01 July 2020
The climate services sector in Australia has changed rapidly over the last few years with a range of stakeholders interacting from research institutions, across all levels of government, national and international NGOs and the private sector.
Under the Earth Systems and Climate Change Hub project Towards a national climate service capability: a report to the National Climate Science Advisory Committee, a study was conducted by researchers at the University of Technology Sydney in partnership with the ESCC Hub and the CSIRO Navigating Climate Change Mission to map the current climate services capabilities in Australia, capturing information from both providers and users of climate services. The study used an online survey and social network analysis to show the interactions of current Australian users and providers and how they are linked within a market setting.
In particular, the study looked at:
- the type of climate services information being accessed
- the rationale for selecting the specific sources
- the capacity of organisations to access and utilise climate services information
- how climate services information products are developed
- the connections between organisations that source climate services information
- the connections between organisations that supply climate services information
- whole of network cohesion measures, and
- optimal channels for information diffusion through the network.
Summary of key findings
The study found that climate information and associated services in Australia are sourced primarily from national climate service providers (i.e. CSIRO and the Bureau of Meteorology), universities, the Climate Change in Australia website, Geoscience Australia and some international climate service providers, such as the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). A number of participants sourced information from state and federal agencies, with some looking to the Climate Council, media and events to garner climate information.
The study also found that most climate information and services were derived freely from open sources, mostly from external organisations. Scientific validity, trust and accessibility were key reasons for selecting these sources. Information accessed was mostly used for climate hazard analysis and impact assessments, followed by strategic planning and/or policy development and to build new tools and products.
Respondents see the climate services sector in Australia as a space that is currently in development, and identified several strengths, weaknesses and opportunities for further development and enhancement. From the qualitative analysis of strengths, weaknesses and opportunities for this sector, it is clear that the sector continues to lack definition and that a singular platform for information is lacking. There is also a need for climate service information to be better communicated and tailored for end-users.
While this was a small pilot study, it represents a unique contribution to climate services domain knowledge as it is the first known network analysis of this type to date for this sector in Australia.
Read the detailed findings of the study in the report Mapping Climate Services Capability in Australia.
This project was undertaken by researchers at the University of Technology Sydney , partnering with the Earth Systems and Climate Change Hub and the CSIRO Navigating Climate Change Mission.
The study was conducted on behalf of the ESCC Hub project Towards a national climate service capability: a report to the National Climate Science Advisory Committee
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