Group shot taken on the second day of the Hobart workshop. Click here for more photos.

Welcome to the fourth newsletter from the ARC Centre of Excellence for Climate System Science (CoECSS).

Letter from the Director

Centre of Excellence continues to expand
The past few months have been particularly hectic and rewarding. A highlight was our very successful winter workshop in Hobart. Read more.

Centre Manager report

COECSS shows remarkable progress in first year
The administration team have been very much in demand over the past few months, helping put together the Hobart workshop, presenting papers at conferences and farewelling one of their own, Simone Purdon, who has gone on maternity leave. With annual report season getting underway, expect to here more from them. Read more.

Graduate Director report

First winter school deals with some super problems
Now that I have been on the job for three months, and considering the number of times I am asked: “what exactly does a Graduate Director do?” I thought it would be a good opportunity to talk a little about my position and my plans for the Graduate Program within the CoE. Read more.

CMS Report

The importance of back-ups
A few weeks ago several hard drives in NCI's data centre failed, meaning the Vayu supercomputer and DCC had to be brought offline while repairs were made. Thankfully no data was lost due to the use of redundant components, however one more failed drive would have meant the loss of the /short filesystem. Find out everything you need to know about backing up here.

Program Reports


The convection group welcomed a number of visitors and new collaborations over the past few months. Read more here.

The past few months have seen the Extremes group develop a range of international and national collaborations during an intense period of work. Read more here.  

The Hobart workshop was the first time the entire land team came together. This was followed by a CABLE workshop which highlighted the new CABLE wiki. Read more here.

The variabilty team has set up four working groups following the Hobart workshop. They have also been working hard producng some interesting papers and developing a simple public access climate model. Read more here.

 As with the Land team, the Hobart workshop was the first time the Oceans group came together in a single room. A highlight of their recent work has been the the developing the status of their global 1/4° ocean model. Read more here.


CliMDDIR portal moves into beta version
The Climate Model Downscaling Data for Impacts Research (CliMDDIR) project has hit the road. Over the past two months the team has been meeting with the NSW and ACT Regional Climate Model (NARCliM) project team, explaining the functionality of a beta test version of a web portal that will eventually serve NARCliM output to climate change impacts researchers. Read more here.

New conference format leads to multiple collaborations
Erik Van Sebille recently returned from the Chapman conference, which focused on the Agulhas System. What made the conference remarkable was its unusual format, which led to many more connections and collaborations than normally result from international conferences. Read more to find out why the conference was so successful.

Young researchers take on a snowy Cradle Mountain
Following the very successful Hobart workshop, some of our young researchers stayed on to tackle Cradle Mountain just as the snow set in. Who should they meet but former Greens leader, Bob Brown. Read more here.  


 Get wrapped up in Python
A new downloadable (and free) book has just been made available for those who are interested in learning Python. A Hands-On Introduction to Using Python in the Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences is available for download here.
Ozone and climate change
Celebrating the 25-year anniversary of the Montreal Protocol, Prof David Karoly wrote a fascinating article in The Conversation around the relationship between the ozone over the Antarctic and climate change. Read it here. 
Attribution of Climate Related Extremes Meeting
CI’s Lisa Alexander, David Karoly and Research Fellow Sarah Perkins attended the Attribution of Climate-related Extremes (ACE) meeting at the University of Oxford September 12-14. Our CoE partner investigator, Peter Stott, from the Hadley Centre chaired the meeting.
The aim of the meeting was to explore the potential for the development of assessments of the extent to which weather and climate-related events can be attributed to anthropogenic and natural climate factors. Such attribution products are envisaged as being an important component of the development of climate services to meet a range of stakeholder needs for adapting to climate change.
Subsequently Karoly, Alexander and Perkins have been asked to contribute on attribution of Australian extremes in 2012 to next year’s Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society publication that will explain the extreme events of the previous year from a climate perspective.


