Griffith climate change expert presents at World Science Festival Brisbane

Griffith climate change expert Brendan Mackey recently headlined the World Science Festival Brisbane as part of a panel discussion about ways to save Australia’s iconic reefs from decline.

Director of Griffith’s Climate Change Response Program Professor Mackey provided a policy perspective on how Australia, and the world, needs to adapt to climate change before it’s too late.


Griffith University Environmental Sciences
Professor Brendan Mackey (Photo credit: Griffith University)

“We are locked into climate change for thousands of years,” he said.

“Even if we stop burning fossil fuels tomorrow it will keep disrupting the climate system so we have to learn to live with it.

“Climate change adaptation is not something you do once; it needs to become part of our thinking and planning in all sectors and at the moment we are doing this very poorly.”

The panel discussion, led by the Department of Environment and Heritage Protection, focused on how to achieve a global approach to save the world’s reefs.

Professor Mackey’s latest research project explores the impact of climate change on the coastal zone of the Pacific Ocean in Melanesia.

“We are taking a multidisciplinary approach to this research by collaborating with social scientists, micro-economists, ecologists, ocean current modelers and system analysts,” he said.

“In the long term, sea levels will keep rising and ocean currents are changing with rising temperatures. All of this will lead to big changes in the coastal zones, so we are trying to understand what is happening.

“We will be providing solutions and approaches to help people adapt to these changes in ecologically and culturally appropriate ways.”

Griffith University was an academic partner of the World Science Festival Brisbane, which was held March 9 to 13.

The annual festival (this year held in Brisbane) takes science out of the laboratory and into the streets, parks, museums, galleries and premier performing arts venues of Brisbane’s Cultural Precinct in South Banks.

A range of Griffith’s experts joined international leaders from across science and the arts for four action-packed days of public science at its best.

A Griffith expert in 3D scanning was also featured as a key presenter at the festival when he uncovered the secrets behind the WWI German war tank Mephisto.


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