Observe and record the behaviour of land species
ClimateWatch was developed by Earthwatch with the Bureau of Meteorology and The University of Melbourne to understand how changes in temperature and rainfall are affecting the seasonal behaviour of Australia's plants and animals. The first continental phenology project in the Southern Hemisphere, ClimateWatch enables every Australian to be involved in collecting and recording data that will help shape the country’s scientific response to climate change.
“Changes in rainfall and temperature across Australia are already triggering changes in the established flowering times, breeding cycles, migrations and distributions of the country’s flora and fauna, both native and introduced. Citizen scientists play a very important role as we do not have enough dedicated scientists to monitor different areas.”
Dr Lynda Chambers, Senior Researcher
Centre for Australian Weather and Climate Research – A partnership between CSIRO and Bureau of Meterology
ClimateWatch Science and Technical Advisor.
Essentially ClimateWatch is based on Phenology, the study of periodic plant and animal life cycle events and how these are influenced by seasonal and interannual variations in climate.
Potential applications for data collected by ClimateWatch include:
- Informing conservation and natural resource management: from individual species through to ecosystems;
- Provision of information for optimal timing of targeted management of invasive and pest species in both agricultural and natural environments;
- Understanding of influence of climate on plant life stages associated with human health issues such as asthma, hay fever and eczema;
- Real-time monitoring of important ecological processes, including pollination.
The ClimateWatch system provides:
- A greater understanding, while raising public awareness, of the response of Australia’s biodiversity to climate change;
- An online system for collecting, storing, interpreting and reporting indicators of biological responses to climate; and
- The ability to predict and monitor changes in native and pest species distributions and to test their sensitivity to climate.