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Australian Universities Climate Consortium (UCC)

"Our strength is the collective capacity we bring
to all aspects of the climate challenge."

A consortium of four major universities undertaking significant climate research are integrating their research and education programs to provide a world-class, strategic, team-based climate science capability for Australia. The Universities Climate Consortium will provide national leadership; sustained outstanding research; integrated undergraduate and postgraduate education programs; and advice to key policy, economic, environmental and resource sectors on the threats and opportunities of climate change. In collaboration with the Bureau of Meteorology, CSIRO, and colleagues from other universities, the UCC will ensure that Australia continues to be a contributor of global significance in climate change research and education.

The Australian National University hosts the ANU Institute of Environment, which facilities integrative cross-university collaboration on climate, water and energy research. ANU's strength in climate is its breadth, spanning basic science in palaeoclimate and land processes through adaptation research on human health and biodiversity to the human dimensions of climate change - institutions, governance, economics and law. The ANU maintains a strong policy interface with the Australian Government.

Monash University hosts the Monash Sustainability Institute including programs in biodiversity, climate, transport, water and energy. A large climate program integrates climate and meteorological research focusing on regional modelling, extreme events, bushfires, and the urban environment. Monash possesses a significant history in participatory research, through programs in International and Regional Development, National Urban Water Governance and Community-based Climate Adaptation.

The University of Melbourne has an active research program in climate change, impacts, adaptation and mitigation. These are focussed through the Climate Adaptation Science and Policy Initiative (CASPI). Areas of expertise include agriculture and forestry; biodiversity; climate science; decision making and risk management, energy efficiency; geospatial information and visualisation; social and economic impacts; urban transport & the built environment; and water.

The University of New South Wales hosts the Climate Change Research Centre which focuses on physical and biophysical research in oceans, atmosphere and terrestrial systems to improve global and regional climate modelling. Initiatives in biodiversity, risk, extremes and urban design are linked with innovative programs in business and carbon management. We undertake participatory research with indigenous communities and with coastal councils, linking our research to end-users.

The UCC combines our expertise into one framework. The breadth, across the UCC, encompasses fundamental climate change science, as well as the challenges of mitigation and adaptation. Indeed, the formation of the UCC reflects our individual recognition that the challenge of climate change is beyond the capacity of any single institution.

Download the UCC brochure.


Latest news

Dr Michael Molitor Public lecture - De-carbonising for growth: why everyone is wrong about the costs of addressing climate change
20 April 2014
We will rapidly de-carbonize the global energy system not because we care sufficiently about the enormous risks flowing from a climate system profoundly modified by human activity but because, in the absence of this gigantic infrastructure investment opportunity, we will never generate sufficient economic growth between now and 2050. This inevitable outcome has dramatic implications for Australia's future energy supply and prosperity.

Plastic bottle caps found in the ocean (source: NOAA PIFSC) Ocean debris leads the way for castaway fisherman
05 February 2014
The fisherman who washed up on the Marshall Islands last weekend was very lucky to have stranded on a remote beach there. The currents in the Pacific Ocean would have inevitably taken him into the great garbage patch of the North Pacific, where he could then have been floating for centuries to come.

Man in heat wave Get used to heat waves: extreme El Niņo events to double
20 January 2014
Extreme weather events fuelled by unusually strong El Niņos, such as the 1983 heatwave that led to the Ash Wednesday bushfires in Australia, are likely to double in number as our planet warms.

More news...

Copenhagen Diagnosis logo

The Copenhagen Diagnosis

On 25th November 2009 members of The Climate Change Research Centre, as part of a group of 26 international climate scientists, were part of a major international release of a new report synthesizing the latest climate research to emerge since the last IPCC Assessment Report of 2007.


World map

There are no time-travelling climatologists: why we use climate models

In the absence of time-travelling climatologists, models are unrivalled tools for understanding our changing climate system. That is, climate models are scientific tools. We should recognise them as such and consider them with rigorous scientific, not political, scepticism.



The Big Engine 2: oceans and weather

Federation Fellow and 2008 Eureka Prize winner, Professor Matthew England of CCRC, on the latest research into the role oceans play on weather.


Smoke stack

The Science of Climate Change: Questions and Answers

Co-authored by Professor Steven Sherwood and Professor Matt England of CCRC, this Academy of Science report aims to summarise and clarify the current understanding of the science of climate change for non-specialist readers.


Ocean weather

The Big Engine 1: oceans and weather

Federation Fellow and 2008 Eureka Prize winner, Professor Matthew England of CCRC, on the latest research into the role oceans play on weather.


Tree rings

New insights into the climate of the past 2,000 years

A comprehensive new scientific study has revealed fresh insights into the climate of the past 2,000 years, providing further evidence that the 20th century warming was not a natural phenomenon. After 1900, increasing temperatures reversed a previous long-term cooling trend. This 20th Century warming has occurred simultaneously in all regions except Antarctica.



The dynamics of the global ocean circulation

The ocean is far from a stagnant body of water. Instead, it is constantly in motion, at speeds from a few centimetres per second to two metres per second in the most vigorous currents.


Plastic rubbish

Leave the ocean garbage alone: we need to stop polluting first

Recent plans to clean plastics from the five massive ocean garbage patches could do more damage to the environment than leaving the plastic right where it is.


Plastic rubbish

Charting the garbage patches of the sea

Just how much plastic is there floating around in our oceans? Dr Erik van Sebille from UNSW's Climate Change Research Centre has completed a study of ocean "garbage patches", and has found that in some regions the amount of plastic outweighs that of marine life.



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