Image of condensing moisture rising from a container used to extract air from Antarctic ice.

Condensing moisture rising from a container used to extract air from Antarctic ice as part of an experiment to measure changes in concentrations of atmospheric gases over thousands of years.

New model for ocean research

Reference: 06/124

The Wealth from Oceans Flagship has been established to provide Australia with the capacity to realise the potential economic and environmental benefits to be gained from its oceans, the Flagship’s Director, Craig Roy, said in Cairns today.

  • 11 July 2006

In an address at the Australian Marine Sciences Association’s (AMSA’s) Catchments to Coast conference, he said the key to the Flagship’s success is its ability to form collaborations and partnerships.

“The Flagship provides a new model in strategic collaborative research and development, integrating work being done across the breadth of CSIRO in conjunction with industry and research partners,” Mr Roy said.

“The Flagship is combining the scientific expertise and resources from across Australia’s research community, not just CSIRO, to provide research capabilities previously not accessible to industry.”

“The BLUElink system is designed to predict ocean currents, temperature and salinity for up to ten days in advance,”
Mr Roy said.

The Flagship’s research efforts are focused on four major areas: the fundamentals of ocean processes and prediction, how the oceans affect our climate, the development of new ocean-based industry opportunities and sustainable management of our coastal ecosystems.

A key partnership within the Flagship’s ocean-prediction portfolio is Bluelink Ocean Forecasting.

“The BLUElink system is designed to predict ocean currents, temperature and salinity for up to ten days in advance,” Mr Roy said. “This partnership, between the Flagship, Bureau of Meteorology and the Navy, is building on a substantial international effort to optimise ocean predictions in relation to the vast waters in the Australasian region.”

With Federal Government funding, the Flagship is developing its research portfolio through collaborations with industry, Australian universities and other research organisations. Of the A$305 million provided by the Government to the Flagship initiative over seven years, A$97 million has been allocated to facilitate the development of collaborative partnerships which reflect the National Research Priorities.

The Flagship recently awarded two Fellowships to leading researchers in the fields of climate change and ‘biofouling’. The inaugural Fellowship was awarded to University of NSW Associate Professor, Matthew England, to examine climate change in the Southern Ocean and how it affects Australian weather patterns. With his Fellowship, James Cook University’s Professor Rocky de Nys’ will analyse global technologies used to control biofouling – the growth of marine organisms on submerged surfaces.

Wealth from Oceans is one of Australia’s six National Research Flagships. The Flagship program, led by CSIRO, is one of the largest scientific undertakings in Australia’s history, bringing together the scientific and commercial communities to tackle major issues facing the nation such as climate change, farm yields, national security and the environment.

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