Generating integrated climate change research

The Griffith Climate Change Response Program leads Griffith University’s research into climate change adaptation and mitigation. As climate change issues cut across many fields of study our research projects are transdisciplinary. The program brings together the wealth of Griffith research expertise from across the University, enabling climate change problems to be addressed in a comprehensive manner and often in conjunction with our international partners.

New Report Released - Vanuatu

Griffith University has released a report, Vanuatu: Ecosystem and Socio-economic Resilience Analysis and Mapping (ESRAM). The Report contains a national-level assessment of Vanuatu’s social-ecological systems in the context of building resilience to climate change.

Read the report

Research in focus - Whales in a Changing Climate

The Griffith Climate Change Response Program has commenced a project with partners in South Africa considering how various ocean conditions influence whale migration, feeding and breeding patterns.

Snapshots from recent activities and meetings

On 24 August 2018 the Griffith Climate Change Response Program hosted a Panel Discussion and Book Launch, centered around the theme - Climate change update: Moving forward on adaptation.  The eminent panel - Prof Mark Howden (ANU Climate Change Institute), Prof Roger Street (Oxford University) and Georgine Roodenrys (Qld Government) shed light on the forthcoming Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) 6th Assessment Report and shared insights into how the Irish, UK, Canadian and Japanese governments are responding to growing climate risks and the state of play with the Queensland Climate Adaptation Strategy. The book, Limits to Climate Change Adaptation, was also launched. Dr Johanna Nalau, co-editor of the book and IPCC 6th Assessment Report Lead Author, presented some of the main findings from the book.

On 23 August 2018, special guest, Professor Seon Ki Park, from the Dept of Environmental Science & Engineering and the Dept of Climate & Energy Systems Engineering, Ewha Womans University, Seoul, Korea, presented a seminar, Integrated regional environment/climate prediction system: Coupled modeling, parameter estimation and data assimilation.  Professor Park discussed Atmospheric Sciences at Ewha Womans University; Numerical Weather/Climate/Environment Prediction; Sensitivity Studies; Subgrid-scale Parameterizations; Optimal Parameter Estimation; Coupled Data Assimilation; Projection of Local Climate Change; and RECIPE (Regional Environment/Climate Prediction  System).

Photo - Dr Serena Lee, Professor Brendan Mackey, and Dr Willow Hallgren from the Griffith Climate Change Response Program with guest Professor Park.

On 21 August 2018, special guest Professor Patrick Nunn, Associate Director, Sustainability Research Centre, University of Sunshine Coast presented a seminar: Improving the Effectiveness and Sustainability of Climate-Change Adaptation Outcomes in the Pacific.  The seminar included a discussion about the role of faith/spirituality in contributing to the acceptance of adaptation by affected communities, especially those in rural parts of the Pacific Islands region where environmental governance (and decision-making more generally) is commonly filtered through religious beliefs was the focus of some of the discussion.

Photo - Professor Brendan Mackey (Griffith Climate Change Response Program) and Professor Nunn.

On 15 August 2018 Professor Brendan Mackey, Director of the Griffith Climate Change Response Program, presented a seminar at the Centre for Tropical Environmental and Sustainability Science at the James Cook University in Cairns. The abstract for his seminar was: Ecosystems throughout the world are being degraded from modern developments including industrial scale land use and transport infrastructure. At the same time, we are experiencing unprecedented human-forced climate change. Together, they are leading to a break down in natural connectivity and dramatic shifts in ecosystem dynamics and species responses. Large scale connectivity conservation has been proposed as an appropriate and necessary response to these threats to ecosystem integrity and biodiversity.

The Griffith Climate Change Response Program was a sponsor of the Narratives of Climate Change Symposium which was held at the University of Newcastle on 5 & 6 July 2018. The symposium was an interdisciplinary collaboration inspired by the possibility that the gap between scientific knowledge and effective political, legal and social action can be bridged by alternative forms of narrative, incorporated into and developed by artistic creations, works of fiction, social and other media, performances of all types including theatrical, activist and absurdist, visionary planning and innovative litigation such as the Children’s Trust lawsuits.

