AustralianMeteorological & OceanographicSociety
How is climate change affecting our diet? Happy World Met Day!lWeather tippinglScience Meets ParliamentlMeet our FAMOS members New AMOS Executivel2016 conference wrap up
Bulletin of the Australian Meteorological & Oceanographic Society Vol 29, No. 1, FEBRUARY/MARCH 2016 ISSN 1035-6576
Contents Editorial.............................................................................................................................................................................1 Presidentâ€™s Column...........................................................................................................................................................2 AMOS/ARCCSS 2016 Conference.....................................................................................................................................4 News.................................................................................................................................................................................8 News from the Centres ..................................................................................................................................................14 Comment: Februaryâ€™s global temperature spike is a wake-up call...............................................................................15 Obituary: Rosea Lillian Kemp.........................................................................................................................................17 Report from Science Meets Parliament 2016 ...............................................................................................................20 Science Article: In 30 years, how might climate change affect what Australians eat and drink?................................22 Meet a Member: Andrew Marshall................................................................................................................................28 The Research Corner with Damien Irving: Podcasting comes to weather and climate science...................................29 Charts from the Past with Blair Trewin: 22 January 1991..............................................................................................30
ISSN 1035-6576 Cover picture: This image was taken at Majura Pines, Canberra on 26 February 2016 at 7 a.m. Image: Ian Warren.
Unless specifically stated to the contrary, views expressed in the Bulletin are the personal views of the authors, and do not represent the views of the Society or any other organisation or institution to which the author(s) may be affiliated.
Changes for AMOS The start of the year has already been and gone. From where I sit, Autumn is settling in over Sydney, and many people are bustling about, trying to get organised for this week’s Easter break. The AMOS/ARCCSS1 national conference is now more than a month behind us. I personally found the education and outreach sessions most intriguing, with some useful advice and insights from a range of scientists, communicators, and also artists. Some of the conference highlights are detailed in this issue of BAMOS. With the CSIRO proposing massive cuts to climate jobs just days before the event, the conference was also a time of sadness and anxiety. The announcement drew quick and strong condemnation both nationally and worldwide, as well as probing questioning in Senate Estimates and by the Senate Select Committee into the Scrutiny of Government Budget Measures. This was covered extensively in the media, for example: http://www.nytimes.com/2016/03/04/ opinion/australia-turns-its-back-on-climate-science. html?_r=0 and http://www.theage.com.au/environment/ climate-change/csiro-reveals-it-is-considering-outsourcingclimate-modelling-research-to-britain-20160308-gndjd3. html (thanks to Craig Macaulay for the links). Also during the conference, AMOS held its 2016 AGM, where AMOS welcomed a new President, Mary Voice, and a new Vice-President, Dr. Andrew Marshall. Many of you may be familiar with Mary already. She is an active member and champion of AMOS. Previously, Mary was Head of the Bureau’s National Climate Centre. She is also the Society’s first female President. Mary has kindly written a few pieces for this issue of BAMOS, including her first column as President. Andrew is the current Chair of the Tasmanian Regional Centre and a man of many talents. In this issue of BAMOS he is profiled at Meet a Member, so read on to find out more about your new Vice-President! I’m looking forward to working with Mary and Andrew in these coming months. We have a new AMOS Weather Tipping team and AMOS Awards Committee this year (see page 9 for more details). There are a range of prizes and competitions now open that may be of interest to AMOS members. I’m also calling for book reviews to include in BAMOS. There is plenty in this issue to keep you busy! Happy reading and all the best for the Easter break ahead.
Melissa Lyne Editor 1
ARC Centre of Excellence for Climate System Science
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Top: Scientists rally against the CSIRO job cuts in Melbourne. Image: Elaine Fernandes, Twitter: @elaineways. Bottom: Outgoing President Todd Lane hands over to the incoming President Mary Voice at the AMOS AGM. Image: Jeanette Dargaville.
World Meteorological Day 2016: Face the future climate system, and their socioeconomic and ecological impacts, and promote applications of this understanding for the benefit of all Australians.” We also saw that 2015 was the hottest year on record and the world experienced soaring levels of drought, many heat-waves, coral bleaching episodes, extreme weather events and some coastal flooding. While weather and climate dominated the 2015 disaster trends, better warning systems meant fewer deaths (http://www. climatechangenews.com/2016/02/12/un-weather-andclimate-dominate-2015-disaster-trends/). That result is a great credit to the integrated functioning meteorological systems built by the NMHSs. With this in mind, I am sure we are all concerned to see positive outcomes for research and development and services (“for the benefit of all Australians”) emerge after recently proposed changes at CSIRO. Your Executive has already expressed concern for individuals affected (see http://www.amos.org.au/Main/News/President_s_report/ Main/President_s_report.aspx)
2016 World Meteorological Day theme.
Every year, 23 March is designated World Meteorological Day. This is a time to acknowledge the life-saving and well-being benefits of National Meteorological and Hydrological Services (weather, climate and hydrology, NMHSs), and to “face the future” and think about how to improve research and services in the years ahead. The 2016 joint AMOS and ARCCSS conference in February highlighted the excellent work going on in Australia to better understand Australian weather and climate regimes and the closely linked oceanic processes. We saw pure scientific inquiry and research & development aiming to solve problems and improve services for society. There were many scientific highlights at the conference, including the presentations given by our award winners. Congratulations to all our award winners, they demonstrate the high standard of research and services in Australia. This is most satisfying, since AMOS aims to help: “advance the scientific understanding of the atmosphere, oceans and
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AMOS has an important role as a credible, independent voice for the profession, and, as previously noted aims to “promote applications of our understanding for the benefit of all Australians”. Your AMOS executive has concluded that we should articulate a broad national need for research and services capability, and for effective arrangements that preserve and develop important research and services efforts in a well integrated manner. The 2016 World Meteorological Day theme of “Face the future”, prompts us to contribute to discussions on how Australia’s climate capability can be improved. An information statement on “possible changes to national atmospheric and oceanographic research” has been posted to the AMOS website: http://www.amos.org.au/Main/ About_us/Statements/Main/Statements.aspx, and we have written short letters to relevant Federal Ministers and to the Chief Scientist. AMOS also made a submission to the Senate Select Committee on Budget Measures—Proposed CSIRO Job Cuts. Many researchers and operational personnel recognise that Australia’s weather, climate and oceanographic observing and modelling programs have been integrated and co-ordinated between agencies for many decades. This integration is the result of hard work and careful negotiation by many senior scientists and managers and follows naturally from the systems interconnectedness in our sciences, as sketched in Figure 1. Many of us who have worked in the services sector hope that any new arrangements for research, development
Figure 1. Examples of interconnectedness between the various atmospheric and oceanic components and systems. Graphic: prepared by Mary Voice.
and services should be carefully planned so as not to undermine this coordination.
Day 2016, the WMO is reiterating its commitment to contribute to these efforts.
Scientific advances are leading to increasingly useful climate information and services to support climate resilience, adaptation and mitigation. The World Meteorological Organization (WMO), the global network of NMHSs and their related agencies have a major role to play in providing the scientific observations, research and operational climate services that society will need in order to face the future. In Australia this includes the Bureau of Meteorology, CSIRO and the University networks and Centres of Excellence.
Since much of our work in the meteorological, hydrological and oceanographic professions helps to save livelihoods and reduce loss of life during severe weather events and severe climate episodes such as drought, we individually or collectively may wish to call on our government representatives and scientific leaders to ensure Australia continues to contribute to these efforts also.
