The University of Newcastle, Australia

The University's Centre for Water, Climate and Land will partner with Japan’s Space Agency JAXA in an Australian first for Climate Research

Wednesday, 23 September 2020

Led by Associate Professor Anthony Kiem from the School of Environmental and Life Sciences, this research will help better detect the beginning, end, spatial coverage, and intensity of droughts in Australia. This is a necessary first step in the development of adaptation strategies that reduce the economic, environmental, and social costs of droughts.

Associate Professor Anthony Kiem

It is estimated that drought costs $US6-8 billion a year globally due to losses in agriculture and related businesses alone – this does not include non-agricultural economic costs or the harder to define and measure non-economic costs (e.g. impacts on mental health and wellbeing, changes to community/culture, environmental damage etc.). This exciting research partnership will help to address these significant challenges associated with drought.

Dr Maki Kikuchi

This project represents a paradigm shift that supplements ground-based point observations with JAXA’s satellite remote sensing information about relevant hydrological and ecological processes that are linked to drought. This research represents the beginning of formal collaborations between JAXA and UON and will help UON researchers and students maximise opportunities associated with the recently (July 2020) signed Memorandum of Cooperation (MOC) between the Australian Space Agency and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA).

The research team is:

  • Associate Professor Anthony Kiem (Centre for Water, Climate and Land, UON Faculty of Science)
  • Associate Professor Greg Hancock (Centre for Water, Climate and Land, UON Faculty of Science)
  • Dr Andrew Magee (Centre for Water, Climate and Land, UON Faculty of Science)
  • Dr Maki Kikuchi (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency JAXA)
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