Climate and Computer Modelling
temperature patterns of our global oceans and the
seas around Australia influence changes in rainfall and the
evolution of our climate, which are important issues for our
environment and several primary industries.
in the ocean also affect our maritime industries
such as oil and gas production.
and predicting these changes requires detail knowledge of
the ocean and of the links between marine systems
ocean models are now able to accurately simulate
and, in some cases, predict the temperature, and salinity,
sea level and currents of the Indian, Pacific and Southern
Oceans. These oceans most directly impact the Australian climate
and its environment.
work with the Bureau of Meteorology Research Centre,
and the assistance of Land and Water Australia's Climate Variability
in Agriculture Program, scientists at CSIRO Marine and Atmospheric
Research are using advance computer facilities to develop
and improve ocean models for a large variety of environmental
and climate applications. Key facilities are the High
Performance Computing and Communication Centre (HPCCC)
in Melbourne, and the Tasmanian Partnership for Advanced Computing
in Hobart and lead by the University of Tasmania.
ocean models are able to capture those processes such as upper
ocean heat storage, that are believed to be important
influences on Australian climate. Coupled with the Bureau's
atmospheric model, they provide an ability to predict droughts
and floods. (In its seasonal outlooks, the Bureau's National
Climate Centre refers to the state of tropical Pacific and
Indian Ocean ocean conditions as key influences).
results from these coupled models give primary producers and
resource managers a better basis for long-term planning and
decision-making. The coupled models are being incorporated
into the operational systems of the Bureau and will provide
regular forecasts for seasonal climate variations with lead-times
in excess of six months.
global ocean models are being run on the HPCCC SX-5 machines;
one with coarse resolution suited to climate studies, the
other having a finer resolution for regional research. Both
models are based on the Modular Ocean Model code developed
by the Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory (Princeton, USA).
finer resolution model is able to simulate details of the
Leeuwin Current and the East Australian Currents, as well
as the Indonesian throughflow, all of which are important
influences on Australia.
Blue Ocean Forecasting Australia project
being developed by the Bureau of Meteorology Research Centre,
CSIRO and the Royal Australian Navy centres on ocean prediction-analysis
and forecasting of day-to-day variations in ocean currents
project will enable resolution and simulation of fine-scale
features such as eddies associated with topography and coastal
currents, aspects that are very important for a number of
applications, including defence.
models also have other applications and users - local fishing
communities, primary producers and agricultural marketing
authorities, government agencies responsible for ecosystem
management, shipping and transport and risk management in
industries such as oil and gas production.