Continued and well-coordinated scientific research will gradually lead to more useful forecasts at weekly, seasonal, inter-annual and longer climate timescales. Science will also help to identify practical solutions for managing weather and climate risks. On World Meteorological
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World Meteorological Day (23 March) is an appropriate day to contemplate and maybe communicate your vision of how your work can help Australia â€œFace the Futureâ€?.
AMOS/ARCCSS 2016 Conference
Some key observations from the 2016 conference Mary Voice, AMOS President
In this article, AMOS President Mary Voice takes us through her personal perspective of the science presented at the AMOS/ ARCCSS 2016 conference. She notes that the following is only based on sessions she was able to attend, amongst her various conference commitments—Ed.
3. Extreme weather
1. Seasonal and longer fluctuations in climate
4. Ocean throughflow from the Pacific to Indian Oceans
El Niño (typical, Fig. 1 left) and La Niña (typical, Fig. 1 right) vary in strength and how often they occur. We need to understand this better because it affects longer-period wet and dry phases over Australia, including the Figbig rainfall episodes that fill Lake Eyre and Lake Frome.
The flow of water from the Pacific Ocean to the Indian Ocean is constrained by the narrow and mostly shallow passageways in the Indonesian region. New studies of how the trade winds affect the throughflow, and possibly also the East Australian current are starting to shed light on the fluctuations of sea surface temperature (SST) and salinity levels in the northern Indian Ocean. These SST fluctuations can in turn affect Australian rainfall.
Prof. Michael Reeder at Monash University has been studying precursor meteorology of heat waves, bushfires, etc., in Australia, and discovering clear signatures several days ahead. This is very promising new research.
Fig. 1 Typical sea surface temperature patterns across the Pacific Ocean during El Niño (left) and La Niña (right). Graphic: NOAA. These large scale sea surface temperature patterns in the Pacific Ocean also have a global reach by triggering big atmospheric pressure waves spreading north-east and south-east. They also superimpose a pulse-like pattern onto the global warming trend from increasing atmospheric greenhouse gases. This is an important issue for Australia, but it is a very challenging scientific problem. Nevertheless, to extend our prediction capability from seasonal timescales to multi-annual would have benefits for water resources planning, agriculture, development of northern Australia, etc. Climate modellers are beginning to see some results that suggest that useful decadal prediction could be developed in the near future if research programs are continued.
2. Seasonal forecasts (Climate and Water Outlooks) by
the Bureau of Meteorology have been using new models (based around the same models used for climate change studies) for a few years now. This has given the outlooks improved skill. The video updates which can be found at: http://www.bom.gov.au/climate/outlooks/#/overview/ video are proving very popular with user groups including farmers.
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Fig. 2 Typical ocean currents around Australia. Graphic: Bureau of Meteorology.
5. Using climate models for improved risk assessment in UK and US Both these countries are developing new ways to use climate models. A keynote paper by Dr. Peter Stott of the UK Met Office demonstrated how climate models can be used to test changing risks from severe weather events in a warming world. Similar work has been under development here for Australian conditions, and it is to be hoped that this developmental research can continue, as new arrangements for Australian climate research are negotiated.
AMOS/ARCCSS 2016 Conference
In the media: the good, the social and the scientific Paul Holper and Simon Torok, Scientell
This year’s conference attracted substantial media attention—for the right and the wrong reasons. The right reasons first. The program was exceptionally strong, with lots of new science and newsworthy presentations. In a pre-conference media alert, we flagged some of these newsworthy presentations, including: •
Detecting ocean warming and salinity changes due to greenhouse emissions.
Recent four-fold increase in global number of annual marine heatwave days, devastating regional ecosystems.
The possible commencement of retreat of Antarctic ice.
Linking the past 16 hottest years on record globally to human-caused climate change.
2011 to 2015: the world’s hottest five-year period on record.
How Arctic (sic) sea-ice loss affects Australasian climate.
The scientific case for confirming that human activity has pushed the Earth into a new geological epoch.
Geoengineering and its likely impacts.
The impact of climate change on extreme fire danger.
Cooling cities to save lives.
Sarah Perkins-Kirkpatrick from the University of New South Wales headed down to the ABC Southbank studios for a live interview on the ABC TV Midday program. John Clarke from CSIRO chatted in the early morning with Red Symons on ABC radio 774. The Wire, a daily current affairs program broadcast on community and Indigenous radio stations around Australia, interviewed Penny Whetton. Sarah Perkins-Kirkpatrick; Blair Trewin (Bureau of Meteorology); and Andrew King (University of
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Sarah Perkins-Kirkpatrick, Blair Trewin and Andrew King participated in an online briefing with journalists. Image: Paul Holper. Melbourne) participated in an Australian Science Media Centre live online briefing about climatic extremes. These briefings are an excellent way of efficiently engaging with journalists on topical subjects. More than a dozen media representations participated, including ABC, AAP, News Corp. and Sky News. Now the “wrong” reasons. CSIRO announced plans to retrench large numbers of climate change scientists from its Aspendale and Hobart laboratories just days before the conference. There was extensive media interest in the announcement and a number of senior climate scientists at the conference made public comments on the matter. Independently of the conference, there was a protest by scientists outside the venue, which the media covered extensively. In addition, Scientell and many other conference delegates regularly tweeted conference highlights and references, citing #AMOS2016 and extending the conference’s reach and influence. Scientell thanks Melissa Lyne and Jeanette Dargaville, AMOS, for their efforts and support, and Alvin Stone, ARC Centre of Excellence for Climate System Science, UNSW, for his multidimensional assistance.
AMOS/ARCCSS 2016 Conference
Dinner delights The dinner is a highlight of the annual conference program. This year’s conference dinner took place at the Melbourne Museum, and included a peek at the Museum’s new dinosaur exhibit, Jurassic World. While the dinner provides a chance to catch up with fellow delegates in an informal setting, it is also a night to formally recognise those who contribute greatly to the AMOS sciences.
Over the course of the night, we celebrated the outgoing AMOS President, Todd Lane, and welcomed our new President, Mary Voice. We also recognised our AMOS Awardees and Fellows, and thanked our volunteers for their valuable contributions. Here are a few brief moments from the night!
From top, clockwise: young scientists at the conference dinner (image: Jeanette Dargaville), outgoing President Todd Lane presenting the Morton medal to Professor David Karoly (image: Paul Holper), Professor Neville Nicholls honoring the Society’s new Fellows (image: Paul Holper).
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AMOS/ARCCSS 2016 Conference
From top left, clockwise: Meteorological Colossi beneath a dinosaur colossus (image: Jeanette Dargaville), Todd Lane presents flowers to Val Jemmeson to recognise her recent retirement and in acknowledgement of her long service to AMOS (image: Paul Holper), three meteorologists pondering the climateâ€™s influence on the extinction of the dinosaurs (image: Jeanette Dargaville), incoming President Mary Voice presenting the Priestley Medal to Associate Professor Andy Hogg (image: Paul Holper). Thanks to Mary Voice for provideing the captions!â€”Ed.
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FAMOS trio Neville Nicholls
From left to right: Ian Allison, Beth Ebert and John Le Marshall. Images: supplied.