2013 Dalton Award from European Geosciences Union
Congratulations to Michael Roderick for winning the Dalton Award, from the Division on Hydrological Sciences of the European Geosciences Union. The annual award was introduced in recognition of the scientific achievements of John Dalton. The award is now in its 10th year and is given out to an individual for distinguished research in Hydrology reviewed as an Earth science.
Editors Award from the Monthly Weather Review
Prof Todd Lane recently won the Editors Award from the Monthly Weather Review. Todd received the award from the American Meteorological Service for “dedicated service in reviewing several particularly difficult manuscripts and always being amenable to performing reviews”.
Muhammad Hassim awarded PhD
Congratulations to Muhammad who was awarded his PhD at a graduation ceremony in Melbourne on August 6. Muhammad also recently presented a paper titled High-Resolution Numerical Simulations of Diurnally Forced Convection Over the Maritime Continent at the Asia Oceana Geosciences Society conference in  Singapore.
2012 UNSW Postgraduate Council Supervisor Award
Katrin Meissner recently received the 2012 UNSW Postgraduate Council Supervisor Award. This award was established to recognise supervisors who display exemplary supervisory behaviour, and to acknowledge their efforts in supervising research students.
Juan Saenz
Associate Investigator

Juan is the latest addition to the Centre of Excellence. He has been working with Andy Hogg and Ross Griffiths developing conceptual tools and code to diagnose the energetics of ocean circulation in the framework of available potential energy. Through this research he is exploring the links between ocean circulation and climate variability.  This has brought him into regular collaborations with a number of CoE researchers.
Will Hobbs
Associate Investigator

Welcome to Climate Scientist and oceanographer Will Hobbs who has joined our Hobart node in UTAS. Will was a research fellow at JPL (Pasadena, California). He will be working on the detection and attribution of climate change with Nathan Bindoff.  With the arrival of Max Nikurashin, all of the CoE appointments at the UTAS node have been completed. You can find out a little bit more about Will here.

Global rainfall variability decreased over past 50 years
A fascinating  paper by the CoE's Fubao Sun and Michael Roderick, Changes in the variability of global precipitation, was awarded the AGU Research Spotlight. The paper challenges one of the strongly held assumptions of climate change that variability of precipitation will grow with the atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide was shown to be incorrect. Drawing on seven databases representing global monthly mean precipitation values, the paper found that from 1940 to 2009 global over-land precipitation variability actually decreased. In addition, they found that the changes in precipitation patterns that did occur led to a redistribution of rainfall such that wet areas got drier, and dry areas got wetter. 
Increased frequency of global heatwaves
CoE extremes researcher Sarah Perkins along with Lisa Alexander has produced a paper that not only shows an increase in global heatwaves but puts in a place a reliable and consistent method for determining how a heatwave is defined. The paper Increasing frequency, intensity and duration of observed global heatwaves and warm spells shows that non-summer events are driving annual changes and night-time heatwaves have increased faster than daytime and daily-average events.

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)



Understanding and prediction of monsoon weather and climate

November 12-15
The main focus of this year's workshop is on modelling (simulation and prediction) but will include observational studies of physical processes and variability that are pertinent to improving modelling capability (including improved understanding so as to guide model development)

Keynote speakers: Gill Martin (MetOffice, UK), Akio Kitoh (MRI, Japan),Ken Sperber (PCMDI, LLNL, USA), Eric Maloney (Colorado State University, USA), William Boos (Yale, USA), Sean Milton (MetOffice, UK), Masayuki Nakagawa (JMA, Japan), Chidong Zhang (University of Miami, USA)

Click here for more information.


Integrated Ocean Observing System (IOOS) Summit 2012

November 13-16
This event provides an opportunity to evaluate critical elements of IOOS. The proceedings of the community white papers, writing teams, and Summit outcomes will be organized into a final report with the following chapters:

  1. Report Highlighting the Past Decade of Progress
  2. Updated User Requirements: Revisiting and Updating
  3. Gap Assessment of Existing Observing System Capabilities
  4. Identified Integration Challenges and Opportunities
  5. Vision for the Next 10 Years

Event co-chairs: Eric Lindstrom (NASA), Paul DiGiacomo (NOAA), Jan Newton (Northwest Association of Networked Ocean Observing Systems), Ru Morrison (Northeastern Regional Association of Coastal and Ocean Observing Systems). 
Click here for more information


Conference - Ticking time bomb in the Human-Earth system: Second Australian Earth System Outlook Conference

November 26/27

Click here for registration form. Registrations close on November 16.
Click here for the full program.

