PROJECT 5.7: Tracking ocean change – ocean observations and models
The ocean impacts Australia’s climate and the frequency and magnitude of extreme events. As the climate continues to change, it’s important to assess how the oceans are changing and the impact these changes may in turn have on Australia’s climate, now and into the future.
We’re improving and delivering high quality ocean data vital for continued assessments of ocean change. Ocean observations and model experiments will be analysed to track and understand ocean changes, and to identify the key mechanisms of ocean heat uptake and changes in ocean salinity. We are also improving the representation of ocean heat uptake in Australia’s climate model, ACCESS, and other climate models by identifying sources of bias in the models and provide solutions to reduce them.
This research will ensure high quality ocean datasets required for assessing change in our oceans are accessible for use by researchers around the world. The improved model simulations of ocean change will result in improved climate change projections. Data sets and analysis produced under the project will also inform global climate assessments such as the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change assessment reports.
For more information
Dr Steve Rintoul, CSIRO
This project is contributing to the following climate challenges:
Surface ocean warming is driving an enhanced hydrological cycle. We’re monitoring ocean salinity, which can help track that process.
Ocean warming rates and patterns set regional sea level rise rates. Our work will improve projections of ocean warming which will enable more accurate regional projections of sea level rise and extremes.
As the climate system’s heat reservoir, the rate of change of ocean heat content relates directly to Earth’s warming rate. Our work tracking and understanding global ocean heating rates is a practical way of tracking the efficacy of global greenhouse gas mitigation efforts.
This work will help to improve climate models so that improved climate change projections and climate information can be used to better inform agricultural and environmental systems management decisions.
Work in this project will enhance our ability to project changes in the frequency and intensity of extreme climate conditions, which will better inform infrastructure planning.
Publications and papers