“From ocean measurements and by analysing climate simulations we can see there are changes in features of the ocean that cannot be explained by natural variability,” said CSIRO oceanographer Dr Gael Alory.
“These oceanic changes are almost certainly linked to changes in the heat structure of the atmosphere and have led to a rise in water temperatures in the sub-tropical Indian Ocean of around two degrees celsius.
“At the same time, we are seeing changes in ocean circulation in tropical regions as a result of a long-term weakening of the Pacific Ocean trade winds. This affects sea surface temperature in regions relevant to the source and distribution of rainfall across southern Australia,” Dr Alory said.
The research – by Dr Alory, his CSIRO Wealth from Oceans National Research Flagship colleague, Dr Gary Meyers, and CSIRO Marine and Atmospheric’s Dr Susan Wijffels – has recently appeared in the journal, Geophysical Research Letters. The paper examines trends in Indian Ocean temperatures over 40 years that can help scientists and resource managers understand fluctuations in rainfall patterns over southern Australia.
The research, contributing to the Australian Climate Change Science Program and partly funded by the South East Australia Climate Initiative, combined access to ocean observations using the volunteer ‘ships of opportunity’ program and a set of models used by scientists in developing the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Fourth Assessment. Thanks to the operators and crew of commercial ships, Australian scientists have access to a regular series of ocean measurements to a depth of 800 metres across the Indian Ocean.
“The cooling is occurring between Australia and Indonesia where the Indonesian throughflow emerges into the Indian Ocean and is linked to the observed weakening of Pacific Ocean trade-winds,”The team’s key findings were:
a general warming of the ocean surface indicating the influence of rising atmospheric temperatures;
a strong warming (about 2°C over 40 years) between 40°S and 50°S down to a depth of 800 metres;
and, sub-surface cooling in the tropics due to deep waters rising closer to the surface.
Dr Alory says the research confirmed a long-held view that temperature changes in the Pacific and Indian oceans can be partly explained by the effect of the ‘Indonesian throughflow’ – a system of currents which transports water between the oceans through the maze of straits and passages in the Indonesian Archipelago.
“The cooling is occurring between Australia and Indonesia where the Indonesian throughflow emerges into the Indian Ocean and is linked to the observed weakening of Pacific Ocean trade-winds,” he says. The models also helped to explain trends in the subtropical Indian Ocean temperatures and changes in relevant ocean features. In this area, the deep-reaching warming is due to a strengthening of westerly winds drawing a southward shift in ocean current patterns. These findings are consistent with research in the South Atlantic and South Pacific ocean basins.
He said that the change in atmospheric conditions altering ocean temperatures – weakening of Pacific Ocean trade winds and strengthening of westerly winds – have been mostly attributed to human activity: the production of aerosols (tiny atmospheric particles), ozone depletion, and greenhouse gases. Strengthening westerlies are related to changes in the Southern Annular Mode – an atmospheric feature similar to the El Nino Southern Oscillation and considered the dominant influence on Southern Hemisphere atmospheric variability.
Dr Alory said climate models used in the IPCC Fourth Assessment show that changes in westerly wind patterns are expected to intensify in a global warming scenario and to accentuate the southward shift in sub-tropical ocean circulation patterns.
Dr. Gael Alory | EurekAlert!
Joint research project on wastewater for reuse examines pond system in Namibia
19.12.2016 | Technische Universität Darmstadt
Scientists produce a new roadmap for guiding development & conservation in the Amazon
09.12.2016 | Wildlife Conservation Society
Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.
As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...
At TU Wien, an alternative for resource intensive formwork for the construction of concrete domes was developed. It is now used in a test dome for the Austrian Federal Railways Infrastructure (ÖBB Infrastruktur).
Concrete shells are efficient structures, but not very resource efficient. The formwork for the construction of concrete domes alone requires a high amount of...
Many pathogens use certain sugar compounds from their host to help conceal themselves against the immune system. Scientists at the University of Bonn have now, in cooperation with researchers at the University of York in the United Kingdom, analyzed the dynamics of a bacterial molecule that is involved in this process. They demonstrate that the protein grabs onto the sugar molecule with a Pac Man-like chewing motion and holds it until it can be used. Their results could help design therapeutics that could make the protein poorer at grabbing and holding and hence compromise the pathogen in the host. The study has now been published in “Biophysical Journal”.
The cells of the mouth, nose and intestinal mucosa produce large quantities of a chemical called sialic acid. Many bacteria possess a special transport system...
UMD, NOAA collaboration demonstrates suitability of in-orbit datasets for weather satellite calibration
"Traffic and weather, together on the hour!" blasts your local radio station, while your smartphone knows the weather halfway across the world. A network of...
Fiber-reinforced plastics (FRP) are frequently used in the aeronautic and automobile industry. However, the repair of workpieces made of these composite materials is often less profitable than exchanging the part. In order to increase the lifetime of FRP parts and to make them more eco-efficient, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) and the Apodius GmbH want to combine a new measuring device for fiber layer orientation with an innovative laser-based repair process.
Defects in FRP pieces may be production or operation-related. Whether or not repair is cost-effective depends on the geometry of the defective area, the tools...
10.01.2017 | Event News
09.01.2017 | Event News
05.01.2017 | Event News
16.01.2017 | Trade Fair News
16.01.2017 | Automotive Engineering
16.01.2017 | Life Sciences