Thunderstorm panorama by Franz Mattushka
Thunderstorm panorama by Franz Mattushka (wiki commons license).

Welcome to the May/June newsletter for 2013 from the ARC Centre of Excellence for Climate System Science (CoECSS). If you know of anyone who wishes to receive this newsletter or you wish to change your subscription status, please send an email to Alvin at


Director's Report
Director Andy Pitman reports on his recent visit to the UK Met Office, farewells CMS guru Mike Rezny and looks at future areas of investment for the Centre of Excellence. Read more.

Graduate Director's Report
Find out all about the coming scientific paper-writing workshop, how to attract additional funding for international graduate students, the latest on the Winter School and our student Wiki. Read more.

Centre Manager Report
In April, Centre Manager Stephen Gray scored a coup when he managed to bring together 40 staff from different Centres of Excellence based in Sydney and Newcastle to share their experiences and listen to a presentation from ARC staff about mid-term reviews. Read more

Mike Rezny gets Gung Ho for Blighty
The driving force of our Computational Modeling Systems (CMS) team, Mike Rezny, will be leaving the Centre at the end of this month to take up a position with the UK Met Office, helping to develop its new Gung Ho climate model. Read more.

A magical meteorological tour at UK Science Museum Archive
PhD student Linden Ashcroft recently received funding from the Centre of Excellence to further her PhD research with a visit to the meteorological archives of the UK Science Museum, where she discovered an array of historical meteorological treasures. Read more. 

Staff achievements
CoECSS staff continue to receive recognition for their outstanding capabilities. Read more.

New climate science and weather laboratory on the way
The Bureau of Meteorology, CSIRO and the Australian National University are partners in the development of a new Virtual Laboratory at the ANU's National Computational Infrastructure (NCI) facility. Read more.

The two Chris' are off to Antarctica again
The CoE's Chris Fogwill and CCRC's Chris Turney are leading a privately-funded voyage of discovery to the Antarctic during the Austral summer of 2013-2014. Read more.


Climate Science Survey
Australian National University PhD student Miriam Dunn is calling for climate scientists to complete a 15-20 minute survey in an effort to identify the types of climate information that could be useful in the future for decision makers. Responses will be completely anonymous. The results of the survey will then be compared with those from a previous survey completed by users of climate information.
If you have any questions, please contact Miriam at
Follow this link to take part in the survey.

What Sophie did next
Sophie Lewis has been doing some fascinating work this year with ACCESS climate simulations. Along the way, she has been maintaining an intermittent blog of her experiments and their results on the CoECSS website. These blogs have been picking up quite a following online both inside and outside the Centre.
“I started writing them because I enjoy communicating my research beyond journal articles,” Sophie said.
“But they are also useful tools for me and help me to look at my research at a conceptual level, instead of getting stuck in the technical details which I deal with day to day.” 
 You can see Sophie’s blogs here. If any other researchers in the Centre would like to get in on the act with their own research blogs, contact Alvin
Adrift away online
Erik van Sebille’s work on ocean currents and plastic pollution has led to the creation of a great little website, Adrift. Based on work he did in developing a mechanism for tracing ocean currents, the website has the capability to show where anything that floats is likely to end up in the world’s oceans. It was particularly interesting to find out how messages in bottles travelled from one ocean to another.  For example, Adrift easily shows how this bottle dropped off Komodo Island ended up in South Africa.
Videoconference collaborations
Users of the CoECSS videoconferencing equipment can now access various collaboration resources hosted by AARNET. These resources will allow recording of meetings or presentations; hybrid video and phone conferences; or free use of virtual meeting rooms for videoconferences with 5 – 20 parties dialling in. Contact Swa ( for more details or to make a booking.
CoE funding requests go online
We now have an online form to request centrally held CoE funds for special projects.  This is open to all Centre personnel. The funding request form is accessed via the Clever reporting portal ( and replaces the previous procedure of sending ad hoc requests to Andy directly. 

Continental-scale temperature variability during the past two millennia
Stephen Phipps was part of an international PAGES team that produced the paper Continental-scale temperature variability during the past two millennia in Nature Geoscience. The paper reviewed proxies across most of the continents showing temperatures for the past 2000 years. This major work revealed that neither the Medieval Warming or Little Ice Age were synchronous global events and confirmed that the past 150 years of warming was exceptional. Read more

Robust direct effect of carbon dioxide on tropical circulation and regional precipitation
Chief investigator Steve Sherwood (UNSW) and partner investigator Sandrine Bony (LMD) produced a fascinating paper for Nature Geoscience, Robust direct effect of carbon dioxide on tropical circulation and regional precipitation. The paper showed that even without global warming, simply increasing the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere had an impact on overturning circulation, which directly impacted cloud formation and rainfall. The paper showed that around 50% of the tropical circulation changes projected under climate change by the end of the century were independent of the warming of the planet. Read more
QR Code for COECSS

Video conference addresses

UNSW: (either of the two addresses listed below)
Monash: The University of Melbourne: (either of the two addresses listed below)
  • You can join video conferences by phone. Call: (03) 6226 1595



19th Conference on Atmosphere and Oceanic Fluid Dynamics

June 17 - 21
The 19th Conference on Atmospheric and Oceanic Fluid Dynamics is sponsored by the American Meteorological Society and organized by the AMS Committee on Atmospheric and Oceanic Fluid Dynamics.
Location: Hotel Viking in Newport, Rhode Island, US.
Click here for more information.


London Symposium on Climate Change

June 22 - 24
The London Symposium on Climate Change is a special interest meeting of London Symposia, an organization devoted to scholarly research, writing and discourse. This interdisciplinary conference is an opportunity for scientists and policy makers from the different disciplines affected by climate change to meet and discuss the issues.
Location: The Oxford and Cambridge Club, London, UK.
Click here for more information.


Strategic Science in Antarctica

June 24 - 26
The conference will focus on current research occurring on the icy continent and in the Southern Ocean. Featuring a number of keynote speakers, science talks, poster displays and post-conference workshops, the conference will give researchers the opportunity to collaborate and share their research. Talks and workshops on policy, operational planning, science communications and the application process for research in Antarctica are also planned..
Location: University of Tasmania, Hobart.
Click here for more information.


Asia Oceania Geosciences Society Annual Meeting - 2013

June 24 - 28
Asia Oceania Geosciences Society (AOGS) was established in 2003 to promote geosciences and its application for the benefit of humanity, specifically in Asia and Oceania and with an overarching approach to global issues. Asia- Oceania region is particularly vulnerable to natural hazards, accounting for almost 80% human lives lost globally. AOGS is deeply involved in addressing hazard related issues through improving our understanding of the genesis of hazards through scientific, social and technical approaches..
Location: Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre. Qld, Australia.
Click here for more information.

Maths of Planet Earth Conference
An Australian Academy of Science Elizabeth and Frederick White Conference

July 8-12
The MPE Australia conference is the central academic event of Maths of Planet Earth Australia 2013.
This event will bring together the entire scientific community, to cultivate discussions and collaboration. And draw on the mathematical sciences to solve challenges faced by our planet.
Location: Rydges, 186 Exhibition Street , Melbourne, VIC 3000.
Click here for more information.




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Our mailing address is:
Level 4, Matthews Building, UNSW, NSW, 2052, Australia