Environmental and Climate Change Research Group

Callaghan, Australia

Environmental and Climate Change Research Group

Callaghan, Australia
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Tozer C.R.,Environmental and Climate Change Research Group | Verdon-Kidd D.C.,Environmental and Climate Change Research Group | Kiem A.S.,Environmental and Climate Change Research Group
Climate Research | Year: 2014

Since its establishment in 1865, Goyder's Line in South Australia has represented the division between land suitable for cropping and land seen as viable for grazing. Despite this, current cropping areas extend beyond Goyder's Line. In this study, the 220 mm growing season (April to October) rainfall isohyet is used as a proxy for Goyder's Line to assess its temporal and spatial variability. Using indices of the El Niño Southern Oscillation, Indian Ocean sea surface temperature variability, Southern Annular Mode and subtropical ridge, it is shown that climate state significantly influences the location of the 220 mm growing season rainfall isohyet. This implies that the boundary between viable and non-viable cropping areas (i.e. Goyder's Line or 'nature's limit') is non-stationary. These results also indicate the key influences on South Australia's climate and have important implications globally for agricultural practices operating in or bordering semi-arid environments. © Inter-Research 2014.


Kiem A.S.,Environmental and Climate Change Research Group | Austin E.K.,Environmental and Climate Change Research Group
Climate Research | Year: 2013

Much research into climate change impacts and adaptation has been, and continues to be, conducted. However, the well documented themes and recommendations continue to emerge with little evidence of effective climate change adaptation strategies being implemented. This is because while climate change adaptation strategies are not hard to develop, it is difficult to evaluate their effectiveness or, in some cases, even define effectiveness. Compounding this is the fact that implementing strategies that in theory, or in pilot studies, are potentially effective is complicated due to political, economic, legislative and science constraints and the difficulties associated with decision making under uncertainty. Here we focus on Australian rural communities and have found that a major barrier to implementation of effective adaptation strategies is the disconnect between the information that end-users need (or think they need) and the existing outcomes of climate change impacts and adaptation research. While previous research, and anecdotal evidence, qualitatively establishes that a 'gap' does exist, this study represents a preliminary attempt at quantifying the causes and magnitude of the disconnect: a necessary first step in addressing the challenge posed by this barrier to adaptation. The findings are relevant beyond Australia, beyond the agriculture sector, and beyond climate change science, and highlight the need for urgent work aimed at bridging the gap between scientists and decision makers (and other end-users). © Inter-Research 2013.

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