Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Ocean study explores link with Australian and Indonesian rainfall

28.07.2004


A five-nation oceanographic team is taking the first steps in a $3.6 million project studying the major flow of ocean currents between Asia and Australia and how they influence rainfall across Southern Australia and Indonesia.

Scientists are investigating fluctuations in the flow of warm waters from the western Pacific Ocean draining through the Indonesian Archipelago into the Indian Ocean north of Australia.

"Our climate, and particularly the amount of rainfall across the country, is regulated by the oceans around Australia," says CSIRO’s Dr Susan Wijffels.



"Through new satellite and sub-surface technologies we are gradually building a picture of these key influences on rain-bearing cloud band systems in the eastern Indian Ocean. Over the next three years we hope to understand the variations that occur to the flow of currents including any effects of El Nino and La Nina events," Dr Wijffels says.

Dr Wijffels is co-leader of the project, called INSTANT. Sub-surface ocean monitoring equipment valued at more than $2 million has been moored at strategic ’choke’ points across the entry of the currents into Indonesia waters, and their exit to the Indian Ocean through Lombok and Ombai Straits and Timor Passage.

Partially funded by the Australian Greenhouse Office and CSIRO, the array of tidal gauges and ocean moorings will sample pressures, currents, temperature and salinity and provide a record of changing conditions.

Dr Wijffels says the INSTANT science team, comprising US, French, Dutch and Indonesian scientists, has successfully deployed highly sophisticated measuring instruments in the straits from the Indonesian research vessels, Baruna Jaya I and VIII.

She says the data collected will be compared with simple models and computer simulations of the tropical oceans, and the way the oceans then interact with the atmosphere.

"The atmosphere is very sensitive to the distribution of warm waters near the equator. In our region two large warm water pools exist – in the Western Pacific and Eastern Indian Ocean.

"We believe the exchange of warm low salinity water between the Pacific and Indian Oceans through the Indonesian passages will yield critical information on how these two ’pools’ of warm water in our region interact."

Dr Wijffels says it will be at least 18 months before scientists can retrieve the information obtained from the ocean instruments, which are sub-surface and will be serviced and redeployed by the INSTANT team using Indonesian ships in 2005.

Indonesian participation in the project will also have broad benefits, according to joint project Director, Dr Ir. Indroyono Soesilo, of the Indonesian Agency for Marine and Fisheries Research.

"Improved climate predictions will benefit many people living in areas affected by El Nino/La Nina and the Asian-Australian Monsoon," Dr Soesilo says.

"The Republic of Indonesia is strongly affected by these phenomena, and will be able to use the model projections to make informed management decisions regarding agricultural, water and fisheries resource issues and prepare for climate-related forest fires.

"Measurements of the way these waters mix in regions such as the Flores and Banda Seas will provide an important understanding of the processes that sustain fisheries stocks in these seas."

Dr Tony Haymet, Chief of CSIRO Marine Research, emphasises that the INSTANT team research is both an important international research project in its own right, and also a key step in the steady expansion of CSIRO’s research with partners in the oceans north and west of Australia.

Australia has an extensive oceans and climate research program, particularly in the Indian and Southern Oceans, and participates in many international monitoring projects such as the global float array Argo.

Craig Macaulay | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.csiro.au

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Do microplastics harbour additional risks by colonization with harmful bacteria?
05.04.2018 | Leibniz-Institut für Ostseeforschung Warnemünde

nachricht Rutgers-led innovation could spur faster, cheaper, nano-based manufacturing
14.02.2018 | Rutgers University

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Writing and deleting magnets with lasers

Study published in the journal ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces is the outcome of an international effort that included teams from Dresden and Berlin in Germany, and the US.

Scientists at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) together with colleagues from the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) and the University of Virginia...

Im Focus: Gamma-ray flashes from plasma filaments

Novel highly efficient and brilliant gamma-ray source: Based on model calculations, physicists of the Max PIanck Institute for Nuclear Physics in Heidelberg propose a novel method for an efficient high-brilliance gamma-ray source. A giant collimated gamma-ray pulse is generated from the interaction of a dense ultra-relativistic electron beam with a thin solid conductor. Energetic gamma-rays are copiously produced as the electron beam splits into filaments while propagating across the conductor. The resulting gamma-ray energy and flux enable novel experiments in nuclear and fundamental physics.

The typical wavelength of light interacting with an object of the microcosm scales with the size of this object. For atoms, this ranges from visible light to...

Im Focus: Basel researchers succeed in cultivating cartilage from stem cells

Stable joint cartilage can be produced from adult stem cells originating from bone marrow. This is made possible by inducing specific molecular processes occurring during embryonic cartilage formation, as researchers from the University and University Hospital of Basel report in the scientific journal PNAS.

Certain mesenchymal stem/stromal cells from the bone marrow of adults are considered extremely promising for skeletal tissue regeneration. These adult stem...

Im Focus: Like a wedge in a hinge

Researchers lay groundwork to tailor drugs for new targets in cancer therapy

In the fight against cancer, scientists are developing new drugs to hit tumor cells at so far unused weak points. Such a “sore spot” is the protein complex...

Im Focus: The Future of Ultrafast Solid-State Physics

In an article that appears in the journal “Review of Modern Physics”, researchers at the Laboratory for Attosecond Physics (LAP) assess the current state of the field of ultrafast physics and consider its implications for future technologies.

Physicists can now control light in both time and space with hitherto unimagined precision. This is particularly true for the ability to generate ultrashort...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Invitation to the upcoming "Current Topics in Bioinformatics: Big Data in Genomics and Medicine"

13.04.2018 | Event News

Unique scope of UV LED technologies and applications presented in Berlin: ICULTA-2018

12.04.2018 | Event News

IWOLIA: A conference bringing together German Industrie 4.0 and French Industrie du Futur

09.04.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Diamond-like carbon is formed differently to what was believed -- machine learning enables development of new model

19.04.2018 | Materials Sciences

Electromagnetic wizardry: Wireless power transfer enhanced by backward signal

19.04.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Ultrafast electron oscillation and dephasing monitored by attosecond light source

19.04.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>