ARCCSS Newsletter

It was a big workshop at the Hunter Valley as this photo shows.

Director's report
Half term review has us looking ahead
A great deal has happened since our last newsletter. We have had our annual workshop, provided the formal response to our half term review by the Australian Research Council and published our 2014 annual report. Read more.
ARCCSS Director, Prof Andy Pitman

Centre Manager report

How CLEVER are you?
Sephen Gray welcomes new members to ARCCSS, notes the arrival of our annual report, talks about his presentation on management at an international conference and offers up a competition about Clever. Read more.


Graduate Director report

Summer Student program
The ARCCSS summer student program is going from strength to strength, attracting 23 top calibre students with many suggesting they may return to do honours with the Centre. Read more.


Communication Manager's report

Let's get visual
We're looking for new spokespeople, videos and administrators for our new Facebook page. Importantly NCI's animation team is keen to work with climate scientists on developing data driven animations. Read more.


CMS Report

New datasets and move to Accessdev cloud system
Researchers using the UK Met Office’s Unified Model at NCI have now all moved to the new Accessdev cloud system; an ~access/apps directory has been opened to all users at NCI;  and new datasets have been added to our collection. Read more.

Prof Sir Brian Hoskins visits ARCCSS
After more than a decade since his last trip to Australia, Prof Sir Brian Hoskins visited ARCCSS University of Melbourne, ANU and Monash hubs as a Miegunyah Distinguished Visiting Research Fellow. Read more.

ARCCSS Detection and Attribution Workshop
Scientists from across Australia and beyond met in Hobart for the first ARCCSS Workshop on Climate Change Detection and Attribution. Read more.

The role of climate change in Europe's record hot year
ARCCSS researchers were part of a three pronged study by Climate Central that showed the role of climate change in Europe's hottest year on record. Read more.

To the ice and back
ARCCSS Associate Investigator Robyn Schofield was on board for the first ice run of the RV Investigator. She brought back a fascinating tale and some great photos. Read more.

ENSO workshop
Jules Kajtar and Esteban Abellan Villardon report on the inaugural ENSO workshop held at the ARCCSS UNSW hub on February 4-6, 2015. Read more.

New Met Office Science Repository Service
Researchers using the UK Met Office's Unified Model for atmospheric research are now able to make use of the Met Office's new Science Repository Service. Read more.

AMOS award nominaitons

A reminder that AMOS Uwe Radok Award entries (for best PhD thesis) are due at the end of May. Find out more here.

AAS: The Science of climate change Q&A
Chief investigators Steve Sherwood and Matthew England played key roles in the updated version of the Australian Academy of Science's booklet, The Science of Climate Change: Questions and Answers. The 2015 booklet updates the first edition, which was released in 2010. You can find the booklet here.

Useful links
Nicola Maher was shown the following tools when she recently visited NCAR. These are free to use and may be helpful to some of you who use CMIP5 models or various observational datasets.
  • Climate variability indices: This link will give you the opportunity to look at plots or download data for various climate indices calculated for all CMIP5 models and CESM ensembles.
  • Observational datasets: This link gives information on different datasets for many variables to help to decide which dataset is most useful for your needs. It includes the strengths and weaknesses of each dataset.

Dr Nerilie Abram receives the 2015 Dorothy Hill Award

Congratulations to Centre associate investigator Dr Nerilie Abram who was recently named by the Australian Academy of Science as the recipient of the 2015 Dorothy Hill award. The award supports research in the Earth sciences, by female researchers up to 10 years post PhD. The Academy said Dr Abram won the award for her "pioneering research addresses the past behaviour of the Earth's climate system, and implications for anthropogenic climate change. Her outstanding research portfolio has generated unique new records of past climate and environmental impacts from regions spanning the tropics to Antarctica, and assessing these alongside state-of-the-art climate models. Her high-impact work has led to groundbreaking advances in understanding how climate change is impacting Southern Ocean winds, Antarctic temperatures, and Australian rainfall patterns."

AMOS awards
Congratulations to Prof David Karoly and Dr Sophie Lewis, who have both been recognised with awards from AMOS for their outstanding work. Read more.

Centre DECRA winners
Congratulations to those ARCCSS researchers awarded DECRA funding in the latest round - Dr Markus Donat, Dr Ailie Gallant, Dr Laurie Menviel and Dr Paul Spence. Read more.


