BLUElink> is an ocean modelling and analysis tool used for accurately forecasting ocean conditions.
BLUElink>: reliable ocean forecasting
A research initiative from the Wealth from Oceans Flagship offers maritime users more accurate prediction of ocean conditions.
1 December 2005 | Updated 17 April 2013
The Wealth from Oceans Flagship, working with the Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) and the Royal Australian Navy, has created an ocean forecasting program for Australia.
BLUElink> is a A$33 million initiative to develop an ocean modelling and analysis capability to produce accurate forecasts of ocean conditions in the Australian region for the first time.
daily forecasts of temperature, salinity and current velocity for oceans around Australia in near-real time, delivered through the Bureau of Meteorology's website for public use
a high-resolution, three-dimensional ocean climate model of average monthly temperature and salinity levels, called CARS (CSIRO Atlas of Regional Seas)
a global ocean-circulation model forecasting eddies, temperature, salinity and currents in the Asian-Australian region, run by the Bureau of Meteorology
the Relocatable Ocean-Atmosphere Model (ROAM) that predicts atmosphere and ocean conditions for the coastal and continental shelf regions around Australia using a simple interface.
The BLUElink> ocean forecasting system adds an additional predictive tool to Australia’s already sophisticated meteorological capabilities.
BLUELink> forecasts are available to all marine users, including:
BLUElink> predicts ocean currents, temperature, sea level anomaly and salinity levels up to seven days in advance.
Royal Australian Navy
maritime transport providers
the fishing industry
Developing BLUELink> requires extensive inter-divisional collaboration within CSIRO and significant input from the two external partners.
Even before BLUElink> was publicly launched as an operational system, it attracted interest from many scientists, and found application in other projects.
These applications include:
- The Royal Australian Navy is now using the products of BLUElink>, such as near real-time ocean temperature, ocean currents and salinity information, to support its maritime operations. Web-based 'nowcasts' are the first product of the BLUElink> program and are being used by the Navy with a high degree of success in the Arafura Sea and the South Pacific.
- A recently completed Fisheries Research and Development Corporation-funded project on the ocean dispersal of southern rock lobster larvae used BLUElink> models to simulate the physical environment of the larvae and calculate the degree of interdependence that exists between the various management units of the stock.
- BLUElink> products combined with habitat preference data collected by Wealth from Oceans Flagship are being used to inform decisions by the Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA) relating to arrangements for conserving Southern Bluefin Tuna (SBT) stocks off the east coast of Australia - using 'nowcasts', in particular sea surface temperature, together with the movements of 'tagged' SBT, AFMA undertakes a full review of the location of fishing zones every two weeks from May to October and adjusts them to minimise impact on the overfished stock.
The operational products from the first phase of BLUElink> research are available to all marine users through the Bureau of Meteorology's website. The second phase of research - BLUElink> 2 - will enhance this information.
During BLUElink> 2, scientists will:
conduct an intensive review of historical ocean conditions
improve the existing forecasting system
develop near-shore wave forecasting and a state-of-the-art tropical cyclone model.
This will provide rapid, more accurate forecasts of Australian ocean conditions, potentially saving industry millions of dollars, improving the efficiency of our Defence forces, and saving lives.
CSIRO, through the Wealth from Oceans Flagship, provided expertise in marine and atmospheric research.
The Bureau of Meteorology took a leading role in ocean monitoring and prediction, and provided critical scientific capacity and operational experience and infrastructure.
The Royal Australian Navy provided a strong and important focus for the BLUElink> project. While its practical expertise was critical in development, the Navy will also be a key user of the forecast system.
The development of BLUElink> delivers a critical capability to Australia that would otherwise not be possible without this partnership.
With all levels of government, science, industry, business and the community having access to this information, it is expected to create economic and social benefits on a broad scale.
Find out more about the Wealth from Oceans Flagship.