ClimateWatch in parks
A new partnership in climate change adaptation
Parks Victoria and Earthwatch Australia have enjoyed a partnership of working together over many years. Our collaborations have included conservation research projects and the annual staff study Earthwatch Expedition Award. We are now extending the partnership to work together to gather important knowledge about the effects of climate change.
Parks Victoria and Earthwatch Australia are partnering to help gather important knowledge about the effects of climate change. The partnership will bring park visitors, nature enthusiasts, students, contractors, park staff and the general public together with climate change scientists through Earthwatch’s national program: ClimateWatch.
What is ClimateWatch?
ClimateWatch is a national citizen science program created in 2009 by Earthwatch, the Bureau of Meteorology and the University of Melbourne. As 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 Victoria’s rainfall and temperature driven by global climate change will result in our plants and animals adapting by altering where they live, feed and their phenology (flowering, fruiting, breeding, etc).
ClimateWatch users can record the location, behaviour and site attributes for over 150 marine and terrestrial species through the ClimateWatch website and app. Anybody can participate in ClimateWatch. Sightings can be made anywhere, anytime.
The data collected by ClimateWatch will contribute to a national database that can be freely accessed by researchers and the public. The data will also be lodged with the Atlas of Living Australia: www.ala.org.au. Feedback and results can be obtained through the ClimateWatch website, e-newsletters and promotional material created by Earthwatch.
How can you become involved?
By downloading the ClimateWatch app on iTunes or GooglePlay, you can record observations directly into your smartphone. Over time these regular observations collected under ClimateWatch will contribute to tracking trends and changes. This information will assist scientists and land managers in developing climate change adaptation plans to respond to climate change impacts.
Our parks provide ideal locations in which to assess the impacts of climate change as they provide scientists with areas that contrast to developed urban or rural areas. Incorporating sightings from many locations, each with different climatic and geographic conditions, allows for more accurate scientific assessments.
Four parks now have Climatewatch Trails; Yarra Bend Park, Grampians National Park, Wilsons Promontory National Park and Organ Pipes National Park. Similar trails have been developed at a wide range of locations across Australia.
This Climatewatch partnership with Earthwatch is a great opportunity for you to personally engage in long term climate change research by recording your observations of nature. ClimateWatch is part of a growing Citizen Science program in Parks Victoria to engage and include community knowledge to inform management.
For further information on ClimateWatch or to download a Parks Victoria trail visit: www.climatewatch.org.au.