Ecosystems expert to compile collective climate change knowledge

women and penguin on sea ice
Dr Jessica Melbourne-Thomas on the sea ice in Antarctica (Photo: Peter Kimball)
Dr Jessica Melbourne-Thomas on the sea ice with emperor penguins behind

18th August 2017

An Antarctic ecosystems expert will lend her expertise to a prestigious international report investigating the impacts of climate change on oceans.

Australian Antarctic Division ecosystems modeller, Dr Jess Melbourne-Thomas, has been selected by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) to contribute to a Special Report on the Ocean and Cryosphere in a Changing Climate.

Dr Melbourne-Thomas will be a lead author on a chapter regarding polar regions.

“This is a really exciting opportunity and I feel very privileged to represent the collective expertise of researchers from the Australian Antarctic Division and the Australian polar research community more generally,” Dr Melbourne-Thomas said.

Dr Melbourne-Thomas joins 100 experts from 41 countries, including six from Australia, who will work on the Report as Coordinating Lead Authors, Lead Authors and Review Editors.

The Report will build on the work of the IPCC’s Fifth Assessment Report (AR5). Six chapters will focus on polar regions, high mountain regions, sea level rise, changes to marine ecosystems and extreme weather events and risk mitigation.

The Division’s Chief Scientist, Dr Gwen Fenton, said Dr Melbourne-Thomas will provide valuable expertise to the Report which will be used to inform policy makers around the world.

“It is great news that Dr Melbourne-Thomas is included as an author in the team writing Chapter Three on Polar Regions,” Dr Fenton said.

“The Australian Antarctic Division has a long record of contributing research and authors to the IPCC, which highlights the critical nature of the research we undertake not only to Australia but on a global scale.”

The Special Report on the Ocean and Cryosphere in a Changing Climate will be released in September 2019.