"Critical gaps" uncovered in Australian climate change research

Source: Xinhua| 2020-03-11 10:07:34|Editor: Liu
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CANBERRA, March 11 (Xinhua) -- A government review has warned of "critical gaps" in Australia's climate science capability.

The review, which was ordered by the National Climate Science Advisory Committee and conducted by the Centre of Excellence for Climate Extremes, found that Australia's atmospheric modelling has lagged behind other countries.

As a result, Australian scientists' ability to understand climate change has been impeded.

There are 466 full-time staff and students investigating climate processes but not enough are focused on atmospheric physics and weather phenomena that affect heatwaves and rainfall in Australia.

"The loss of expertise in these areas represents a critical threat to Australia's ability to understand and predict such phenomena into the future. The shortage of expertise in these areas requires urgent correction," the report said.

"The report concludes that a transformation of climate processes research into a community working collectively towards national goals in a common science framework is essential.

"Given the underpinning role of processes research for all other climate research this transformation provides the foundation for providing solutions to the climate-related societal challenges ahead."

In order to address the shortcomings in coordination, the report called for the establishment of a "community-wide research network."

Responding to the report, a spokesperson from the Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment told the Guardian Australia that it would "help ensure the government's climate science activities are better coordinated and prioritized."

"The government is committed to climate science investment and is progressing the establishment of an enhanced climate science advisory group that will build on the work of the National Climate Science Advisory Committee to ensure that Australian decision makers have continued access to world class scientific information," the spokesperson said.