|May 2006||National Research Flagship||www.csiro.au/wealthfromoceans|
Message from the Director
Welcome to another edition of the Wealth from Oceans Flagship e-Newsletter. This edition captures the essence of the Flagship's development as we move into the consolidation and delivery phases – many of the articles build on those in previous editions and demonstrate that the hard work by many is bearing fruit. Across the key indicators of science, partnerships and impact, the Flagship is gaining real traction.
After a period of in-depth consultation and planning involving our R&D and industry colleagues, the Flagship's interests in offshore oil and gas are taking solid shape. Important industry connections have been established with many of Australia's offshore energy leaders with our innovation roadmap providing the foundations for achieving our goals in this domain. A number of strategic collaborations have been established with leading national and international O&G groups with an agreement with the Institut Français du Petrole being the most recent. It will model the formation of gas hydrates in long distance gas pipelines. In another highlight, the Flagship has been selected by Chevron and BP to lead an international consortium to develop a predictive tool for locating and preventing the formation of methane hydrates in subsea pipelines.
BLUElink is nearing successful completion within scope, time and budget – BLUElink is a partnership between the Flagship, Bureau of Meteorology and Navy to develop an operational ocean model for Australia.
BLUElink currently produces global simulations of the ocean with unprecedented detail in the Australian region. Secondary "relocatable" models are also produced for the Royal Australian Navy to run on their own computers for even more detailed simulations of currents, winds and waves in regions of special interest.
The methodology is very closely related to numerical weather forecasting: complex computer models ingest scattered observations from a diverse array of platforms in order to produce as complete and accurate a picture as possible. The global ocean observing system which includes satellites and robotic Argo floats has only very recently made the system feasible.
BLUElink is a true success story for Australian marine science and those dependent on accurate marine data for their livelihood. In another important initiative, the partners are presently considering a BLUElink II which will bring many of the deep water capabilities developed under BLUElink into the coastal zone. I look forward to bringing you more details about this exciting development in the next edition of Update.
The Flagship needs to continue to access world's best scientists to assist us in our mission – part of this involves accessing leading people in universities. In the second half of 2005, Associate Professor Matthew England from the University of New South Wales was awarded the inaugural Wealth from Oceans Flagship Fellowship to examine climate model simulations from the Southern Ocean and how these may be linked to Australia's weather patterns. His conclusions have contributed significantly to the Flagship's "Oceans to Rain" theme, providing detailed analysis of the forces driving climate variability in the Southern Ocean. Professor England's findings are summarised in Southern Ocean impacts on Australian climate, and he is now a Federation Fellow and continues to maintain a strong association with the Flagship.
I am also pleased to announce the appointment of Professor Rocky de Nys as the second Flagship Fellow for Wealth from Oceans. Professor de Nys is Head of Aquaculture at James Cook University in Townsville, and this Fellowship provides the Flagship with the opportunity to work with a world-renowned expert in scientific and commercial issues associated with marine biofouling. Read more about Professor de Nys's research in CSIRO fellowship for biofouling expert.
Earlier this year in March, I was invited to present on the Flagship at Oi06 - the Oceans International Conference and Exhibition in London. The event attracted more than 5000 delegates and provided an ideal opportunity to profile the Flagship's leading edge research and the contributions this is making currently in the southern hemisphere. The Flagship's research was received with real enthusiasm from this international group and has helped build the Flagship's global networks.Recently, three of CSIRO's leading scientists – Dr Steve Rintoul of the Wealth from Oceans Flagship team, Professor Brian Boyle, Director of the CSIRO Australia Telescope National Facility and Professor Andrew Holmes form CSIRO Molecular and Health Technologies – have been elected as Fellows of the Australian Academy of Science.
Dr Rintoul is a senior scientist with CSIRO Marine and Atmospheric Research in Hobart and is currently leading two major research projects within the Wealth from Oceans Flagship. Read more in CSIRO scientists elected to Australian Academy of ScienceIn other articles in this edition of Update we report on the predictive capabilities of climate models. These models are of paramount importance in long-term climate simulations and emerging climate prediction capabilities. You can read about this in Advanced climate change model in action. The importance of climate prediction to our farming community is articulated by Wayne Newton, a leading Queensland farmer, who shares his thoughts in a letter published in Queensland Country Life magazine. Read more about Wayne and his article in Farming expert sets the scene.
In meet the scientist, we profile Dr Richard Matear based in CSIRO Marine and Atmospheric Research in Hobart. Joining CSIRO in 1996, Dr Matear is a climate scientist and modeller specialising in the interaction of all the oceanic processes and you can read more about Dr Matear in Meet the Scientist.
I trust you enjoy reading Wealth from Oceans Update and welcome your feedback on the Flagship's articles.
IN THIS EDITION:
MEET THE SCIENTIST:
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
PO Box 93
North Ryde NSW 1670
Phone: +61 2 9490 8006
Fax: +61 2 9490 8811