About Oceans and Atmosphere

CSIRO’s Ocean and Atmosphere research is uniquely placed to deliver significant economic, social and environmental benefits for Australia and the region. We seek to secure Australia’s future through our seas and skies.

Understanding our oceans, coasts, climate and atmosphere is fundamental to Australia’s sustainable development and prosperity.  Ocean-based industries contribute over $47 billion each year to the Australian economy alone.  The ocean drives the climate system, provides food and transport, minerals, oil and gas resources, sustains biodiversity and regional economies, and offers recreational and lifestyle opportunities.

Australia has the 3rd largest Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), and despite the importance of our marine estate we know relatively little of our marine environment. For example little of our marine estate has been explored and less than 10 per cent of marine species have been identified.  Sharing our ocean’s wealth for the benefit of all Australians therefore requires careful balancing of multiple uses and conservation through planning, management and cooperation. CSIRO Ocean and Atmosphere provides the large-scale multidisciplinary science to inform this use of Australia’s marine environment. 

Changes in ocean conditions and processes affect life in the ocean and on land as these changes feedback into the climate system.

Understanding Australia’s variable and changing climate will allow industries and communities to prepare and respond.  We provide the information that checks the health of the atmosphere, whether it be information on long lived greenhouse gases and aerosols that change the heat stored in the atmosphere, right through to hazardous air pollutants that influence human and ecosystem health. We use this information to ensure that our climate and earth system models can accurately simulate the likely impacts of human behaviour on our earth systems into the future.

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