The research identifies links between large scale variations in the ocean and impacts on the marine environment off WA. It focuses on identifying ocean-processes that feed back to the atmosphere and give persistence and predictability to climate anomalies.
Node 2 has three projects with the Bureau of Meteorology, CSIRO’s Wealth from Oceans National Research Flagship and the Australian Institute of Marine Science.
Research projects include:
- identifying large-scale variations in the ocean and its effect on the WA marine ecosystem;
- predicting future changes in the eastern Indian and subantarctic Southern Ocean and their effect on WA’s marine environment;
- projecting climate change signals in the Leeuwin Current;
- assessing the impacts of climate change at Ningaloo Reef;
- forecasting seasonal changes of large-scale ocean off the WA coast;
- identifying ocean-processes that interact with the atmosphere and provide help predict irregular climate events; and
- delivering climate research on a variety of scales, from the entire Indian Ocean, the Leeuwin Current, to Ningaloo Reef, and ranging from seasonal, inter-annual, to long-term changes.
- An enhanced warming trend off WA has been measured and is linked to changes in regional atmospheric circulation.
- The Indonesian Throughflow and Leeuwin Current flow rates have reduced by 25 to 30 per cent since 1960s – a decline probably caused by more frequent El Niño events in the Pacific in recent decades, and by climate change.
- The Indian Ocean Dipole events can be accurately forecast one to two seasons in advance.
- The strength of the Leeuwin Current can be accurately forecast six months to one year in advance.
- Observation systems have been set up for long term monitoring of the environment off the Ningaloo Reef tract.