New Research Institute tackles climate change

Thursday, 9 August 2007

Tackling climate change will be the mission of a new University of Adelaide research institute to be launched by Premier Mike Rann on Monday, 13 August.

The Research Institute for Climate Change and Sustainability (RIsCCs) will bring together researchers from across each of the University's five faculties to undertake research on reducing carbon emissions and developing adaptive strategies to respond to the anticipated impacts of climate change.

"The challenge ahead to meet the State target for reductions in greenhouse gas emissions is substantial and will require the application of latest understanding and development of new technologies," says Professor Barry Brook, RIsCCs Director and the Sir Hubert Wilkins Chair of Climate Change.

"There is a lot of research across Australia on climate change but it is fragmented. The great strength and value of this new Research Institute will be in integrating research expertise from a range of different disciplines into a cohesive unit."

The keynote speaker at Monday's launch will be renowned climate change expert Dr Barrie Pittock, CSIRO Honorary Fellow, author of the book Climate Change - Turning up the Heat, and former foundation leader of the CSIRO Climate Impact Group.

University of Adelaide Vice-Chancellor and President Professor James McWha says: "This joint initiative between the University of Adelaide and the State Government, and collaboration with industry and other research organisations, will help put South Australia at the forefront of climate change research. It will help us to capitalise on existing research strengths and develop increased capacity in emerging areas of research, which will become increasingly important as climate change affects our lives."

Examples of research projects underway include:

  • Investigating the impact of elevated carbon dioxide on vine growth and production. Researchers aim to create an international facility of monitored vines under elevated carbon dioxide and temperature
  • Modelling ecological impacts of climate change with the view to managing species diversity
  • Developing quieter, low cost, micro wind turbines
  • Developing a number of combustion technologies to enhance the use of biomass fuels (renewable fuels) including the application of a new type of flame-less oxidation process
  • Developing systems to utilise concentrated solar energy for minerals processing
  • Establishment of an international research facility into geothermal energy


Contact Details

Professor Barry Brook
Director of Climate Science, Environment Institute
The University of Adelaide
(now at University of Tasmania)
Mobile: +61 420 958 400

Ms Robyn Mills
Media and Communications Officer
The University of Adelaide
Business: +61 8 8313 6341
Mobile: +61 410 689 084