Please welcome:

Associate Investigators
  • Joelle Gergis
  • Nerilie Abrams

  • Andrew King started at Melb Uni as postdoctoral research fellow in the Extremes research program in September, after completing his PhD at UNSW.
  • Nicholas Herold started as research fellow in the Extremes Program at UNSW in Feb

  • Oliver Angelil (UNSW)
  • Arden Burrell (UNSW)
  • Xi Chen (UNSW)
  • Stefan Contractor (UNSW)
  • Angus Gibson (ANU)
  • Jonas Lauer (Monash)
  • Mathew Lipson (UNSW)
  • Sarah Perry (UNSW)
  • Fahimeh Sarmadi (Monash)
  • Asha Vijayeta (Monash)
  • Peter van Rensch (Monash)
  • Pearse Buchanan (UTAS)

  • Peter Degorski (U.Melb)
  • Moirah Matou (Monash)
  • Mollie Burns (Monash)
  • Rebecca Farr (Monash)
  • Andrew Gunn (UTAS.)
  • Mathew Hale (UNSW)
  • Sonya Welby (ANU)
  • Nicholas Grosfeld (UNSW)


Clouds, circulation and climate sensitivity (Nature Geoscience)
This paper by a large group of authors led by Sandrine Bony with our own Christian Jakob and Steve Sherwood explores the four key questions that need to be focused on to improve our understanding of clouds, circulation and climate interactions. They involve understanding the role of cloud feedbacks and convective organization in climate, and the factors that control the position, the strength and the variability of the tropical rain belts and the extratropical storm tracks.
Increases in tropical rainfall driven by changes in frequency of organized deep convection (Nature)
Jackson Tan’s PhD resulted in this paper that finds increases in tropical convection have been caused by the increased number of large storms, yet the total number of storms has not changed. There is some suggestion that the dynamics of the atmosphere in tropical regions may have changed for this to occur. You can ask co-author Christian Jakob about this.
Recent reversal in loss of global terrestrial biomass (Nature Climate Change)
Yi Liu and colleagues used satellite measurements to show that through recent greening of savannah landscapes and changes in land use we have seen the vegetation equivalent of a 4 billion tonne increase in carbon. However, this is a fragile increase that seems primarily weather dependent.
Recent trends in Southern Ocean eddy field (Journal of Geophysical Research)
Intensifying wind over the Southern Ocean has increased the speed and energy of eddies and jets, which are responsible in large part for the movement of nutrients, heat and salt across the ocean basin. The increased movement and overturning of these eddies and jets has accelerated the carbon cycle and driven more heat into the deep ocean.

Antarctic contribution to meltwater pulse 1A from reduced Southern Ocean overturning (Nature Communications)
Around 14,000 years ago a large pulse led to a sea level rise of 3-4m. This research suggests this was caused by stratification of waters around Antarctica with a warm layer below a colder layer. These conditions are very similar to changes we are currently seeing around Antarctica.

If you would like to make a submission to our next Winter newsletter, contact Alvin Stone. Email:

QR Code for COECSS




European Geosciences Union General Assembly 2015

April 12 - 17
The EGU General Assembly 2015 will bring together geoscientists from all over the world to one meeting covering all disciplines of the Earth, planetary and space sciences. The EGU aims to provide a forum where scientists, especially early career researchers, can present their work and discuss their ideas with experts in all fields of geoscience.
Location: Vienna, Austria.
Click here for further details.


Arctic Science Summit Week

April 23-30
The Arctic Science Summit Week (ASSW) is the annual gathering of the international organizations engaged in supporting and facilitating Arctic research. The purpose of the summit is to provide opportunities for coordination, collaboration and cooperation in all areas of Arctic science. The summit attracts scientists, students, policy makers and other professionals from all over the world.
Location: Toyama Japan.
Click here for further details.


47th International Liege Colloquium on Ocean Dynamics Marine Environmental Monitoring, Modelling and Prediction

May 4-7
The aim of the colloquium is to bring together scientists in order to identify the most critical scientific improvements to be brought to these modelling and monitoring systems for marine environmental predictions and assessments. The colloquium will give the community an opportunity to express scientific needs and priorities based on experience from years of ocean observations and forecasting.
Location: Liège, Belgium.
Click here for further details.


7th International Symposium on gas transfer at water surfaces

May 18-21
The Symposium has occurred every 5 years since 1983 to bring together the scientific and engineering community investigating the theory and applications of gas transfer at water surfaces. The focus is on the physicochemical and biogeochemical processes that govern gas fluxes, which include turbulence, bubbles, shear, and natural and anthropogenic surfactants. These are the same mechanisms that govern the fluxes of heat and momentum and thus the conference is attended by many in the community studying a wide range of transport  processes that occur across gas-water boundaries or within the near-surface layers close to those boundaries..
Location: Seattle, Washington.
Click here for further details.


2015 Taipei Severe Weather and Extreme Precipitation Workshop

May 25 - 27
Severe weather and extreme precipitation cause great damages to properties and even human lives, and they are mainly associated with deep convective systems such as severe storms in midlatitudes and hurricanes/typhoons in the tropics. They produce high winds, large hails, lightning and flash floods that impact our daily life. Deep convection also plays pivotal role in the transport of momentum, which is an efficient adjustment mechanism to balance the energy and many major trace chemicals. Understanding how severe weather and extreme precipitation occur is a major scientific challenge in both weather and climate scale. It is also important to understand how severe weather and extreme precipitation are simulated in the weather and climate model, and how they will change in the future warming world.