The election of three new AMOS Fellows was announced at the AMOS/ARCCSS conference dinner in February. Only a small number of AMOS Members are elected to be Fellows of the Society and the essential criterion for election is that the member “has made major contributions to the AMOS disciplines over a number of years”. The process of appointing new Fellows is a multi-stage election process involving the AMOS Awards Committee and the existing AMOS Fellows. Our new Fellows and their main contributions to the AMOS disciplines are: Professor Ian Allison is a world-leading glaciologist and has been the leading Australian glaciologist for well over a decade, with expert knowledge of the Antarctic Ice Sheet and Southern Ocean sea ice, and their effects on climate and sea level. Ian’s research interests include ice shelf ocean interaction, Antarctic weather and climate, sea ice, and the mass budget of the Antarctic ice sheet. He has published more than 120 peer-reviewed papers. His research and leadership has been recognized through both national and international awards including Officer of the Order of Australia [AO] (for distinguished service to the environment as a glaciologist, to furthering international understanding of the science of the Antarctic region, and to climate research), the Australian Antarctic Medal (AAM), and the Philip Law Medal. He is also the 2016 Tasmanian Senior Australian of the Year. Dr. Beth Ebert is recognised internationally as a leader in the field of rainfall forecast verification. She formulated innovative approaches to spatial verification Bulletin of the Australian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society Vol. 29 page 8
of rainfall forecasts. Beth has also worked on validation of rainfall products from operational satellite precipitation algorithms which are used for many diverse applications. In her role at the Bureau of Meteorology Beth is responsible for strategic directions and leadership in highimpact weather prediction, including heavy rain, tropical cyclones and bushfires, forecasting, including Next Generation forecast and warning systems, aviation and nowcasting, and numerical weather prediction (NWP) applications, including ensembles and verification. Beth has played key roles in the development of the WMO’s forecast demonstration projects along with a range of other World Weather Research Program initiatives. Dr. John Le Marshall, over a long career at the Bureau of Meteorology and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), has had enormous influence on the science of satellite remote sensing and its assimilation into numerical weather prediction, leading to improved weather predictions for Australia and the world. John has been a leader in the international community of scientists working on temperature and moisture retrievals from the TIROS Operational Vertical Sounder (TOVS) instrument on the NOAA polar orbiting satellites. His international reputation and expertise led to his appointment as director of the USA Joint Centre for Satellite Data Assimilation in 2004. While there, John’s pivotal work on using data from the Advanced Infrared Sounder (AIRS) instrument led to him being awarded NASA’s highest scientific award. He currently provides advice to NOAA in the design of its next generation of geostationary satellites.
The AMOS Awards Committee Neville Nicholls
Mark Williams has stepped down after about 15 years service on the AMOS Awards Committee, including a decade as Chair. As his replacement, I would like to record the gratitude of the AMOS membership and Council for Mark’s many years of service to this very important aspect of the AMOS mission. Even a casual inspection of the recently updated Awards page (much of which was driven by Mark) will reveal that the awards process is complex and time-consuming for those involved. Mark has spent a great deal of time ensuring that this process is completed smoothly and in a timely fashion, and he has managed to do this without ruffling feathers. His quiet and efficient manner, and his dedication to AMOS, deserves wider recognition through the society. Andrew Klekociuk is also stepping aside after four years service on the Awards Committee, to take on a larger role in the newly invigorated Tasmanian Centre. AMOS also recognises Andrew’s important contributions to the awards process. Council has decided that those making recommendations for the AMOS awards deserve increased recognition, because this task does take considerable energy and time. We will now be listing all the members of the Awards
Committee on the Awards webpages. And every year we will be listing, in the first BAMOS issue of the year, the names of all those involved in the selection process the previous year. We will start this process in this issue, by listing those involved in the selection process in 2015. •
AMOS Awards Committee: Mark Williams (Chair), Andrew Klekociuk, Merv Lynch, Neville Nicholls.
Uwe Radok PhD Thesis Award selection committee: Melissa Hart (Chair), Ian Simmonds, Peter Strutton.
The AMOS Distinguished Research Award: Matthew Wheeler (Chair), Lisa Alexander, James Risbey, Mary Voice.
Christopher Taylor Award: Andrew Tupper (Chair), Matthew Collopy, Andrew Burton.
Priestley Medal: Neville Nicholls (Chair), Neil Holbrook, Tom Beer, Matthias Tomczak, Milton Speer, Tom Lyons.
All these committees have received great support from our administrative officer, Jeanette Dargaville, and the Awards Committee is very grateful for her efforts and dedication to the Society.
Registration for 2016 weather tipping comp now open! Grant Beard
Grant Beard is the soon-to-be-retired Senior Climatologist and Manager of Climate and Ocean Monitoring and Prediction at the Bureau of Meteorology. He is now also the Lead Weather Tipping Admin. Grant was a fierce weather tipping player for many years and regularly featured in the top 8. Here’s his first announcement on behalf of the annual AMOS Weather Tipping Competition—Ed.
There will be a few changes this year. Firstly, the fixture features a different site every week, including during the finals. Secondly, if you don’t submit your forecast on time (8:00 p.m. Friday, local time in Melbourne), you’ll be allocated the Bureau of Meteorology’s forecast plus a penalty of two points. That way you’ll stay in touch with the competition and it will eliminate the possibility of a season-ending disaster.
Hello weather tippers from your new AMOS Weather Tipping Admin team. The AMOS Weather Tipping competition is back for 2016, and registration is now OPEN.
If you’d like to participate, head to the website and subscribe to the 2016 season (new players should click the “join up” menu, while players from previous years should click “login”, “manage account” and then “subscribe to current season”): http://tipping.amos.org.au/
The tipping season will commence on 2 April (Round 1: Port Hedland) culminating in the Grand Final on 1 October to coincide with the AFL Grand Final. Please mark the start date in your calendars.
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Please share this announcement with your friends and colleagues. Best of luck and happy tipping!
Winner of the AMOS Education & Outreach Prize Melissa Lyne
The AMOS Education & Outreach Committee are always looking for volunteers who might be able to present talks at schools and for community groups. We mostly get requests for talks on weather and climate, but we would also like to offer talks about oceanography and much more. However, we do need a database of willing volunteers, so we know who is in the area and what their specialty is when a request comes through. To get a database started, Angela Maharaj ran a competition at this year’s AMOS/ARCCSS Conference. All you had to do to enter was to put your name down to be included on the volunteer database. At the end of the conference, a randomly drawn name from the database was offered a $100 gift voucher of their choice.
The winner is James Goldie, a Ph. D. student at the Climate Change Research Centre at UNSW. James is based in Canberra. Congratulations, James! The Committee has already started using the database to respond to requests. These talks provide a great opportunity to practice and hone your communication skills, and to seek feedback on your presentation content and delivery. If you are interested in giving talks on your area of expertise in the AMOS sciences, please do get in touch at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Eureka! Prize nominations are now open Entries and nominations are now open for the 2016 Australian Museum Eureka Prizes. There are 16 prizes on offer this year including two new prizes. The categories are: Research & Innovation; Leadership; Science Communication, and; School Science.
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For more on the Australian Museum Eureka Prizes, including the full prize line-up, FAQs and tips from the judges, visit the website at: http://australianmuseum. net.au/eureka. Entries close 7 p.m. AEST Friday 6 May. Contact email@example.com if you have any questions.
