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 Self-organising system enables motile cells to form complex search pattern
07.05.2019 | Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster

nachricht Mouse studies show minimally invasive route can accurately administer drugs to brain
02.05.2019 | Johns Hopkins Medicine

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: Successfully Tested in Praxis: Bidirectional Sensor Technology Optimizes Laser Material Deposition

The quality of additively manufactured components depends not only on the manufacturing process, but also on the inline process control. The process control ensures a reliable coating process because it detects deviations from the target geometry immediately. At LASER World of PHOTONICS 2019, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will be demonstrating how well bi-directional sensor technology can already be used for Laser Material Deposition (LMD) in combination with commercial optics at booth A2.431.

Fraunhofer ILT has been developing optical sensor technology specifically for production measurement technology for around 10 years. In particular, its »bd-1«...

Im Focus: The hidden structure of the periodic system

The well-known representation of chemical elements is just one example of how objects can be arranged and classified

The periodic table of elements that most chemistry books depict is only one special case. This tabular overview of the chemical elements, which goes back to...

Im Focus: MPSD team discovers light-induced ferroelectricity in strontium titanate

Light can be used not only to measure materials’ properties, but also to change them. Especially interesting are those cases in which the function of a material can be modified, such as its ability to conduct electricity or to store information in its magnetic state. A team led by Andrea Cavalleri from the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter in Hamburg used terahertz frequency light pulses to transform a non-ferroelectric material into a ferroelectric one.

Ferroelectricity is a state in which the constituent lattice “looks” in one specific direction, forming a macroscopic electrical polarisation. The ability to...

Im Focus: Determining the Earth’s gravity field more accurately than ever before

Researchers at TU Graz calculate the most accurate gravity field determination of the Earth using 1.16 billion satellite measurements. This yields valuable knowledge for climate research.

The Earth’s gravity fluctuates from place to place. Geodesists use this phenomenon to observe geodynamic and climatological processes. Using...

Im Focus: Tube anemone has the largest animal mitochondrial genome ever sequenced

Discovery by Brazilian and US researchers could change the classification of two species, which appear more akin to jellyfish than was thought.

The tube anemone Isarachnanthus nocturnus is only 15 cm long but has the largest mitochondrial genome of any animal sequenced to date, with 80,923 base pairs....

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

SEMANTiCS 2019 brings together industry leaders and data scientists in Karlsruhe

29.04.2019 | Event News

Revered mathematicians and computer scientists converge with 200 young researchers in Heidelberg!

17.04.2019 | Event News

First dust conference in the Central Asian part of the earth’s dust belt

15.04.2019 | Event News

 
Latest News

A new force for optical tweezers awakens

19.06.2019 | Physics and Astronomy

New AI system manages road infrastructure via Google Street View

19.06.2019 | Information Technology

A new manufacturing process for aluminum alloys

19.06.2019 | Materials Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>