This workshop invites research papers on recent progress related to the areas of severe weather and extreme rainfall, especially those based on observations and modeling. We especially emphasize remote sensing (such as radar and satellite) in observational techniques and modeling efforts that intend to understand the underlying physics and the need to improve model capability in both weather and climate scales.
Location: Taipei, Taiwan.
Click here for further details.


Second international conference on fire behaviour and risk

May 26-29
The Conference aims to involve scientists, researchers and policy makers whose activities are focused on different aspects of fires and their impacts.

The main objectives of the Conference are to:

  • Advance knowledge on interactions, relationships, feedbacks, and cascading effects of fire on environment and society;
  • Encourage discussion and sharing on fire modelling and monitoring, adaptation and mitigation strategies, and sustainable management;
  • Foster constructive and interdisciplinary dialogue between scientists, stakeholders, and policy makers;
  • Promote international cooperation.

Location: Alghero, Italy.
Click here for further details.


49th CMOS Congress & 13th AMS Conference on Polar Meteorology and Oceanography - Tropics to poles: Advancing science in high lattitudes

May 31-June 4
The joint-conference will bring together a wide range of scientists from across Canada, the United States, and the world with a focus on topics in atmospheric and ocean sciences related to high latitudes.
Location: Whistler, Canada.
Click here for further details.


7th Summer School in Environmental Systems Analysis

June 1-5
The Eawag Summer School provides guidance to mathematical techniques to treat such uncertainties quantitatively. It starts with elementary statistical analyses but makes the attempt of proceeding to state of the art Bayesian computation. The summer school briefly covers model construction, sensitivity analysis, frequentist and inference and then focuses on concepts, implementation and application of Bayesian techniques for statistical inference and model prediction uncertainty estimation.
The course is targeted at researchers who are interested in analyzing their data with mathematical models and/or in predicting future behavior of environmental systems. This includes PhD students, post-doctoral researchers, and senior research scientists working in this field.

Location: Dübendorf, Switzerland.
Click here for further details.


7th International Workshop on Modeling the Ocean (IWMO)

June 1-5
The IWMO focuses on all aspects of ocean and coupled air-wave-sea, ice and current-sediment modeling: processes, analysis and prediction. The earth system is inter-connected on a broad range of temporal and spatial scales, and we welcome coastal, regional and basin-scale studies, as well as interdisciplinary topics. As in the past workshops, we particularly encourage participation from young scientists – graduate students and postdocs – and will again host the Outstanding Young Scientist Awards competition. Papers presented at the workshop will be eligible for submission to the IWMO-7 Special Issue to be published by Ocean Dynamics Journal.
Location: Australian National University, Canberra, Australia
Click here for further details.


72nd Eastern Snow Conference

June 9 - 11
The scientific program is open to sessions on theoretical, experimental, and operational studies of snow, ice, and winter hydrology. This year’s general theme is Recent Advances in Snow Remote Sensing. The ESC has only plenary (paper and poster viewing) sessions, allowing time to view and discuss the research of each participant.
Location: Jouvence, Sherbrooke, Quebec, Canada.
Click here for further details.


5th International Summit on Hurricanes and Climate Change

June 9 - June 14
Over the past several years the topic of hurricanes and climate change has received considerable attention by scientists, the insurance industry, and the media. The purpose of this conference is to bring together leading academics and researchers on various sides of the debate and from all over the world to discuss new research and express opinions about what is happening and what might happen in the future with regard to regional and global hurricane (tropical cyclone) activity. The goals are to address what research is needed to advance the science of hurricane climate and to provide a venue for encouraging a lively, spirited, and sustained exchange of ideas.
Location: Chania, Crete, Greece.
Click here for further details.


International Symposium on Tropical Ocean and Climate

June 15-17
Tropical ocean interacts with the atmosphere to produce variations at multiple timescales, and these variations affect global climate profoundly through both ocean and atmosphere teleconnections. The elevation of greenhouse gases and other climate forcing agents by human activities influence important tropical ocean circulation and climate processes. There is a pressing need to synthesize our knowledge of tropical ocean and climate dynamics and their impacts on the climate of the past, present and future, in order to advance the science and improve our ability to predict their variability and future changes. This symposium aims to bring together scientists from around the globe to have in-depth discussion and exchange over the following and related issues:

  • Tropical ocean-atmosphere interaction
  • Interactions between tropics and extratropics
  • Tropical cyclone and Monsoon dynamics
  • Role of the Tropics in the global warming hiatus
  • Tropical paleoclimate record and modeling

Location: Qingdao, China.
Click here for further details.



Video conference addresses

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


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