Associate Editors wanted for the Journal of Southern Hemisphere Earth Systems Science (JSHESS) The Australian Meteorological and Oceanographic Journal (AMOJ) has now become the Journal of Southern Hemisphere Earth Systems Science (JSHESS). The Journal is looking to renew and extend its Editorial Board through the engagement of new Associate Editors, particularly with the journal’s expanded role as a journal for meteorology, climate, oceanography, hydrology and space weather focussed on the Southern Hemisphere. The role of the Associate Editor is to manage the review process for papers within their area of expertise allocated to them by the Editor. This includes finding reviewers for papers, and managing the review process and submission of revisions by authors up to the point of making a final recommendation to the Editor. Each Associate Editor is expected to handle up to eight papers per year, with the Journal moving to adopt an online system for the editorial process. Whilst candidates with expertise in any scientific field within the scope of the Journal are invited to apply, we are especially interested in recruiting additional Associate Editors from the following areas:
Associate Editors from Southern Hemisphere countries other than Australia.
Associate Editors with expertise in areas newly within the scope of the Journal (hydrology and space weather).
Associate Editors in areas which fill gaps in the areas of expertise covered by our existing Associate Editors or where the existing Associate Editors are heavily loaded. These include:
Numerical weather prediction.
Observation systems and technology.
Climate change impacts and adaptation.
Existing Associate Editors of AMOJ are welcome to apply to be an Associate Editor of the new Journal. Associate Editors will be appointed for a renewable 2-year term. Applications for the position of Associate Editor, outlining your areas of expertise and any other relevant information, should be sent to the Editor-in-Chief, David Karoly (firstname.lastname@example.org) by 31 March 2016.
BAMOS Book Reviews Read any books involving the AMOS sciences lately? If so, why not tell us about it! BAMOS is now seeking book reviews, across fiction or non-fiction. Book reviews are a great way to inform the community about what to read if they are interested in (fascinated by, even!), the AMOS sciences. We are now accepting submissions from half to one-page long. To get things started, we have two books courtesy of CSIRO Publishing to give away in exchange for a review: •
Indicators and Surrogates of Biodiversity and Environmental Change.
Southern Surveyor: stories from onboard Australia’s ocean research vessel.
If you are intrigued by either of these books (pictured right), please do let me know on my email: Melissa@amos. org.au and I’ll provide further details. I look forward to reading you!
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Career opportunities with the Bureau
Career Opportunities with the Bureau www.bom.gov.au/careers
The complexity and nature of our work and vast network of offices allows us to offer a diverse range of rewarding careers. We provide some truly unique assignments across Australia in capital cities, regional and remote locations, as well as offshore islands and Antarctica. Some of the stimulating roles available at the Bureau include: • Accounting and finance—accountant, accounts payable, supply officer, auditor; • Climatology, meteorology, science— climatologist, meteorologist, weather forecaster, oceanographer, environmental advisor;
Graduate and entry-level programs include: • Graduate meteorologist; • ICT—entry-level programs graduate The including complexity and nature of our programs and apprenticeships; work and vast network of offices
usincluding to offeraa diverse range • Indigenous entry level allows programs graduate program andof therewarding Indigenouscareers. Australian Government Development Program; and We provide some truly unique
• Engineering and technical—civil engineer, technical officers, drafting, project manager;
• trainee technical officers. assignments across Australia in
• Corporate support—administration officer, business manager, HR business partner; payroll officer, recruitment manager, legal advisor, librarian, procurement communications officer, work health and safety advisor;
of Meteorology scan the QR code below or contact us:
• Hydrology and water careers— flood forecaster, surface water hydrologist, water accountant; and • IT and telecommunications—high-performance and scientific computing, analyst/programmer, web developer/designer, telecommunications systems specialist.
capital cities, regional and remote locations, as well as offshore For more information about careers in the Bureau islands and Antarctica.
(03) 9669 4401 email@example.com www.bom.gov.au/careers
For information about careers Above: Meteorologist Karen Pon on more the sea-ice skiway outside inAntarctic the Bureau ofafter Meteorology scan Mawson Station in the Australian Territory, a flight from Davis Station, 2012. the QR code above or visit www.bom.gov.au/careers
A new outlook for your career
Bulletin of the Australian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society Vol. 29 page 12
Telephone: (03) 9669 4401
Above: image of Bureau employee Karen Pon on the sea-ice skiway outside Mawson Station in the Australian Antarctic Territory, after a flight from Davis Station.
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A sunny future for Bureau’s female forecasters Bureau of Meteorology
A really ‘cool change’ is sweeping through the Bureau of Meteorology, with almost 50 percent of graduate meteorologists now women, compared to just 21 percent in the late 1980s and 90s.
career and it’s great to see so many young women gravitating towards it. It’s also good for the Bureau as we want a diverse workforce which truly reflects society,” she said.
In the past three years, 24 women out of 49 students have successfully completed the nationally accredited Graduate Diploma in Meteorology, held at the Bureau’s Melbourne Training Centre.
Overall, women now account for almost 30 percent of all staff working at the Bureau of Meteorology, including meteorologists, climatologists, hydrologists, senior executives and three Deputy Directors.
Over the past 16 years, 94 women have graduated with the Diploma (34 percent of the students).
Ms. Casinader, who is the Bureau’s first female Regional Director, said: “There is an increasing appreciation of the value of having women in the Bureau. Women bring different perspectives and a real diversity of skills.
Between 1988 and 1999 just 30 out of 137 course participants were female (21 percent). The Bureau’s Regional Director for Victoria, Tarini Casinader, said she is pleased to see a growing number of young women choosing meteorology as a career. “The idea of science being just for men is changing rapidly. Forecasting is a mentally stimulating and really rewarding
“I think it’s great that we have more senior women inside the organisation who can act as role models to younger women looking for encouragement and advice, and while I might be the first female Regional Director in the Bureau, I have no intention of being the last.”
Carbon threat to oceans draws international meeting Craig Macaulay
Questions around the changing chemical composition of the world’s oceans, and observed or predicted impacts on marine life and food security will be addressed in an international conference in Hobart in early May.
Dr. Lenton said the Southern Ocean, tropical coral reefs and inshore estuaries are under intense scientific focus to measure change, and monitor impacts on marine species, particularly those which form shells.
More than 400 scientists from 30 countries are expected for the 4th International Symposium on the Oceans in a High CO2 World. This will be the first time the event is hosted in the Southern Hemisphere.
Among research areas to be discussed are:
Ocean acidification, considered the evil twin of climate change, has been identified as a significant risk to marine ecosystems. It occurs as the oceans absorb carbon from the atmosphere, now at record levels in the modern era. It is changing the chemistry of seawater. In turn, this limits the ability of some species to make their calcium structures such as shells and reefs. Impacts arising from both elevated global ocean temperatures and changing marine chemistry have been recorded in the shellfish industry on the US coast at Oregon, in both the Arctic and Southern Oceans, and tropical reef systems. The conference is being coordinated locally by CSIRO’s Dr. Andrew Lenton and Associate Professor Catriona Hurd, from the University of Tasmania’s Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies (IMAS).
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Organism responses to ocean acidification
Ecological effects of ocean acidification
Advances in ocean acidification research and monitoring
Ocean acidification and society – economics and food security
Options for mitigating impacts
Overlaying other stressors such as water temperature and pollution on acidification.
