|December 2005||National Research Flagship||www.csiro.au/wealthfromoceans|
Message from the Director
As another year draws to a close, it is timely to reflect on the events of the past 12 months. Globally, the oceans again have been in the headlines and in the public mind, as we have witnessed the devastation wreaked by the Indian Ocean tsunami and hurricane Katrina in New Orleans. Expanding and building our knowledge of our ocean systems and being able to predict how they impact on our terrestrial environment are now major aspects of our scientific research endeavours.
In further developing this capacity within the Wealth from Oceans Flagship, we awarded recently a Flagship Fellowship to Associate Professor Matthew England, a renowned oceanographer based at the University of News South Wales. This six month Fellowship provides Professor England with the resources to examine climate model simulations from the Southern Ocean and how these may be linked to Australia’s weather patterns. Read more about Professor England in “Climate expert wins Wealth from Oceans Fellowship.”
The Indonesian Throughflow is the focus of a major international research collaboration involving partners from the United States, Australia, Indonesia, France and the Netherlands. The Throughflow is a fascinating series of currents linking two of the world’s largest warm water systems and this project is providing valuable information on this interocean “highway.” You can read about the challenges and achievements of this project in “Secrets of an Interocean Highway.”
The deeper, unseen aspects of the oceans are being surveyed to begin the identification of potential seabed mineral deposits and gas and oil reserves. A first step in this process is the development of a seabed minerals map. This mapping of our seabeds can be compared to the early land explorations of our continent, in both size and difficulty, and the discovery of presently unknown resources. Catch up on this latest field of discovery in “A first for Australia’s seabed minerals.”
The Bluelink ocean forecasting project has been tested against historical oceans data and has shown that the simulations match closely to the earlier records. This is a significant achievement for Australia and provides a strong platform to continue to build this ocean prediction system. Read about the progress with this project in “Ocean forecast trial ‘goes with the flow.’”
We also report on the first stage of the Voyage of Discovery, where our research team has uncovered an amazing series of underwater canyons in the coastal waters between Dampier and Fremantle in Western Australia. The second stage of the project is now underway, and we will bring you further updates on this in the new year.
In other articles in this edition of Update we report on the effects of volcanoes on sea surface temperatures and the how satellite imaging has assisted the shipping industry.
In meet the scientist, we profile Dr Simon George based in CSIRO’s Petroleum Resources in North Ryde. Simon is an avid geochemist and a winner of the recently announced CSIRO medal for research excellence, as part of the Fluid History Analysis Team.
The new CSIRO website has been launched in December and I encourage you to visit the Wealth from Oceans site at www.csiro.au/wealthfromoceans for information about our major research themes and highlights of our achievements.
I trust you enjoy reading Wealth from Oceans Update and welcome your feedback on the Flagship’s articles.
From all at the Flagship Team we wish you a merry and safe Christmas season and all the very best for 2006.
IN THIS EDITION:
The Wealth from Oceans Flagship is a CSIRO initiative and part of the National Research Flagships program that aims to deliver scientific solutions to advance Australia's most important national objectives. One of the largest scientific initiatives ever mounted in Australia, it aligns closely with the Federal Government's National Research Priorities. The initiative brings together our national research resources to deliver breakthroughs in fields ranging from healthcare to light metals and the environment.
Editor: Sylvia Bell
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North Ryde NSW 1670
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