Pacific climate change data goes online

By Seniorl Anzu

Papua New Guineans can now have access to online data on climate change science to improve the basis for future decision-making about effective adaptation and development planning in the country.

A Pacific Climate Change Data Portal (http://www.bom.gov.au/climate/pccsp), developed through the Pacific Climate Change Science Program (PCCSP), provides this scientific information to Pacific Island countries by examining past climate trends and variability and providing national and regional climate projections.

Simon McGree from the Australian Bureau of Meteorology said: “The Pacific Climate Change Data Portal is the largest web-based data source in the Pacific region.”

“This user-friendly tool provides access to climate trends and basic climate information from more than 90 individual observation sites across the Pacific Islands and East Timor,” he said.

In PNG, there are seven observatory sites (weather stations) located in Port Moresby, Nadzab, Madang, Wewak, Momote, Kavieng and Misima.

The initiative is in response to the growing challenges of climate variability and change on agriculture, tourism, ecosystems and individual livelihoods despite widespread international awareness. Besides the Pacific has very limited specific scientific information on climate change when better scientific knowledge is needed for adaptation and planning for the future, a gap which PCCSP attempts to help in filling with projections based on past and available scientific data.

“The PCCSP is actively engaging with 15 partner countries and regional stakeholders to build their capacity to effectively apply the results and to build the climate science knowledge base,” the PCCSP portal says.

The program is an initiative of the Australian Government (AusAID) in collaboration with the Australian Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency,  the Bureau of Meteorology, the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation, and the Centre for Australian Weather and Climate Research.

The PCCSP commenced in 2008 under AusAID’s five-year International Climate Change Adaptation Initiative at the cost of $328 million.

Regionally, the program has been undertaken in cooperation with organisations and institutions such as the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme, Secretariat of the Pacific Community, Pacific Islands Applied Geoscience Commission, and the University of the South Pacific.

The outcomes of the comprehensive climate assessment will be published later this year.

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