SARDI's Climate Applications Unit is part of the Sustainable Systems research division and is based at the Waite Campus, Urrbrae, South Australia.
The Climate Applications group works closely with other research organisations to deliver findings directly to farmers regarding climate change and variability. This application will allow for a greater adaptive capacity for farmers who deal with dry and erratic climate in southern Australia.
As the driest State, SA is vulnerable to both season-to-season climate variability, and longer term climate change when the outlook is for hotter and drier conditions. While natural and agricultural systems in SA are exposed and sensitive to changes and fluctuations in climate, there are many coping strategies available from existing and emerging technologies.
Capabilities introduced into SARDI's Sustainable Systems group enable it to undertake research projects that place greater emphasis on adaptation to climate change in providing future sustainable agriculture.
The unit also provides opportunities for PhD students and Honours students to undertake research related to climate risk.
SARDI Climate Applications is highly regarded nationally for leading applied adaption research projects such as investigations into the mechanisms of heat stress and frost stress in crops and improving the water use efficiency of grain farming systems.
The group works across two areas:
The Climate Applications team works closely with SARDI Viticulture to improve the coping ability of SA's winegrape growing industry for a warmer and water-constrained future. The team maintains leadership in viticulture climate applications, physiology and modelling, dryland farming and livestock management. New directions will place more emphasis on enhancing natural resources and biosecurity.
One of the group's strengths is its high degree of industry involvement and interaction in exploring the adaptive capacity with land managers which ensures research solutions are delivered on the ground. Insights generated from the science program's research are accessed nationally and integrated into scientific knowledge to drive policy to use resources more efficiently and advance efforts to develop new crops and land management systems suited to changing conditions.