The conference program can be viewed at: http://www. highco2-iv.org/program. The conference is sponsored by the Hobart-based Antarctic Gateway Partnership, CSIRO, the Ocean Acidification International Coordination Centre, NASA, the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the Antarctic Climate & Ecosystems Cooperative Research Centre, the US National Science Foundation, the Australian Antarctic Division, the Australian Institute for Marine Science, the Australian Government, the University of Tasmania and IMAS.
News from the Centres
Two talks for National Science Week Andrew Marshall
Chair, Tasmanian Regional Centre The Tasmanian Regional Centre was successfully awarded $2,000 in the National Science Week grant round for 2016. With the grants, the Centre will hold two public events on the topic of the Southern Ocean and Antarctica and its relevance to Tasmania. These are titled “What’s happening down south and why should we care?” and will be held at the University of Tasmania in Hobart on Tuesday 16 August and in Launceston (Newnham Campus) on Wednesday 17 August. Both talks run from 6–7:30 p.m.
The events will feature an MC and three expert speakers from diverse backgrounds presenting on the topic of the Southern Ocean and Antarctica and its relevance to Tasmania, followed by a 30–40 minute panel discussion with the audience. More details will be announced soon!
Post-Paris Forum Melbourne Regional Centre The Melbourne Regional Centre recently held a successful public lecture on the Paris talks and their implications for climate policy. There will be an article for BAMOS soon, but in the meantime check out the recording from the
Sustainable Living Festival in Melbourne here: https:// www.youtube.com/watch?v=8uIgk7f3IrA. We are also planning the Pearman lecture and other events for the year ahead.
Develop and Demonstrate the Best New User-Oriented Forecast Verification Metric Contest run by WMO Joint Working Group on Forecast Verification Research in support of the WWRP projects on High Impact Weather (HIWeather), Subseasonal to Seasonal Prediction (S2S), and Polar Prediction (PPP) Aim: Promote user-oriented verification, that is, quantitative assessment of forecast quality in terms that are meaningful to particular kinds of forecast users Scope: • All applications of meteorological and hydrological forecasts • Users include industry, emergency management, public, … many possibilities! • Metrics may be scores or diagrams, must be new • Anyone with a good idea (individuals, teams) can enter Prize: Paid attendance and keynote talk at next International Verification Methods Workshop in 2017. All participants will be invited to submit an abstract to the workshop. How to enter: http://www.wmo.int/pages/prog/arep/wwrp/new/ FcstVerChallenge.html Timeline: • Challenge begins: September 2015 • Deadline for entries: 31 October 2016 • Announcement of winner: January 2017 Further information firstname.lastname@example.org
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February’s global temperature spike is a wake-up call Steve Sherwood and Stefan Rahmstorf
Climate Change Research Centre, UNSW, Australia and Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, Germany
Australia has had a run of breaking heat records in the past few months. Picture: Bondi Beach on a hot February morning. Image: Melissa Lyne.
Global temperatures for February showed a disturbing and unprecedented upward spike. It was 1.35°C warmer than the average February during the usual baseline period of 1951–1980, according to NASA data.
single cause of this variability is the natural cycle between El Niño and La Niña conditions. The El Niño in 1998 was a record-breaker, but now we have one that looks even bigger by some measures.
This is the largest warm anomaly of any month since records began in 1880. It far exceeds the records set in 2014 and again in 2015 (the first year when the 1°C mark was breached).
The pattern of warmth in February shows typical signatures of both long-term global warming and El Niño. The latter is very evident in the tropics.
In the same month, Arctic sea ice cover reached its lowest February value ever recorded. And last year carbon dioxide concentration in our atmosphere increased by more than 3 parts per million, another record. What is going on? Are we facing a climate emergency?
El Niño plus climate change Two things are combining to produce the record warmth: the well-known global warming trend caused by our greenhouse gas emissions, and an El Niño in the tropical Pacific. The record shows that global surface warming has always been overlaid by natural climate variability. The biggest Bulletin of the Australian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society Vol. 29 page 15
Further north, the pattern looks similar to other Februarys since the year 2000: particularly strong warming in the Arctic, Alaska, Canada and the northern Eurasian continent. Another notable feature is a cold blob in the northern Atlantic, which has been attributed to a slowdown in the Gulf Stream. The February warming spike brought us at least 1.6°C above pre-industrial global average temperatures. This means that, for the first time, we have passed the 1.5°C international aspirational goal agreed in December in Paris. We are coming uncomfortably close to 2°C. Fortunately, this is temporary: the El Niño is beginning to subside.
February temperatures from 1880 to 2016 from NASA GISS data. Values are deviations from the base period of 1951–1980. Graph: Stefan Rahmstorf.
Emissions still increasing Unfortunately, we have done little about the underlying warming. If unchecked, this will cause these breaches to happen more and more often, with a greater than 2°C breach perhaps only a couple of decades away. The greenhouse gases slowly heating the Earth are still increasing in concentration. The 12-month average surpassed 400 parts per million roughly a year ago—the highest level for at least a million years. The average rose even faster in 2015 than previous years (probably also due to the El Niño, as this tends to bring drought to many parts of the globe, meaning less carbon is stored in plant growth). A glimmer of hope is that our carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuels have, for the first time in decades, stopped increasing. This trend has been evident over the past couple of years, mainly due to a decline of coal use in China, which recently announced the closure of around 1,000 coal mines.
Have we underestimated global warming? Does the “spike” change our understanding of global warming? In thinking about climate change, it is important to take the long view. A predominant La Niña-like situation over recent years did not mean global warming had “stopped” as a few public figures were (and probably still are) claiming. Likewise, a hot spike due to a major El Niño event— even though it is surprisingly hot—doesn’t mean global warming was underestimated. In the longer run the global warming trend agrees very well with longstanding predictions. But these predictions nevertheless paint a picture of a very warm future if emissions are not brought down soon.
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The situation is similar to that of a serious illness like cancer: the patient usually does not get slightly worse each day, but has weeks when the family thinks they may be recovering, followed by terrible days of relapse. The doctors do not change their diagnosis each time this happens, because they know this is all a part of the disease. Although the current El-Niño-driven spike is temporary, it will last long enough to have some severe consequences. For example, a massive coral bleaching event now appears likely on the Great Barrier Reef. Here in Australia we have been breaking heat records in the past few months, including 39 straight days in Sydney above 26°C (double the previous record). News reports seem to be focusing on the role of El Niño, but El Niño does not explain why oceans to the south of Australia, and in the Arctic, are at record high temperatures. The other half of the story is global warming. This is boosting each successive El Niño, along with all its other effects on ice sheets and sea level, the global ecosystem and extreme weather events. This is the true climate emergency: it is getting more difficult with each passing year for humanity to prevent temperatures from rising above 2°C. February should remind us how pressing the situation is.
This article was originally published at The Conversation on 16 March 2016: https://theconversation.com/februarysglobal-temperature-spike-is-a-wake-up-call-56341. It is reproduced under Creative Commons License Attribution-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-ND 4.0 http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/4.0/)
Rosea Lillian Kemp 1941–2015 by Mary Voice, FAMOS, and John Zillman, AO FAMOS FAA FTSE Frosterley members from as far afield as Canberra and Melbourne were amongst the several hundred family and friends who joined to celebrate her life at the North Rocks Uniting Church in Sydney on 8 January 2016.
