GREENHOUSE conferences

The ACCSP supported the GREENHOUSE conference series, an internationally recognised forum for the latest Southern Hemisphere climate science.

GREENHOUSE 87 and the beginning of the ACCSP

Dr Graeme Pearman from CSIRO initiated and convened the first meeting, with GREENHOUSE 87 attracting some 260 participants. It was a five-day event held at Monash University in Clayton, Victoria, from 30 November to 4 December 1987. The Australian Government’s Commission for the Future also contributed to the event.

Before the conference, Dr Pearman and colleagues contacted researchers, supplying them with a scenario of the likely climate of Australia for the next 30 to 50 years. Each person contacted was asked to investigate the likely impacts of climate change on their field of expertise. The findings then led to a presentation at GREENHOUSE 87 and a refereed paper presented in the seminal publication, Greenhouse: Planning for Climate Change.

Two years later, the Commonwealth Government granted CSIRO and the Bureau of Meteorology funds to undertake research into the phenomenon, and the Climate Change Research Programme was established.

Early conferences

GREENHOUSE 94 in Wellington, New Zealand followed, organised jointly by CSIRO and the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA).

CSIRO successfully reintroduced the conference in Melbourne in 2005. Since then conferences have been held biennially, around the country.

GREENHOUSE 2005: Awareness, Abatement, Adaptation, Action (Melbourne)

Governor-General Major General Michael Jeffery opened the conference, which was also addressed by the Hon. Ian Campbell, Commonwealth Minister for the Environment and Heritage; and by the Hon. John Thwaites, Victoria’s Minister for Environment.

GREENHOUSE 2007: The latest science and technology (Sydney)

The 2007 Conference focused on projections, probabilities, people and perceptions, and was again opened by Governor-General Major General Michael Jeffery (via video). There were also speeches from the Hon. Malcolm Turnbull, Commonwealth Minister for the Environment and from the Hon. Phil Koperberg, the NSW Minister for Climate Change. Drs Neville Nicholls, David Karoly, Ann Henderson-Sellers, John Church, Bryson Bates, Matthew England, Graeme Pearman, Penny Whetton and Wenju Cai were just some of the eminent scientists presenting.

GREENHOUSE 2009: Climate change and resources (Perth)

Commonwealth Minister for Climate Change, Senator the Hon. Penny Wong opened the meeting via a video, and the Hon. Colin Barnett, Premier of Western Australia addressed the conference. CSIRO CEO Dr Megan Clark spoke, as did Prof. Jean Palutikof from the National Climate Change Adaptation Research Facility; Dr Michael McPhaden, NOAA; Prof. Axel Timmermann, University of Hawaii; and Dr Wolfgang Heidug from Shell International.

GREENHOUSE 2011: The science of climate change (Cairns)

There was an introductory video from the Hon. Greg Combet, Commonwealth Minister for Climate Change; and an opening address by the Hon. Kate Jones, Queensland Minister for Environment. Director of Meteorology, Dr Greg Ayers presented, as did Ms Jo Mummery, Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency; Dr Janice Lough, Australian Institute of Marine Science; and Dr Mark Gibbs, Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry.

GREENHOUSE 2013: The science of climate change (Adelaide)

The Hon. Jay Weatherill, Premier of South Australia, welcomed conference delegates, followed by IPCC Working Group 1 co-chair, Dr Thomas Stocker, who provided an overview of the Working Group 1 contribution to the IPCC Fifth Assessment Report. Other plenary speakers included Dr David Wratt, Chief Climate Scientist at NIWA; Dr Rob Vertessy, Director of the Bureau of Meteorology; Dr Ian Allison, Antarctic Climate and Ecosystems Cooperative Research Centre; and Prof. Will Steffen, Australian National University.

GREENHOUSE 2015: Atmosphere, oceans and ice (Hobart)

GREENHOUSE 2015 was opened by The Hon. Matthew Groom, Tasmanian Minister for State Growth, Energy, Environment, Parks and Heritage. The conference program featured plenary presentations from leading science, policy, adaptation and university representatives, with guest speakers including The Hon. Greg Hunt, Federal Minister for the Environment and Prof. Andrew Holmes, President of the Australian Academy of Sciences.