Extreme temps put climate science back on the agenda for the past two months
The annual report is due out soon. Many of the report's photos were, like this one, taken by Jehu Abiram.

Welcome to the first newsletter for 2013 from the ARC Centre of Excellence for Climate System Science (CoECSS). Please note, there has been an update with our mail-out lists. Should you know of anyone who has failed to receive this or you wish to change your subscription status, please send an email to Alvin at


Director's Report
As the Centre winds up the reporting season for the past year, Prof Andy Pitman is already looking ahead to the Centre's priorities and where we will be making some important investments in 2013. Read more.

Graduate Director's Report
There has been an exceptional amount of activity early in 2013, with a very successful summer scholarship program, participation in an AMSI summer school, preparation for activities around Maths of Planet Earth, the continuing interest in our second annual Winter School and funding for the Centre to reach out to three Chinese universities. Read more.

AMOS Conference 2013
This year's AMOS conference was the largest to date. The Centre played an important role through its sponsorship and the introduction of the first Software Carpentry Boot Camp at the University of Melbourne on the two days following the conference. Read more

Summer Scholarships
Erik Van Sebille reports on the summer scholarship program that was run at the UNSW hub. It was so successful that plans are already afoot to run it at every CoE hub over the next summer season. Read more.

Understanding technical environments
Mike Rezny calls for a coupling benchmark after a workshop at NCAR highlights the ad-hoc development of coupling infrastructure. Such a benchmark will be key to helping us solve some of the key scientific challenges in modelling climate. Read more. 

CAWCR's Rachel Law has the latest news on CABLE including a revised CABLE license and the fine-tuning of CABLE trac pages. Read more.

CLIVAR workshop
Dietmar Dommenget reports on the recent CLIVAR workshop and the interesting discussions around ENSO. Read more.

PAGES conference report
Chris Turney reports on the PAGES workshop held this year at Goa. Read more.


CMIP-5 data
The Centre is actively downloading CMIP-5 data on the NCI data cloud ( In a joint effort with CAWCR, we have downloaded, to date, more than 143 Tb of data.
The two are trying to solve the many technical issues involved in downloading and managing such an amount of data and to increase their effort. While the download process is getting more efficient there are many data requests to satisfy and it helps if CMS receives them as earlier as possible.
If you are planning to use the CMIP-5 data send a request to specifying the variables you're interested in as well as models, experiments and frequency.

Seeking student suggestions
Andy and Melissa need input from students. Andy is seeking ways to broadly invest in areas that would accelerate student research. The types of areas could include, but is not limited to, improving access to data sets, to algorithms, or improving accessibility to specific models.
Melissa is in the process of developing the Centre’s graduate program. She wants to know the opportunities students would like to have as part of this program - specifically what training, lectures, workshops, resources etc would have the greatest impact on student candidature. Please send Melissa a short list prioritising the opportunities.  Reply directly to Andy about funding and Melissa about priorities.

Instructions for video conferencing
If you have to set up a video-conference and you are not sure how to go about it, CMS have added some basic instructions for the system to the CMS wiki, here.
Notification of publications
Please notify Alvin, on acceptance, of any paper that has the potential to generate media interest. This will allow us to make use of the Australian Science Media Centre (AusSMC) as AusSMC only lists those papers on its weekly media heads-up (with an embargo date) that have yet to be published online. Once it has appeared online, this avenue closes to us.
New Facebook page
The Centre now has its own Facebook page. The page adds to our social networks and is used for announcements, reminders, climate-related news stories and to point out the success of our staff as it happens. It is an easy way to keep up with what is happening on a daily basis. We have six admins from the Centre of Excellence running the page, so if you would like to add a post contact Andrea Dittus, Melissa Hart, Andrew King, Karsten Peters, Paola Petrelli or Alvin Stone.
Engaging China in climate science
As noted in the Graduate Director’s report, The Centre of Excellence was successful in its application to UNSW’s Contestable Funding Scheme, receiving $32,000 for its project Engaging China in Climate Science.  The funding will be used to establish links with three of China’s major universities - Tsinghua, Peking and Nanjing.
Nine PhD scholarships available
The University of Melbourne, Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, University Potsdam, Humboldt University of Berlin, and Technical University of Berlin are offering nine scholarships between: AUD $ 24,567 and up to approx. $ 30,000 p.a. plus travel stipends, fee waivers. The scholarships at The University of Melbourne are part of the newly established Australian-German College of Climate and Energy Transitions and will be used to investigate a variety of climate and energy issues. Click here for more details

Lisa Alexander adds another trophy to her award cabinet
Centre of Excellence chief investigator Lisa Alexander has been honoured by the Australian Academy of Science with the 2013 Dorothy Hill Award for female researchers in the earth sciences aged 40 years or younger. Read more.

Stephanie Waterman
Associate Investigator

Stephanie joined the Centre in November 2012. She comes to us from the National Oceanography Centre and Imperial College London in the UK. Find out more about Stephanie here.

Ruth Lorenz
Research Associate

Ruth has joined the UNSW node, coming to the Centre from ETH, Switzerland, where she used regional climate models coupled to land surface models of different complexity to investigate land-atmosphere feedbacks in Europe. Find out more about Ruth here.