Joining the Bureau to train as a meteorologist Rosea was a trailblazer with the help of her mother. She was the first woman in Victoria to be awarded a cadetship with the Bureau of Meteorology that involved studying for a Science Degree at the University of Melbourne and working for the Bureau during vacation periods before undertaking the Meteorologist’s Training course at the Bureau’s Training School. Rosea wrote the following for International Women’s Day in 2014: “As I came up to my Victorian Matriculation, my mother discovered Commonwealth Public Service Cadetships and attempted to apply on my behalf. Having been told repeatedly that these opportunities were for boys only, my tiny mother pestered and bullied all sorts of important people until, in 1958, women were grudgingly able to apply.”
Vale Rosea. Image: Boyd Kemp. Rosea Kemp (nee Boyd) who died in Sydney on 27 December 2015, was a trailblazer for women in Australian meteorology and one of its most colourful and best loved personalities. Born in Melbourne on 5 June 1941 and named after Mount Rosea in the Grampians (where her parents had their honeymoon) Rosea’s career spanned both the public and private sectors and a variety of roles from Bureau of Meteorology bench forecaster to climatology, research and consultancy in applied meteorology. Early in her career, she was the popular voice of the London Weather Centre on the BBC. The story of Rosea’s recruitment into the Bureau of Meteorology in 1959, after her mother “shook up the system” to enable girls to join is part of Bureau folklore. And, even with her many ventures beyond, and several retirements from, the Bureau, Rosea proudly brought her mum to watch her receive the Bureau of Meteorology Long Service Award in Melbourne in 2003. Both before and after her “final” retirement on 24 June 2005, Rosea was an extremely active member of the New South Wales “Frosterley” club of retired Bureau officers and a host of
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Rosea always acknowledged Dr. Bill Gibbs (then the Bureau’s Assistant Director Research and later Director of Meteorology) for supporting this change in policy and welcoming women into the professional ranks of the Bureau. At the time, the male to female ratio for the whole of the Bureau of Meteorology was approximately 6.5 to 1. Rosea quickly became part of the Bureau “family”. As her colleague Margaret McCawley recalls: “About mid-year in 1962, Rosea dug out the family’s ski gear (including skis handmade by her father) and did most of the arranging for some of the trainee Meteorologists and some Antarctica trainee Observers to go up to Mt Buller skiing (and to do some glaciological study!!!!). Their lecturer Peter Shaw was also invited.”
First postings to operational forecasting Rosea was posted by the Bureau to Brisbane in early 1963, followed by Perth. “It was quite difficult to be rostered on for shift work, the Commonwealth had relaxed restrictions on the hours women could work and now we had to work the same hours as the men. Midnight (doggo) shifts were bad enough, but not as horrible as those which started regularly at 3.45am. Unfortunately, shift work at the Bureau was the only way to promotion.”
The class photo for the 1962 Meteorologist’s Training course with Rosea sitting proudly in the middle of the front row. Image: Peter Price.
Using her skills in a wider world—becoming a weather broadcaster in the UK and a great hit with the UK public
carries the photo of Rosea driving the locomotive through a tape stretched across the track.
Rosea was hired by the UK Met Office in London. “My experience in media in Australia led to a forecasting position at the London Weather Centre, broadcasting across all BBC stations over a two-and-a-half year period”. After initial Met Office apprehension at how the UK public might react to an Australian accent, she soon became the on-air star of the London Weather Centre and extremely popular with UK listeners.
Rosea was interviewed on the BBC’s broadcasting institution Desert Island Disks on Christmas Day 1968. The list of “illuminati” who have appeared over the years is very revealing of the heights to which Rosea ascended as an identity/celebrity in the UK, e.g. Bill Gates and Hugh Bonneville are recent interviewees.
While her forecasting experience in Perth stood her in good stead, it was also the source of an occasional slip at the end of long nightshifts such as when she was reputed to have puzzled her BBC listeners with her reference to the cold front about to sweep in ‘from the Indian Ocean’ (ahem! Atlantic?). But, according to Michael Coughlan, who followed her into UK meteorology with a forecaster role at Gatwick Airport, Rosea was the Met Office’s celebrity broadcaster and she was later descibed by the Director General, Sir John Mason, as ‘the voice of the Met Office and one of our greatest assets.’ And her celebrity status spread more widely as she became, for example, the invited VIP for the opening of the Ickenham Miniature Railway on 27 September 1969. The Railway’s website still
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Soon after arriving in the UK, Rosea met her future husband. Upon her later return to Australia, Rosea was employed by the Bureau in the New South Wales Regional Office on a temporary basis, as was then the standard for married women. “After my marriage I was virtually forced to retire from the Australian Bureau. Interestingly, there was no marriage bar in the British Civil Service at that time.”
Consulting business and growing interest in coastal processes Rosea (with Don Douglas) established Weatherex, a meteorological consultancy and ran this for approximately nine years. “It was very rewarding work intellectually, but paid very little”. Together, they did a lot of work on storms affecting the New South Wales coast—for example, concerning design rainfalls for Central Coast storms, and
Obituary the implications for coastal beaches and engineering needs. During her consultancy years, Rosea interacted widely in the Australian meteorological and coastal engineering communities. She participated in a number of scientific conferences as far afield as the 1984 Arkaroola conference on Australian rainfall variability.
Back to the Bureau Rosea rejoined the Bureau of Meteorology on 19 September 1988 and spent the rest of her meteorological career in the New South Wales Regional Office of the Bureau. Having had to begin again at the bottom after her years out of the public service, she was promoted to Professional Officer Class 2 in May 1992, and subsequently spent lengthy periods at Executive Level 1, almost all of the time in climate services and consultancy roles. She ranged widely in her professional interests but had special links to the coastal engineering community and wrote extensively on the climatology of large waves on the NSW coast. Her final farewell from the Bureau was a memorable occasion in Sydney on 30 July 2004.
Rosea’s lifelong personal and professional friendships in the Bureau and overseas. Margaret McCawley who, as Margaret Amos, had shared with Rosea and Barbara Daniel their pioneering role as Australia’s first three postwar professional women meteorologists in the Bureau, was, like many others, shocked and grieved by the sadness of her death and came from Canberra for the service. Despite great sadness at her passing, the service was a joyous and celebratory occasion, fitting for the memory of the always-positive and always fun-loving Rosea. The Australian meteorological and oceanographic community who had the privilege of working with her will remember her with admiration and affection.
Despite the setbacks and discrimination, Rosea felt privileged to have been part of the “highly quirky but amazingly ‘family’ organism” that is the Bureau. A career as a meteorologist can take you into diverse related fields, and Rosea exemplified that—she also showed (early on) that women in science can have a long career and also raise a family (with tenacity, acceptance of some time out, and the willingness to try different things).
Private life Rosea loved her home town of Melbourne, but she also loved living in North Rocks in Sydney where she was close to a nature reserve, and her family. Rosea also loved travel—she circumnavigated Earth at equatorial latitudes, saw the midnight sun on a cruise to ice-cap covered Greenland (a climate observer’s dream field trip) and explored many other exotic places. Survived by two sons (Ben and Boyd), her daughter-inlaw, Angela, and a grand-daughter, Celeste, Rosea had a few short weeks to delight in that new grand-daughter just at the end of her life.
