2017 ANU Climate Annual Report

In 2017, ANU has made significant contributions towards understanding the earth’s systems, climate impacts and adaptation, mitigation, institutional responses and transformational approaches.

The ANU Climate Change Institute (CCI) is delighted to share with you some of our highlights from 2017 – these represent a tiny snapshot of the work happening across the university.


Message from the Director

"It’s very hard to escape the conclusion that we’re causing a huge change in the functioning of the earth system – it’s impacting humans, it’s impacting our environments and it’s impacting our economies. This is why it’s really important for ANU to engage in a very cross-disciplinary way to address these issues."

Professor Mark Howden
Director of the ANU Climate Change Institute


Research highlights

The CCI brings together cutting edge climate research – from fundamental climate science and its effects on our biophysical environment, to societal, economic, political, legal and technological impacts and responses.

CCI keywords infographic

ANU Climate Research

Here is a small sample (far from comprehensive) which demonstrates the breadth of climate research across ANU:

Removing atmospheric greenhouse gases »

Technologies for removing greenhouse gas emissions is an emerging research frontier required for a safe climate.

Melbourne & Sydney to prepare for temperatures of over 50C »

The increase in Australian summer temperatures indicates that other major cities should also be prepared for unprecedented future extreme heat.

Dr Sophie Lewis

US climate inaction is bigger than Trump »

The US has committed to withdraw from Paris, abolished domestic climate policies and emissions are set to increase, or at best stabilise.

Dr Luke Kemp

Working together to reduce infection in extreme weather events »

Health professionals and climate forecasters need to work together more closely ahead of extreme weather events and climate change.

Dr Aparna Lal


Education spotlight

Over 50 climate courses across ANU

ANU runs over 50 undergraduate and postgraduate courses that address the multiple dimensions of climate change, from climate science to economics, law, policy and governance aspects of climate change vulnerability, adaptation and mitigation.

Master of Climate Change

CCI short professional courses for government departments

The Climate Change Institute regularly delivers short professional courses on recent advances in climate science and the social, policy, economic and governance aspects of climate change for policy makers and professionals. Our clients include government departments and commercial participants. Here's what they said:

Fantastic overview of climate change and relevance to key areas of our work including disaster, food security, water security, migration & health.

This was the first time I've experienced such a targeted professional development course run by academics.

In 2017 CCI launched the Climate Change Institute PhD supplementary scholarship which offers $7,500pa for ANU PhD scholars undertaking interdisciplinary research with a cross-ANU supervisory team.

Public policy engagement

CCI members are engaged with policy makers at an international, national, and state / territory level on an ongoing basis.

Here are few examples:

Hosted 6 policy roundtable discussions, attended by over 150 people.
4 targeted parliamentary briefings on sea level rise
7 policy submissions on climate change.
Leadership roles in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change

Developing a community of climate researchers and teachers - our people

60 undergraduate courses 6 leadership roles with IPCC
251 members
24 out of 27 ANU Schools
60% membership growth in 2017

The strength of the Climate Change Institute is in the breadth of research it covers – there are hundreds of people working on climate change at ANU and I’ve had the chance to interact with other researchers via the CCI that I never would have otherwise.

Dr Sophie Lewis

Dr Sophie Lewis
Fenner School of Environment and Society


ANU climate outreach

ANU Climate coasters

The Climate Change Institute collaborated closely with ANU School of Design to develop the 'climate coasters’, a tangible visualisation of 2017 climate data.


ANU climate events

18 CCI public lectures & Climate Cafes
Over 1500 audience members
34 climate related public seminars at ANU
94% of those surveyed would tell others about the event

What people said


In the media

The media is a vital channel for communicating ANU climate research to the broader community. Climate researchers across ANU engage with media on a daily basis.

Here are a few examples of 2017 media coverage:

‘A step back’: Emissions rise as world economy gathers pace »

Featuring Professor Frank Jotzo, Sydney Morning Herald, 13 Nov 2017.

We need to get rid of carbon in the atmosphere not just reduce emissions »

Professor Eelco Rohling, The Conversation, 20 April 2017.

2016 crowned hottest year on record: Australia needs to get heat smart »

Dr Liz Hanna, Dr Kathyrn Bowen, Professor Mark Howden, The Conversation, 19 Jan 2017.


Keep in touch

If you’d like to get involved in ANU climate change activities, email climate@anu.edu.au and subscribe to our regular e-newsletter and follow us on social media.