Mitchell Black
PhD Student

Mitch will be working with David Karoly and the extremes team on his thesis, Distinguishing natural and anthropogenic influences on extreme weather in Australia. Find out more about Mitch here.

On the measurement of heatwaves
Sarah Perkins heatwave paper, On the measurement of heatwaves in AMS Journal of Climate has uncovered some interesting results for Australia, showing interesting seasonal variation, an overall increase in duration of Australian heatwaves but a not statistically significant increase in intensity. The paper is also notable for how a heatwave is defined and attempts to create a spatially uniform comparison that is valid across varying climates. 
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Video conference addresses

UNSW: (either of the two addresses listed below)
Monash: The University of Melbourne: (either of the two addresses listed below)



Workshop - Short- to Medium-range coupled prediction for the atmosphere-wave-sea-ice-ocean: Status, needs and challenges

March 19-22 This workshop, endorsed by the GODAE OceanView Science Team (GOVST) and the Working Group for Numerical Experimentation (WGNE), invites members of the atmospheric, ocean, wave and sea-ice community with an interest in developing coupled forecasting systems targeting short- to medium-range prediction for each of the component phenomenon and their related applications.
Location: NOAA-NCEP, Washington DC
Click here for more information.


Conference - Holocene Climate Change

April 4-5
This meeting will examine high frequency climate changes reflected in the geological record, and the pacings of change and their geological consequences, during the Holocene – the past 11,700 years.
Keynote speakers: Graeme Barker (Cambridge), Rosalind Rickaby (Oxford), Ian Hall (Cardiff),  Bo Vinther (Copenhagen), Anthony Long (Durham), Heinz Wanner (Bern).
Location: Burlington House, London, UK


ODAE OceanView-GSOP-CLIVAR Workshop on Observing System Evaluation and Coupled Data Assimilation

April 15-19
The workshop aims to provide a forum for enhanced interactions amongst researchers with expertise in the ocean observing systems, coupled data assimilation (ocean/ biogeochemical / atmosphere/ terrestrial / sea ice), and short-range (regional and global), seasonal, and decadal forecasting. The expected outcome of the workshop is closer collaboration amongst international researchers – particularly within GODAE OceanView and CLIVAR-GSOP and between these groups – with sharing of resources and techniques.
Organisers: Peter Oke (Co-chair of OSEval -TT, CSIRO), Bernadette Sloyan (CSIRO), Katy Hill (Integrated Marine Observing System), Kirsten Wilmer-Becker (GODAE OceanView coordinator, Met Office). Local organisers: Denise McMullen (CSIRO), Jill Enraght-Mooney (CSIRO).
Location: Hobart, Tasmania
Click here for more information.


JSC/CAS Working Group on Numerical Experimentation (WGNE) workshop on systematic errors in weather and climate models

April 15-19

The principal goal will be to increase understanding of the nature and cause of errors in models used for weather and climate prediction (including intra-seasonal to inter-annual). It is anticipated that, the focus will be on General Circulation Models (GCMs) such as those used in CMIP5, TIGGE, operational NWP, etc., including atmosphere-only, coupled atmosphere-ocean and earth system models.

Confirmed Speakers:

  • Leo Donner (GFDL) "Biases and errors in physical parametrizations: New issues raised by first-generation treatments of cloud-aerosol interactions in GCMs"
  • Beth Ebert (CAWCR) "New approaches for evaluating NWP"
  • Josh Fisher (JPL) "The land surface within climate models: Development and benchmarking of physical processes"
  • Julian Heming (Met Office) "Model biases in the simulation of tropical cyclones - NWP to climate"
  • Marika Holland (NCAR) "Polar processes and the ability of models to represent them"
  • Brian Hoskins (Imperial College) "Mid-latitude blocking"
  • Thomas Jung (AWI) "Polar processes and their representation in climate models"
  • Bill Large (NCAR) "Serendipitous impacts of ocean parametrizations on coupled model biases"
  • Sean Milton (Met Office) "Coupled Ocean-Atmosphere Interactions in NWP"
  • Sonia Seneviratne (ETH) "Land surface processes and the ability of models to represent them"
  • Ted Shepherd (University of Reading) "Systematic errors in model representation of stratosphere-troposphere coupling"
  • Graeme Stephens (JPL) "Using satellite observations to evaluate cloud processes in models"
  • Heini Wernli (ETH) "Forecast errors associated with mid-latitude weather systems"

Click here for more information.


ISCCP at 30 -- 30th Anniversary of the International Satellite Cloud Climatology Project

April 22-25
The conference aims to review and assess what we have learned about the role of cloud processes in weather and climate, and to discuss where cloud research should go next. The conference is sponsored by the World Climate Research Program's Global Energy and Water Exchanges (GEWEX) project and by participating satellite agencies, NASA, NOAA, EUMETSAT, JMA and INPE. The conference will feature several invited presentations and is open to contributed papers.
Location: The City College of New York, New York, USA
Click here for more information.


12th Conference on Polar Meteorology and Oceanography

April 29 - May 2
The 12th Conference on Polar Meteorology and Oceanography is sponsored by the American Meteorological Society and organized by the AMS Polar Meteorology and Oceanography Committee.
Location: Renaissance Seattle Hotel, Seattle, WA, US.
Click here for more information.




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Our mailing address is:
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