Farewell to Rosea Many serving and retired members of the meteorological community, especially the Frosterley Club, were among the several hundred who attended Rosea’s memorial service at North Rocks on 8 January 2016. The celebration of Rosea’s eventful life was led by sons Boyd and Ben with contributions from a wide cross-section of friends and admirers from her local community. Bureau of Meteorology Deputy Director, Dr. Sue Barrell, represented the Bureau Executive and former Director, John Zillman, spoke of
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Image, right: Main cliff at Mt. Rosea, Grampians, as viewed from the summit. Rosea was named after this mountain. Image: http://www.chockstone.org/ grampians/MtRosea/MtRosea.htm
Report from Science Meets Parliament 2016
Positive interactions with politicians Stephanie Downes and Jenny Fisher
Dr. Stephanie Downes, The Hon. Bill Shorten MP, and Dr. Jenny Fisher at the SmP2016 gala dinner at Parliament House, Canberra. Image: Mark Graham.
More than 150 scientists and science-based professionals gathered for the two-day Science Meets Parliament (SmP; http://scienceandtechnologyaustralia.org.au/focus-on/ science-meets-parliament-2016/; #smp2016 on Twitter) event in Canberra, 1â€“2 March, 2016. Based at Hotel Realm, day one kicked off with an opening speech by ANUâ€™s recently appointed Vice-Chancellor Prof. Brian Schmidt. Prof. Schmidt advised delegates that when interacting with politicians, keep a positive mindset, be patient as they take in your key messages, and be persistent at conveying those messages. During this day, we were informed and entertained through two panel discussions on scientific journalism and the
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use of science to shape public policy. The panelists were renowned radio, television and science policy experts, who emphasised the importance of science engagement and of knowing your target audience when conveying scientific breakthroughs and major results. Technicalities and data analysis are not what the media and policy makers want to know aboutâ€”just key messages that can help shape nonexpert opinions and government decisions. Day one concluded with a gala dinner at Parliament House, where each round dinner table included one or more parliamentarians. Thankfully, a table guest list was posted prior to dinner, giving attendees enough time to Google their table parliamentarian(s) affiliations,
Report from Science Meets Parliament 2016 party and biographies! We were seated with Liberal MP Dr. Andrew Laming, who was willing to listen to our perspectives on research funding, education, and career pathways for scientists (although he might not always have agreed with us!). The gala dinner was a bipartisan affair, with three speakers and plenty of mingling among the guests in between talks. Given its major release only a few months earlier, the National Science and Innovation Agenda was on the forefront of several of the speakers’ minds. Earlier in the day Sue Weston (Deputy Secretary, Department of Industry, Innovation and Science) gave an overview of the new Agenda. The key messages of boosting and nurturing STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) careers and literacy and increasing commericialisation of innovative ideas were reinforced by The Hon. Christopher Pyne MP (Minister for Industry, Innovation and Science) at the gala dinner. The Hon. Bill Shorten MP (Leader of the Opposition) also supported the Agenda. Both Jenny and Stephanie were able to talk to Mr. Shorten during the dinner (see photo). We suggested that Mr. Shorten think differently about the Agenda’s proposition to increase women in senior STEM research positions, given that those senior positions are limited for both men and women. Mr. Shorten agreed, and thought he might alter future talks to reflect this. Day two, based at Parliament House, began with talks from the now-retired Prof. Ian Chubb (former Chief Scientist) and Senator Kim Carr (Shadow Minister). Prof. Chubb noted that key national positions (e.g., the Chief Scientist) were useless if you don’t possess and execute influence. Both Prof. Chubb and Senator Carr suggested the key to Australia’s scientific success could only be achieved when scientific researchers, government and business combine as a team. In support of climate science, Senator Carr also stressed that CSIRO (in reference to their recently announced significant Ocean and Atmosphere job cuts) is an important institution for not only applied, but for basic research. At lunch, most attendees proceeded to the National Press Club to hear Dr. Alan Finkel’s maiden speech as Australia’s newly appointed Chief Scientist. After an insightful talk on how Australia should support STEM careers and education, we bused it back to Parliament House to sit in on Question Time. Question Time is apparently reserved for strategic questioning to reveal weaknesses in the opposing parties and to highlight political stewardship. However, to the untrained observer in the public gallery, the politicians’ theatrical display mimics a room full of bickering school children! A few days prior to SmP2016, each attendee was notified as to which parliamentarian they would meet with in small groups on day two, giving us just enough time to
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investigate the nominated parliamentarian’s biography, recent speeches and regional/national interests. We also had a couple of hours of training on the day prior to formulate a 60-second “elevator pitch” to convey to our nominated parliamentarian—why should they care about our research, how is it going to impact Australians, and how much is it going to cost? Stephanie and three others met with Ms. Melissa Parke MP (Federal Labor member for Fremantle). The meeting lasted for about 25 minutes, with Ms. Parke ducking out for voting in the House of Representatives mid-way. Ms. Parke noted that meeting with SmP scientists was one of the annual meetings she (and many other parliamentarians) looked forward to. Jenny and two other earth scientists met with Mr. Mark Butler MP, Shadow Minister for Climate Change and Labor member for Port Adelaide. Mr Butler was welcoming and enthusiastic, spending nearly 45 minutes with us (although we were only scheduled for 30!) and asking our views on a diverse set of topics, ranging from the value of CSIRO for university researchers, to whether undergraduates are taking up environmental degrees, to the politics of climate science. We also spoke with the parliamentarians’ advisor(s), who are equally important for follow-up communications. Many of them play a key role in advising the members on science policy issues but often don’t have scientific training themselves, and therefore appreciate having contacts in the scientific community. Day two concluded with a parliamentary forum on science and politics with Richard Marles MP (Labor Shadow Minister), Adam Bandt MP (Greens Spokesperson for industry, innovation, science, and research), Karen Andrews MP (Assistant Minister for Science), and Professor Aidan Byrne (CEO of the Australian Research Council). All expressed their interest in seeing increased interaction between science and politics. One issue that garnered significant discussion was the idea that STEM degrees should be seen as generalist degrees that can lead to a variety of careers, the way business and law degrees are seen now. Finally, we said our goodbyes over informal drinks hosted by the Parliamentary Friends of Science. Clearly, life in Parliament operates at a faster pace than scientific research, and we were very fortunate to get a brief glimpse of day-to-day operations in the Nation’s capital. We were caught up in the continuous networking, photo-taking, and tweeting that echoed the unanimous interest of all attendees, parliamentarians and speakers in the SmP2016 event. A big thank you goes to AMOS for financial support to attend SmP2016, and to Science and Technology Australia for organising this unique and interactive event.
In 30 years, how might climate change affect what Australians eat and drink? Jaclyn N. Brown1, Hilary Bambrick2, Snow Barlow3, Dale Fallon4, Judith Fernandez-Piquer5, Ailie Gallant6, Gilly Hendrie7, Uday Nidumolu8, Tobin Northfield9, Elvira Poloczanska10,11, Anne Roiko12, Shilu Tong13, Claudia Vickers14, Sarah Ann Wheeler15 1. CSIRO Oceans and Atmospheres, Hobart, Australia, 2. School of Medicine, University of Western Sydney, Sydney, Australia, 3. Faculty of Veterinary and Agricultural Sciences, University of Melbourne, Carlton, Australia, 4. Southern Cross University, Lismore, NSW, Australia, 5. Tasmanian Institute of Agriculture, UTAS, Hobart, Australia, 6. School of Earth, Atmosphere and Environment, Monash University, Clayton, Australia, 7. CSIRO, Division of Animal, Food and Health Sciences, 8. CSIRO, Agriculture, Waite Campus, South Australia, 9. Centre for Tropical and Environmental Sustainability Science, College of Marine and Environmental Science, James Cook University, Cairns, Australia, 10. CSIRO Oceans and Atmosphere, Brisbane, Australia, 11. Global Change Institute, University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia, 12. Environmental Health, School of Medicine, Griffith University, Australia, 13. School of Public Health and Social Work, Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Australia, 14. Australian Institute for Bioengineering and Nanotechnology, The University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia, 15. Global Food Studies, University of Adelaide, Australia.
