Table Of ContentsNext Page

CLIMARC - Computerising the Australian Climate Archives

Clarkson, N.M. Mr; ph: (07) 4688 1248; fax: (07) 4688 1477;

Research organisation: Queensland Centre for Climate Applications, Queensland Department of Primary Industries, PO Box 102, Toowoomba Qld 4350

Collaborators: Bureau of Meteorology (BoM), Qld Department of Natural Resources (DNR), Agricultural Production Systems Research Unit, (APSRU).

Sponsors: LWRRDC, Land and Water Resources Research and Development Corporation (National Climate Variability Program), Bureau of Meteorology (BoM), Queensland Department of Primary Industries, Queensland Department of Natural Resources (DNR), Agricultural Production Systems Research Unit (APSRU), CSIRO Tropical Agriculture, Agriculture Western Australia, Bureau of Rural Sciences (BRS), NSW Agriculture.


1. To computerise daily climate data for 50 key stations across Australia;

2. To produce a CD of complete climate data for the 50 stations;

3. To link with the LWRRDC funded SILO project so that spatially interpolated 'drill down' data is available;

4. To demonstrate with examples the errors and omissions in agricultural computer model output (crops and pastures) from not having pre-1957 data available;

5. To show the importance of the data for documenting climate change and judging extreme events.


The absence of pre-1957 data reduces the nation's ability to manage climatic risks and opportunities:

  • computer models unable to simulate long-term agricultural production (nil or inaccurate records before 1957)
  • consequent loss of climate signal for developing forecast tools, (e.g. frost prediction for managing crops)
  • unable to determine size of man-induced climate change (affects government response to global warming)
  • unable to develop spatially interpolated climate data without a core set of long-term records

Pre-1957 daily climate data for 50 locations in Australia will be punched and quality checked in Melbourne using BoM software. The data will then be used in the GRASP (pasture) and APSIM (crop) models to investigate errors caused by the current use of incomplete or simulated data sets. The data will also be used by DNR's Resource Sciences Centre to develop a spatially interpolated climate grid covering the whole of Australia. A CD-Rom of climate data will also be produced.

Progress: Project approved, data entry positions to be advertised in December 1998, selection of 50 stations to be finalised in January 1999, data entry to commence in March 1999.

 Period: starting date 1998-10; completion date 2002-06

Status: ongoing

Keywords: climate analysis, climate change; agricultural models

Publications: None as yet


Top Of PageNext Page