What is ClimateWatch?
ClimateWatch is a program that aims to monitor and collect Australian phenology data during seasonal events that will help understand the effects of climate change. ClimateWatch encourages the community to simply observe and record nature from their own backyard, out bushwalking or while on a designated ClimateWatch Trail
What is ClimateWatch’s objectives?
With the data collected, ClimateWatch aims to become a leading resource for environmental scientists studying the effects of climate change on biological systems. Few significant datasets on phenology – the timing of seasonal events in nature - have been collated in the Southern Hemisphere and ClimateWatch hopes to fill this knowledge gap. The data will help shape the country’s scientific response to climate change such as creating better land and resource management decisions and policies. At an individual level, ClimateWatch also hopes to enhance community understanding of climate change and appreciation for our natural systems. By motivating people to get out in nature, ClimateWatch also links to improving people’s overall wellbeing.
ClimateWatch and SWIFFT
Observations from ClimateWatch contribute to the SWIFFT Bio-calander to help us better understand natural biological processes that plants and animals undergo in response to seasonal variations in the environment. ClimateWatch can assist in building knowledge about Climate change and species response.
Who runs ClimateWatch?
ClimateWatch was created in 2009 and is an initiative of Earthwatch Institute, an international non-profit organisation that seeks to involve volunteers in scientific research and education to promote the understanding and action necessary for a sustainable environment. ClimateWatch was developed with the guidance and support from many scientists and technological experts and hasa Scientific Advisory Panel to help steer decisions and outcomes.
How is it funded?
In 2017, the Commonwealth Inspiring Australia Science Engagement Program, the Helen Macpherson Smith Trust, and the Department of Education and Training Strategic Partnerships Program provided generous support to the ClimateWatch program. This allowed increased citizen engagement in Australia’s response to the challenge of climate change, developing new ClimateWatch trails, free curriculum resources, and updating the mobile app and website. ClimateWatch is also supported by numerous delivery partners including Gaia Resources, Cool Australia, Atlas of Living Australia, and the Biodiversity Climate Change Virtual Laboratory.
In order to understand, predict and mitigate the effects of climate change on biodiversity, scientists have identified an urgent need for large-scale data gathering to assess how biological systems are responding. This is particularly pressing in Australia, where the combination of unique flora and fauna occupying a low lying, fragmented landscape will dramatically elevate extinction rates.
How do I get involved?
- ClimateWatch can be used by anyone, anywhere in Australia. The species lists and field guides can be reached on our website and species sightings can be made on our website or on our free mobile app. Every record contributes to our understanding of how our species are responding to climate change.
- ClimateWatch trails: walk one of our many ClimateWatch trails, or contact us to create your own! Earthwatch has developed ClimateWatch monitoring trials in various locations across Australia where citizen scientists can record indicator species. View ClimateWatch trails in Victoria.
- ClimateWatch in Parks: become involved in the ClimateWatch in Parks program. This is a new partnership between Earthwatch and Parks Victoria. Through this program, new ClimateWatch Trails will be created in select parks and reserves, connecting schools and communities through educational workshops and free educational resources.
Earthwatch Institute: Suite G-07, 60L Green Building, 60 Leicester Street, Carlton VIC 3053
+61 3 9016 7590