This Second Australian Earth System Outlook Conference, open to all, will explore a small selection of globally significant “ticking time bombs” which pose risks of unmanageable undesirable change unless anticipatory actions are taken that fall well outside the corrective capacity of the invisible hand of economic market forces.
Conference Conveners: Australian Academy of Science
Location: Shine Dome, Australian Academy of Science, Canberra
Click here for more  information.


2012 Victorian Postgraduate Student Symposium

9am-5pm, November 28
All Victorian and Tasmanian postgraduate students, as well as those considering future postgraduate study, are welcome to attend and encouraged to present. Relevant subjects of study are those relating to AMOS and the Centre of Excellence for Climate Systems Science - atmosphere, oceans and climate. This event aims to provide a friendly environment for Honours, Masters and PhD students to share their research and practice their presentation skills.
Location: Fritz Loewe Theatre, McCoy Building, The University of Melbourne, Parkville, Victoria.
Click here for more information.



IPCC AR5 WGI Fourth Lead Author Meeting

January 13-19
This is the fourth IPCC lead author meeting for Working Group 1 for AR5.
Location: Wrest Point, Hobart, Tasmania, Australia


Third workshop on the evaluation of ENSO processes in climate models

January 21-23
(Workshop limited to 50 people)
The workshop aims at making progress on a number of issues, building on the two previous workshops held in Paris in 2006 and 2010. Specific goals will include reviewing the existing approaches to evaluate ENSO processes in GCMs, further exploring the potential of methods bridging ENSO theoretical frameworks and GCM modelling. A specific outcome will be to propose a standard ENSO evaluation protocol for CGCMs.

Location: Hobart, Tasmania.
Click here for more details.


PAGES Second Young Scientists Meeting

February 11-12
Regarded as the premier event for early-career researchers, and will be a stepping-stone for early career researchers who want to develop their professional skills and expand their scientific network. For further information, visit the YSM website.
Location: Goa, India.

Conference - 2013 AMOS National Conference

February 11-13 Sense and Sensitivity: Understanding our changing weather and climate.

In conjunction with our Conference, AMOS will be holding the AMOS/CoECSS Software Carpentry Boot Camp at the University of Melbourne, hosted by Software Carpentry Project founder, Dr. Greg Wilson.

Deadline for abstracts: Friday, September 21, 2012.
Location: Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre, South Wharf, Melbourne


WGOMD/SOP Workshop on Sea Level Rise, Ocean/Ice Shelf Interactions and Ice Sheets

February 18-20 (Registration open until November 15)

The workshop aims to bring together leading international scientists and early career scientists from the ocean, ice-sheet, ice-shelf, and sea level rise modeling and observational communities to:

  • Identify priorities for reducing uncertainties in the projections of global and regional sea-level rise.
  • Evaluate the state-of-science of ocean and land-ice interactions.
  • Investigate pathways for the development of the next generation of climate models incorporating interactive land-ice components

Plenary speakers: John Church (CSIRO, Australia), Jonathan Gregory, (Uni. Reading, UK), Stephen Griffies (NOAA/GFDL, USA), Patrick Heimbach (MIT, USA), Hartmut Hellmer (AWI, Germany), David Holland (Courant Institute, USA), Robert Kopp, (Rutgers Uni., USA), Eric Larour (JPL, USA), Bill Lipscomb, (LANL, USA), Bernadette Sloyan (CSIRO, Australia), Detlef Stammer (Uni. Hamburg, Germany), Koni Steffen (Uni. Colorado, USA), Mark Tamisiea (NOC, UK), Georg Umgiesser, (ISMAR, Italy).
Location: CSIRO, Hobart, Tasmania, Australia.


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Our mailing address is:
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