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Climate Change


Knowledge integration and predicting biophysical response to climate change

Other Details: 

Kimberly Marine Research Program: Project 2.2.7
Location: Kimberley
Project Leader: Ming Feng, CSIRO
Telephone: 9333 6512

Final Report

Climate_Change_WAMSI KMRP Project 2.2.7_Feng et al 2017 FINAL

Project Summary

Aims of the project

1. A detailed analysis and review of influences of the past climate variability and change on ocean temperature, salinity, sea levels, and shelf current off the Kimberley coast

2. Projected future changes in the physical environment off the Kimberley coast using downscaled numerical model

3. An improved understanding of climate change impacts on key biophysical indicators such as coastal water retentions and dispersals off the Kimberley coast

Proposed Methods

In this project, we propose a staged research to assess and downscale the climate impacts on the physical environment off the Kimberley coast and their impacts on marine biota. Historical data and numerical model outputs will be used to identify sensitivity of ocean temperature, sea level, and shelf circulations off the  Kimberley coast to natural and anthropogenic climate drivers in the Indo-Pacific Ocean. A nested modelling approach will be used to downscale future changes of the physical environment such as ocean temperature, ocean circulation off the Kimberley coast. The downscaled model outputs will be used to understand shelf water retention and dispersals under different forcing scenarios.

Research Articles
Zhang N, Feng M, Hendon HH, Hobday AJ, Zinke J. (2017) Opposite polarities of ENSO drive distinct patterns of coral bleaching potentials in the southeast Indian Ocean. Scientific Reports doi:10.1038/s41598-017-02688-y
Ming Feng, Jessica Benthuysen, Ningning Zhang and Dirk Slawinski (October 2015) Freshening anomalies in the Indonesian throughflow and impacts on the Leeuwin Current during 2010–2011 Research Letters DOI: 10.1002/2015GL065848
Yan Du, Yuhong Zhang, Ming Feng, Tianyu Wang, Ningning Zhang & Susan Wijffels Decadal trends of the upper ocean salinity in the tropical Indo-Pacific since mid-1990s Scientific Reports 5, Article number: 16050 (2015) doi:10.1038/srep16050
Jens Zinke, A. Hoell, J.M. Lough, M. Feng, A.J. Kuret, H. CLarke, V. Ricca, K. Rankenburg, & M.T. McCulloch (October 2015) Coral record of southeast Indian Ocean marine heatwaves with intensified Western Pacific temperature gradient, Nature Communications doi:10.1038/ncomms9562
Ming Feng, Harry H. Hendon, Shang-Ping Xie4, Andrew G. Marshall, Andreas Schiller, Yu Kosaka, Nick Caputi and Alan Pearce 2015. Decadal increase in Ningaloo Niño since the late 1990s. Geophysical Research Letters, 42(1), doi: 10.1002/2014GL062509.



Feng M. Opposite polarities of ENSO drive distinct patterns of coral bleaching potentials off WA coast. 2017 WAMSI Research Conference (video of presentation) Presentation slides

Ming Feng, Dirk Slawinski, Kenji Shimizu, Ningning Zhang Predicting biophysical response to climate change WAMSI Presentation at Parks and Wildlife, Kensington (29 August 2017) (Presentation slides)



Climate swings enhance marine heatwave risk off the Kimberley coast (WAMSI Bulletin May 2017)
Giant corals reveal WA's heatwave history (WAMSI Bulletin October 2015)
The good-news El Niño story for Western Australia’s oceans (The Conversation May 2015)
Indian Ocean creates its own flow-on effect (WAMSI BUlletin November 2015)