New Climate Mate set to work with farm­ers to help pre­dict sea­sons

Warwick Daily News - South West Queensland Rural Weekly - - Front Page - CAS­SAN­DRA GLOVER Cas­san­[email protected]­ral­weekly.com.au

PAUL Webb has re­cently been ap­pointed the Climate Mate for South­west Queens­land.

There have been eight Climate Mates ap­pointed across Aus­tralia as part of the North­ern Aus­tralian Climate Pro­gram.

Mr Webb said he was ex­cited to take on the role, which he started a month ago.

“I had a pre­vi­ous role in nat­u­ral re­source man­age­ment,” he said.

“I’m a full-time stu­dent do­ing my PhD at the Univer­sity of South­ern Queens­land, and this climate role re­lates to my re­search in sus­tain­able graz­ing sys­tems.

“It was just a great op­por­tu­nity for me to be a con­duit of in­for­ma­tion.”

Mr Webb said Aus­tralia has some of the best climate sci­en­tists in the world.

“In Toowoomba we host some of the sci­en­tists that lead the world in un­der­stand­ing climate sys­tems,” he said.

“Within the State Gov­ern­ment and the Aus­tralian Gov­ern­ment net­works we have some of the best pas­ture mod­el­ling sci­en­tists in the world who are in­ter­pret­ing all the avail­able climate in­for­ma­tion and re­mote sens­ing in­for­ma­tion to try and make that into use­ful in­for­ma­tion for gra­ziers and other agri­cul­tural in­dus­tries.”

As a Climate Mate, Mr Webb’s job will fo­cus on pre­sent­ing and dis­tribut­ing that in­for­ma­tion to farm­ers.

“I’ll be try­ing to get the climate in­for­ma­tion that USQ and the Bureau of Me­te­o­rol­ogy can now pro­duce, and try to make it palat­able, ac­ces­si­ble and also use­ful to gra­ziers,” Mr Webb said.

“We can look at rain­fall and pas­ture growth and try and pre­dict what might grow in the next few months.

“For the BoM and Aussie Grass, which is a mul­ti­ple-state gov­ern­ment con­glom­er­ate look­ing at pas­ture growth re­lated to climate, their ca­pac­ity to mea­sure pas­ture growth and rain­fall has in­creased a lot, but also their op­tions for pre­sent­ing in­for­ma­tion is im­prov­ing.

“They can put out pre­dic­tions now that we are 75 per cent con­fi­dent in.

“The idea is to make that in­for­ma­tion avail­able to gra­ziers to help them man­age risk.”

PHOTO: CAS­SAN­DRA GLOVER

NEW ROLE: Paul Webb has been ap­pointed as a Climate Mate for South­west Queens­land.

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