Delivering the climate knowledge Australia needs to respond to a variable and changing climate.
The CSIRO Climate Science Centre is a research program of about 100 staff working in CSIRO Oceans and Atmosphere. The Centre brings together the core of CSIRO's capability in climate modelling and observations of the atmosphere and ocean. The mission of the Centre is to deliver the climate knowledge Australia needs to inform an effective national response to the challenges of a variable and changing climate.
Climate research relevant to all Australians
Climate and environmental variability and change affect almost all aspects of the Australian economy and community. Climate Science Centre scientists work closely with research partners inside and outside of CSIRO to deliver climate, ocean and atmosphere research to a broad community of research and end‑users. The research of the Centre spans time-scales from seasons to millennia.
Key activities of the Climate Science Centre include:
- Development of the Australian Community Climate and Earth System Simulator (ACCESS), in partnership with the Bureau of Meteorology and Universities.
- Delivery of climate forecasts and projections on time-scales from seasons to millenia, to inform effective and efficient strategies for climate adaptation and mitigation.
- Climate science needed to manage risk and exploit opportunities associated with a variable and changing climate, including extreme events.
- Advances in understanding of climate dynamics as needed to improve the utility of climate information delivered to research users.
- Delivery of targeted, reliable and relevant climate products and services to decision-makers in climate‑sensitive sectors, including energy, water, health, transport, tourism, finance, insurance and agriculture.
- Leadership of key national observing programs, including the Integrated Marine Observing System, the Cape Grim atmospheric observatory, measurements of air quality and aerosols and ocean acidification networks.
- Delivery of ocean forecasts for national security, marine industry, emergency response, management of marine resources, and climate research.
- Assessment of marine energy resources.
A new initiative in decadal forecasting
Reliable decadal climate forecasts would enable decision-makers in agriculture, energy, water, health, financial, insurance and other sectors to manage the risks and opportunities arising from decadal variations in climate. Effective adaptation requires regional information on climate variability and change, and changes in extreme events like floods and droughts, on decadal time-scales. But anticipating the climate of the coming decades is a difficult scientific challenge, in part because both natural climate variability and anthropogenic climate change influence climate on these timescales. A team of 15 researchers at the Centre will develop and test a prototype decadal forecasting system, a first for Australia.
Collaboration with the Climate Science Centre
Climate science in Australia is highly collaborative and much of CSIRO's climate research is carried out in partnership with the Bureau of Meteorology, the Australian Antarctic Division, and the university sector. To deliver a national climate information service of the scale and depth needed to meet the challenges of a variable and changing climate, more effective national collaboration is needed. The Climate Science Centre will lead CSIRO’s contribution to this new national partnership.
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