Rangelands NRM’s Program Manager and local NACP Climate Mate, Jardine MacDonald, presented at this week’s Australian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society’s Annual Meeting and International Conference on Indian Ocean Meteorology and Oceanography (AMOS 2020) in Fremantle.
Jardine presented his lessons so far alongside the NACP (Northern Australia Climate Program) team session, titled “Avoiding the Curse of Knowledge: Communicating Science from an End User’s Perspective,”. The NACP outlined how researchers can make climateresearch and communication more relevant to primary producers with the goals of improved dissemination and uptake.
Some key points Jardine made, drawn from his experience at Rangelands and in previous roles, include the importance of accurate (rather than precise) forecast of the wet season, along with robust climate understanding to inform feed budgeting. In turn, good feed budgeting keeps ground cover, retaining moisture and buffers temperature, improving soil health and biology, and reduces runoff erosion – all of which build resilience to climate fluctuations.
He suggested that to improve uptake of climate knowledge and forecasts requires tools and information that are clear, simple and regionally relatable. For example, the climate kelpies for understanding our climate drivers, the CliMate app for assessing climate data at a Station, and the NACP monthly outlooks for a synthesised forecast.
His message to think holistically also struck a chord with the audience, particularly when it came to capturing traditional science and natural seasonal cues.