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The EcoAdapt project

Watch as Dr Serena Lee and Dan Ware discuss their research on dealing with the effects of climate change as a part of the Griffith EcoAdapt project.

The EcoAdapt project is a program at Griffith University, Australia, to address climate change in the Pacific. The project uses data from a variety of sources to understand the effects of climate change on communities in least developed island nations.

Dealing with the effects of climate change

The aim of the EcoAdapt project is to identify appropriate interventions in the coastal zones of islands to deal with the current and future effects of climate change. One task of the project is to establish an ocean-circulation model for the South-West Pacific. The model is required to assess coastal erosion on the islands.

The challenges

Variety of data

While ocean-circulation data and models based on that data exist, the challenge for the project is in the variety of data. Global ocean-circulation data has to be merged with regional ocean-circulation data. The global and regional datasets do not align and sometimes rely on different measurements, such as the number of water layers per depth.

Incomplete data

In addition, the existing data may not be sufficient to make decisions on interventions for individual islands. Therefore, additional data needs to be collected and matched to the format of existing datasets.

Community partnerships

To gather data, the research team needed to deploy tidal gauges on the coral reefs in Port Resolution, Vanuatu. This was a tricky task as dive tanks were not available in the area. A local free diver, Nelson, provided a solution. He helped in the deployment by placing the equipment for the research team.

The tidal gauges remain in place over time to gather data. While the research team were not on the island, the instruments were cared for by the community, with Nelson diving to check on them. Partnerships with citizens in local communities help make achieving research objectives and gathering data possible.

Your task

Watch the video to hear Dr Serena Lee and Dan Ware discuss their research on dealing with the effects of climate change as a part of the Griffith EcoAdapt project.

Refer back to the challenges of big data analytics (in Step 1.7): data access, inconsistent and incomplete data, heterogeneity of data, and data privacy and protection. Which of these challenges could the EcoAdapt project face?

Share your thoughts in the comments.

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Big Data Analytics: Opportunities, Challenges and the Future

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