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 Smart Data Transformation – Surfing the Big Wave
02.12.2016 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Angewandte Informationstechnik FIT

nachricht Climate change could outpace EPA Lake Champlain protections
18.11.2016 | University of Vermont

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: Electron highway inside crystal

Physicists of the University of Würzburg have made an astonishing discovery in a specific type of topological insulators. The effect is due to the structure of the materials used. The researchers have now published their work in the journal Science.

Topological insulators are currently the hot topic in physics according to the newspaper Neue Zürcher Zeitung. Only a few weeks ago, their importance was...

Im Focus: Significantly more productivity in USP lasers

In recent years, lasers with ultrashort pulses (USP) down to the femtosecond range have become established on an industrial scale. They could advance some applications with the much-lauded “cold ablation” – if that meant they would then achieve more throughput. A new generation of process engineering that will address this issue in particular will be discussed at the “4th UKP Workshop – Ultrafast Laser Technology” in April 2017.

Even back in the 1990s, scientists were comparing materials processing with nanosecond, picosecond and femtosesecond pulses. The result was surprising:...

Im Focus: Shape matters when light meets atom

Mapping the interaction of a single atom with a single photon may inform design of quantum devices

Have you ever wondered how you see the world? Vision is about photons of light, which are packets of energy, interacting with the atoms or molecules in what...

Im Focus: Novel silicon etching technique crafts 3-D gradient refractive index micro-optics

A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.

Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...

Im Focus: Quantum Particles Form Droplets

In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.

“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ICTM Conference 2017: Production technology for turbomachine manufacturing of the future

16.11.2016 | Event News

Innovation Day Laser Technology – Laser Additive Manufacturing

01.11.2016 | Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

Researchers identify potentially druggable mutant p53 proteins that promote cancer growth

09.12.2016 | Life Sciences

Scientists produce a new roadmap for guiding development & conservation in the Amazon

09.12.2016 | Ecology, The Environment and Conservation

Satellites, airport visibility readings shed light on troops' exposure to air pollution

09.12.2016 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>