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

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.

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.

CSIRO Oceans and Atmosphere Business Unit has four Research Programs, delivering innovative science and solutions to answer the nation's biggest ocean and atmospheric questions.

The Aerospan sun photometry station at Birdsville, Australia

Climate Science Centre

The CSIRO Climate Science Centre is home to Australia’s national capability in atmosphere, ocean and climate model development (including the national weather climate and Earth System model, ACCESS). In collaboration with partners, the Centre delivers climate change projections, ocean forecasting, air pollution forecasting, large-scale observations of the ocean and atmosphere and the global carbon budget.

The Centre delivers products and services to a broad range of research, government, community and industry users. A key objective of the Climate Science Centre is to deliver the climate knowledge needed for an effective national response to the challenges of a variable and changing climate.

Farmed salmon pens in Chile  © Sam Beebe CC BY 2.0


The O&A Coasts program supports the sustainable development of Australia’s coastal resources by providing decision-makers with integrated observational and modelling capabilities to assess and anticipate the dynamics and vulnerability of coastal assets.

Coasts addresses the challenges associated with coastal population growth and urbanisation, catchment degradation, habitat and biodiversity loss, climate change and opportunities like the development of sustainable marine industries.

Mitigating the impact of climate change is critical for a sustainable fishing industry

Marine Resources and Industries

Marine Resources and Industries provides scientific knowledge and tools to support sustainable development of Australia’s marine resources, including mitigation of environmental impacts and conservation of marine biodiversity.

The science deals with interactions across all sectors, in particular the interactions between the oil and gas, seabed infrastructure, fisheries and conservation sector.

Engineering and Technology

Engineering and Technology delivers innovative instrumentation and technical capability to CSIRO, to Australian research and commercial partners. Engineering and Technology houses vertically integrated design, manufacture, operation and maintenance teams providing a complete package of science instrumentation capability.

These capabilities deliver core technical science for the Marine National Facility RV Investigator, support increased knowledge and productivity of marine industries and deliver instruments that enable more efficient data acquisition and allow us to observe at new scales and frontier areas.

DeepBRUVS being deployed into the ocean

The DeepBRUVS studies marine life hundreds of metres or kilometres under the sea.

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