Satellites to monitor climate change in Australia and China

Monday, 15 January, 2007

CSIRO and the Chinese Academy of Surveying and Mapping (CASM) in Beijing are attempting to combat climate change by working together to monitor the impact in both countries.

The five-year advanced satellite program will gather land and marine observation data, which will enable scientists to work out in detail what is happening with climate change and how best to deal with it.

Dr Murray Cameron from CSIRO Mathematical and Information Sciences said that Australia and China have many environmental problems in common, such as highly variable rainfall.

"Droughts and flooding rains aren't unique to Australia," said Cameron.

Professor Jixian Zhang, President of CASM said that Australia and China had a lot to offer each other with respect to satellite-based resource mapping.

"We will be developing sophisticated maths-based information products from the satellite data that will help both countries better manage their environments on the ground," said Zhang.

CSIRO claims that recent work in tracking land use change across the whole of Australia has been an important input for monitoring Australia's greenhouse gas emissions for international reporting.

"Our experience in research in Australia will enable us to make rapid progress in some of the projects [with CASM]. It also means we know some of the problems to expect and how to overcome them," Cameron told Waste Streams.

Kylie Field, Waste Streams journalist

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