The development of the Climate Model Downscaling Data for Impacts Research (CliMDDIR) web portal by Centre of Excellence staff continues apace. The aim of the CliMDDIR project, which is funded by the Australian National Data Service (ANDS), is to create a web portal that will assist climate impact researchers in accessing output from high-resolution Regional Climate Model simulations.
The first milestone in the development of the project has been reached. A test web portal with basic functionality has been connected to software that extracts impacts-relevant, Regional Climate Model output and transforms it into formats useable by impact researchers. Over the coming months, more functionality and additional data will be introduced to the system. The basic system is being tested by the project team but the portal will eventually be tested by climate impact researchers themselves.
One of those researchers is Macquarie University’s Dr Linda Beaumont, who is working on the potential impacts of climate change on species and ecosystems, in particular temperate plant communities.
“The impacts community has lacked consistent tools, with data being delivered in a variety of formats and at a coarse resolution that has often made them difficult to use,” Dr Beaumont said.
“The CliMDDIR project will allow us to get our hands on up-to-date data and make more accurate assessments of climate change impacts. Currently, there is a substantial time-lag between when climate modellers develop data and when it becomes available to the impacts community in a useable format. CliMMDIR will significantly reduce this time-lag. ”
There are a number of important Australian projects in the area of species and ecosystems that could potentially find the data useful, with researchers in the wet tropics, south-eastern Australia and the southern section of Western Australia eager for data.
“The human impact has broken up ecosystems, making it much harder for plants and animals to move as the climate rapidly changes,” Dr Beaumont said.
“It is increasingly important for us to determine how these changes will effect ecosystems and develop strategies to preserve species and help them adapt.”