Dr Esther Onyango (in photo) presented at the Symposium as did Prof Brendan Mackey of the Griffith Climate Change Response Program.

On 11 June 2018 the Collaborative Australia-Indonesia Program for Sustainable Development and Climate Change was launched by the Griffith University Vice Chancellor and President, Prof Ian O'Connor with the Indonesian President's Special Envoy for Climate Change, the Hon Prof Rachmat Witoelar, at Griffith University's Nathan campus. The Program will facilitate high-level bilateral dialogues, multidisciplinary research collaborations, higher degree research support and student mobility opportunities with an emphasis on contributing to sustainable development in Indonesia and enhanced knowledge and capacity in responding to the challenges of climate change. Speakers at the event were Prof Ian O'Connor, Prof Caitlin Byrne (Director, Griffith Asia Institute), the Hon Rachmat Witoelar and Prof Brendan Mackey (Director, Griffith Climate Change Response Program).

CAISDCC Launch

CAISDCC Launch

CAISDCC Launch

Alongside members and Directors from the Griffith Asia Institute, Griffith Climate Change Response Program, Centre for Environment and Population Health, Centre for Excellence in Sustainable Development in Indonesia, Centre for Governance and Public Policy, Griffith International, Centre for Interfaith and Cultural Dialogue, Cities Research Institute, the Griffith Business School and Griffith University Indonesian students, guests at the event included those from the Consulate General of the Republic of Indonesia, Australia-Indonesia Business Council and the Queensland Department of Environment & Heritage Protection.

Hon Rachmat Witoelar Seminar

On 8 June 2018 the Griffith Climate Change Response Program was proud to present a public seminar at the South Bank campus, from our special guest, the Hon Prof Rachmat Witoelar, The Indonesian President's Special Envoy for Climate Change: Long-term vision on Sustainable Development Goals and climate actions. It was an uplifting evening with a good mix of upcoming sustainability entrepreneurs, Indonesian students and State and local government representatives. One key message from the seminar was the critical role that Non-State Actors (NSAs) are now playing in taking actions against climate change.

USP and Griffith University MoU

The University of the South Pacific (USP) and Griffith University signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for collaborative research for a period of five years.

The MoU was signed by Professor Rajesh Chandra, Vice-Chancellor and President of USP on 4 May 2018 and counter signed by Professor Ian O’Connor, Vice-Chancellor and President of Griffith University on 22 May 2018.

Dan Ware and Dr Ed Morgan, from the Griffith Climate Change Response Program visited Emalus Campus at USP on 11 May 2018 to discuss opportunities and it was agreed that USP will be part of their upcoming research studies in the Pacific.

In photo - Dan Ware (left) and Dr Ed Morgan (right) of Griffith Climate Change Response Program with Dr Krishna Kotra, Science Programme Coordinator during their visit to the Emalus Campus.

In March 2018 the inaugural annual symposium of the Primary Tropical Forests and Climate Change project was held at Springbrook, Queensland, Australia. The project leader is Prof Brendan Mackey, Director, Griffith Climate Change Response Program. The Australian Rainforest Conservation Society is a partner in the project and was the venue host.

Day 3 of the Symposium was a field trip at Springbrook. 14 of the Symposium researchers braved the Twin Falls Track.

The circuit involved walking behind waterfalls ...

The Best of All Lookout is home to an Ancient Antarctic Beech Forest.

A close up view from the Best of All Lookout with Mt Springbrook in the foreground.

In March 2018 Sam Mackay (Program Manager, Griffith Climate Change Response Program) and Madeleine McGann (iCLIM Project Officer) participated in a workshop about the importance of climate change information and knowledge management and its critical role in adaptation planning and resilience planning with delegates from the Government of Papua New Guinea.  Hosted by the Office of Climate Change and Development Authority (CCDA), the workshop saw participants agree on priority actions for establishing a strategic framework and work plan for the CCDA, as the lead government climate change agency.

Want more snapshots from activities and meetings?

Griffith Climate Change Response Program