National Committee for Earth System Science

The National Committee for Earth System Science (NCESS) fosters the development of an active community of Earth systems science researchers in Australia. It also provides representation and facilitation of core disciplinary components such as atmospheric and ocean sciences and supports cross-disciplinary aspects of Earth systems science.

The core objectives of the committee derive from the NCESS Plan 2010 To live within Earth’s limits: An Australian plan to develop a science of the whole Earth system. Other broad aims include communication and reporting of Earth system science, advocacy for the funding needs of the ESS community, championing the ESS agenda and promoting Australian connections to international Earth system science.

The NCESS plan encompasses the development of a broader cross-academy approach to Earth system science in Australia that meshes with the Future Earth initiative of the International Science Council (ISC).


Reports and activities

Related groups and organisations


  • Chair: Dr John Finnigan FAA
    • CSIRO Environment, ANU, Research School of Biology
    • Research expertise: Climate, Earth sciences, atmospheric physics, and turbulence
  • Committee member: Professor Julie Arblaster
    • Monash University, School of Earth Atmosphere and Environment
    • Research expertise: Climate variability, climate extreme, climate modelling, climate change, stratospheric ozone
  • Committee member: Professor Timothy Bedding
    • The University of Sydney, School of Physics
    • Research expertise: Asteroseismology
  • Committee member: Professor Andy Pitman FAA
    • The University of New South Wales, Chief Investigator, ARC Centre of Excellence for Climate System Science
    • Research expertise: Terrestrial processes in global and regional climate modelling, model evaluation and earth systems approach
  • Committee member: Dr Stephanie Downes
    • Australian National University, Research School of Earth Sciences
    • Research expertise: Tracing large-scale circulation using physical and biogeochemical tracers
  • Committee member: Associate Professor Alex Sen Gupta
    • University of New South Wales, research scientist and lecturer at the Climate Change Research Centre (CCRC) and the Centre for Marine Science and Innovation (CMSI), Chief Investigator, ARC Australian Centre of Excellence for Antarctic Science
    • Research expertise: Ocean influences on regional climates, climate models, marine heatwaves
  • Committee member: Dr Debbie Hudson
    • Bureau of Meteorology, Principal Research Scientist
    • Research expertise: Weather, climate, and water monitoring and forecast services
  • Committee member: Professor Xuemei Bai
    • Australian National University, Professor of Urban Environment and Human Ecology
    • Research expertise: Urban sustainability, land use and environmental planning, human geography.
  • Committee member: Dr Mark Stafford Smith
    • CSIRO, Honorary Fellow (retired from Chief Coordinating Scientist - Adaptation)
    • Research expertise: Systems ecology, adaptation, arid zone ecology, sustainable development
  • Committee member: Dr Doerte Jakob
    • Bureau of Meteorology, National Forecast Services
    • Research expertise: Climate, climate variability, and rainfall
  • Committee member: Dr Will Howard
    • Commonwealth Government Climate Change Authority, Lead Scientist
    • Research expertise: Climate science and adaptation, climate policy, negative emissions

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