Over the past few weeks there has been much political ado about the withholding of funding for Australia’s science infrastructure program. But now the funding is secure does anyone really understand what this research infrastructure is and why it is so important to us?
The following is an open letter initiated by Dr Andrew Glikson, signed by Australian environmental and climate scientists and as published in The Conversation.
We the undersigned are concerned that the Australian Government’s 2015 Intergenerational Report underestimates the serious threat of global warming to future generations.
Australia’s waterside cities are under threat from rising sea levels unless more is done to stop CO2 emissions (Michael Dawes)
The Anthropocene, the geological epoch when humans have had an overriding influence on the earth and its atmosphere, is a step closer to being formally recognised as a geological period – and apparently it all started in 1610!
What turns an inconspicuous plant into an economically and ecologically damaging alien invader? Or to paraphrase this blog title – why does the Kraken awake? The answer is not simple. Several hypotheses exist, including lack of natural predators in the introduced range (the enemy release or habituation hypotheses).
However alien invaders often take time to become problematic. This lag phase, when plants may be called sleeper weeds, indicates that invaders may be adapting to their new environments. But recent research finds that multiple introductions of invaders during this phase can create a new breed of super weed.
The Kraken Wakes – a huge legendary sea monster,
remade as an alien invader by John Wyndham
The ability of the bush to bounce back after extensive grazing cannot be guaranteed. A farmer from Sanderson in the foothills of the South Australian Mt Lofty Ranges, Brenton Newman, had more faith than that and destocked his land to give it chance to recover. However the devastating Eden Valley bushfire burnt through 95% of the property last year, potentially derailing the early stages of recovery. Almost one year on, the land, which is still destocked, is showing amazing signs of recovery and recolonisation by native species.
Click here to view a good news story by Simon Royal for the ABC 7:30 report
The use of local seed is widely advocated for habitat restoration and is based on the premise that locally sourced seed will be the best adapted for the local conditions at restoration sites.
However, a ‘local is best’ seed sourcing practise (where seed for planting establishment is only sourced from native habitat within a few km of the restoration site) misses two important points, which may be seriously impacting on restoration outcomes, particularly resilience in the face of future environmental and climate change.
We’ve been doing some silent running for a while, but we are about to ramp up again.
We’ll start with uploading some articles that have been published over the last year or so and then feed into new material produced from across the group