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Managing Climate Variability: Strategic Review of Climate Science Directions and Priorities

​The aim of the Managing Climate Variability Program was to increase the capacity of Australian agriculture to capture opportunities and manage risks related to climate change and variability. The objective of MLA's investment in the Program wa​s to develop more accurate models to forecast inter-seasonal rainfall across all production regions in Australia.

B.CCH.2081 - Managing Climate Variability Program Phase 4 (2013/14 – 2015/16)

Climate is the biggest individual driver of production variability in agriculture, and accounts for one-third to two-thirds of annual global crop yield variability. Over two decades, the Managing Climate Variability Program (MCV) has been the lead research and development program in Australia for providing practical climate information and tools to:

Help primary producers and natural resource managers manage the risks and exploit opportunities, resulting from Australia's variable and changing climate, by:

  • Improving the accuracy of forecasting on timeframes of value for primary production
  • Providing climate products, services and tools for managing climate risk
  • Increasing knowledge and confidence to adopt climate risk management.

The current phase of MCV4 (2013/14 – 2015/16) has delivered a range of benefits, including:

  • Supporting the continued focus on developing Australia's seasonal climate modelling capability. This has resulted in identification of model improvements that will deliver a step change in forecast accuracy through more accurate and higher resolution forecasts (greater regional focus) over the next few years.
  • Recognition that improved seasonal forecasting is worth more than $1.5 billion per year to Australian agriculture.
  • Farmers want an improved forecast and without MCVP investment in this area, the focus of R&D would have been on other timeframes and much more relevant to other sectors of the economy.
  • Delivery of a range of research and development relating to:
    • Climate forecasting
    • Climate forecasting services
    • Climate risk management for agriculture
  • A comprehensive communications program that has delivered:
    • Clear articulation of the drivers of climate in Australia
    • Establishment of the Climate Kelpie website, that provides a key resource for farmers and advisers relating to climate variability.
    • Climag – a periodic production that communicates the latest climate research
    • The Climate Champions program – a trial of direct engagement of farmers across Australia to communicate the outputs of climate research and also to engage with climate researchers about farmer needs.
  • Delivery of a range of products, tools and services such as:
    • The CliMate App
    • Climate Kelpie Website
    • The products and tools primarily found on the BoM website.
  • A return of over $6.60 for each of the $24.1M invested to date.
  • Leveraging MCV funds by winning a Rural R&D for Profit grant that will deliver a $3.5M program of work for an investment of $0.8M.
  • The premier collaboration of agriculture sectors that delivers more than a program with single sector focus. Climate R&D requires a cross-sector, multi-disciplinary approach to be able to effectively address the range of issues requiring focus.
  • A strong and growing relationship with service provider and climate delivery organisations, such as the BoM, CSIRO, the ARC Centre of Excellence for Climate System Science, universities, state and territory governments and industry organisations. 

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This page was last updated on 28/12/2017

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