Australia's Top Models Capture Eyes at Science Conference

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The top models in the industry will be part of a climate change conference taking place in Australia this week. The scientists will be all eyes. Though you, like the scientists, may have gotten your hopes up that these models are of the human female variety, they're actually natural systems models -- though equally fascinating to see!

Over 650 experts in modelling and simulation from Australia and overseas are getting together this week to look at the best simulators and modeling systems to check out what different scenarios mean for climate change. Some of the systems include:

-Assess current and future water availability in four of Australia's major water systems, including the Murray-Darling Basin, Northern Australia, South-West Western Australia and Tasmania

-Make our skies safer by predicting the safest distances between different types of aircraft both in the air and at airports, and so form a basis for reliable rules for pilots and air traffic controllers

-Evaluate whether increased coral bleaching on Australia's Great Barrier Reef due to climate change will substantially impact the tourism industry and whether improved agricultural practices could improve water quality enough to mitigate this.

The different modeling systems are invaluable at being able to see the interconnectedness of players in natural environments, and to see how affecting one or some can affect the rest. It's a way to really display and understand the interdependence we share.

CSIRO Mathematical and Information Sciences chief and Congress speaker Dr Louise Ryan stated, "In the US, I worked on a model of how mercury from coal-fired power stations moves through a real food chain - from its release into the atmosphere and then into the water where it's absorbed by plankton and all the way through to humans... By painting a detailed mathematical picture of how different parts of the system affect each other, the model could predict what would happen to peoples' mercury levels, for example, if emissions levels were reduced in a nearby power plant."

Amazing stuff, and definitely worth keeping all eyes facing forward.

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