Alvin Stone
Media and Communications Manager
ARC Centre of Excellence for Climate System Science


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