Welcome to the fourth newsletter from the ARC Centre of Excellence for Climate System Science (CoECSS).
Group shot taken on the second day of the Hobart workshop. Click here for more photos.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
RECENT PAPERS OF INTEREST
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.