Corresponding author: Jaclyn N. Brown, Jaci.Brown@csiro.au Abstract In this article, we analyse the current Australian diet and discuss how climate change might influence the foods we eat and consumer behaviour in coming decades. As climate change proceeds, one likely outcome is that key Australian agricultural regions will experience warmer, drier conditions with more frequent and intense drought and extreme events. These conditions will place pressure on Australia’s ability to maintain the quality and quantity of the food it now produces. Amongst other pressures, reduced agricultural supply may contribute to higher prices for grains, red meat, fresh fruit and vegetables; reduced quality of produce due to an increase in pests and disease; and for water, increased costs of treatment. The risks from changes to diet correlate with socioeconomic disadvantage. Wealthier groups tend to spend more on quality produce. For most Australians, but particularly those that are vulnerable and food insecure, increased prices will lead to the consumption of cheaper and lower quality foods, changing diet composition away from healthy options, and exacerbating health issues. The interplay between climate, agriculture, economics and human health is complex. To improve, or even maintain, the health of Australians will likely cost more in the future for individuals and for our health system. Now is the time to explore and better understand these relationships in order to prepare for the near future.
fruit, vegetables and meat with decreased water and reduced agricultural productivity. Food security and health are already a significant concern for Australia’s socioeconomically disadvantaged groups, such as Indigenous, homeless, unemployed, aged and disabled groups (Rosier, 2011). Food insecurity occurs whenever the availability of nutritionally adequate and safe foods or the ability to acquire acceptable food in socially acceptable ways is limited or uncertain (Radimer, 2002). At any one time, around five percent of Australians are food insecure and around 40 percent of these are severely food insecure (Temple, 2008). Even for those not under threat of food insecurity, experience shows that when food prices rise, people will adjust their diet based on both availability and affordability, to lower quality food (Lake, 2012).
Anthropogenic (human-induced) climate change has been declared “unequivocal” and climate change will persist for centuries even if we substantially reduced greenhouse gas emissions today (IPCC, 2013). Across Australia’s key food producing regions, extreme events may become more frequent, water will likely become scarcer and temperatures higher (CSIRO and BoM, 2015), changing the price, quality and quantity of food that is able to be supplied to the nation and the rest of the globe (Reisinger et al., 2014). Therefore it is critical to think about, and prepare for, the potential impacts of climate change on the Australian diet.
Availability and access to high quality fresh food and safe drinking water in Australia will be challenged in coming decades as climate change continues (Karoly et al., 2015). In this article we bring together experts in climate, agriculture, and health to explore what this means for the Australian diet. We argue that for the wealthy, choices in diet may be morally driven by attempts to reduce carbon emissions or willingness to pay more for higher quality and scarcer foods. We will also discuss how communities that are marginalised socially and economically may feel greater pressure from increased costs of water, quality
Here we explore how climate change may affect the typical Australian diet, and consider its potential to increase nutritional disparities associated with social disadvantage. We assess the components of the current contemporary Australian diet and discuss how the pressures of climate change may affect each components’ availability, cost, access, and hence consumption. While the interplay between climate, agriculture, economics and human health is complex, now is the time to explore and better understand these relationships in order to prepare for the coming decades.
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Science Article At the wealthier end of the scale, people have the capacity to spend more on food. While increasing food prices will have less influence on this group, there will be pressure to consume a less greenhouse intensive diet (McMichael et al., 2007). Such a diet would lead to a lower consumption of red meat and dairy products that could also have a beneficial effect on cardiovascular health (Westhoek et al., 2014).
Potential effects of climate change on food production
Table 1: Typical Australian diet in 2011–12. Meals derived from the Australian Bureau of Statistics Health Survey (2014)1 which indicated the most popular foods in the Australian diet. This diet was derived purely to be indicative of the typical meals that might be eaten by an Australian adult and is not intended to represent a “healthy” diet.
The Australian diet Australia is a multicultural society which is reflected in the large array of foods we eat, although a “typical” Australian diet remains firmly rooted in western Europe, as shown by the recent Australian Health Survey1 conducted by the Australian Bureau of Statistics on our eating and drinking patterns. By analysing consumption patterns, we have distilled this information down into a few popular and typical meals eaten in Australia (see Table 1). For the purposes of discussion, this table was generated as a broad representation of the food types that are most commonly eaten as determined by the Australian Health Survey. It is important to note that this diet does not represent all Australians and the food we eat is often dependant on socioeconomic and cultural factors. The impact of change in food prices and availability will affect socioeconomic groups differently (Figure 1). In this discussion we focus on the “typical” Australian family (outlined in Table 1) whose food choices in relation to healthy eating are often influenced by time available to prepare food, perceptions of a healthy diet, relative cost of fresh foods compared to processed foods (cheap calories), lack of awareness on how to prepare fresh food, locations of fast food restaurants in outer suburbs, and lack of public transport.
1 http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/Lookup/4318.104.22.168 07main+features12011-12
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Australia, with its large, export-oriented agricultural sector, is already experiencing the impacts of climate change, over and above its natural variability and predisposition to extended drought (Turral, Burke and Faures, 2011). There is still much uncertainty around how the climate will evolve and further research needs to be done so we can adapt in the most effective and efficient manner. Early indications, however, suggest that continued warming across the country is expected over this century with an increase of 0.6 to 1.3°C by 2030 (CSIRO and BoM, 2015) relative to the base period of 1986–2005. Hotter days, more frequent heat waves and fewer summer frosts are projected for many regions. The nature, timing and reliability of rainfall and water supply for irrigation is critical for food crop production (Turral et al., 2011). Changes to intensity and frequency of extreme events (floods and heat waves) can have sudden and disastrous impacts on entire crops as well as on drinking water (Bambrick and Burton, 2012). Heavy rainfall events are expected to become more frequent in the tropical regions and east coast. More frequent and intense droughts, and associated bushfires are predicted for the south, putting pressure on water resources, particularly in the ‘food bowl’ of Australia—the Murray-Darling Basin (see review in Karoly et al., 2015) 1. Grains and pulses Wheat is one of the major components of the Australian diet. It is present in our breakfast cereals, our breads and our snack food. To a lesser extent, our diet includes other grains such as barley, corn, canola, pulses and rice. Cropping of wheat and other grains is the major agricultural activity2 in Australia occurring over some 24 million hectares in an arc around eastern, southern and western Australia (Howden et al., 2010). Wheat production is highly sensitive to climate variations with higher temperatures leading to lower yields (White and Edwards, 2007). Irrigation for crops of wheat, barley, corn, and rice can be exposed to climate risks through reduced rainfall and reduction in water allocations during prolonged dry periods. With a projected drier and warmer climate into 2030 and beyond, the dry margins of the cropping boundary are estimated to be shifting southwards and likely to constrict the grain belt area (Nidumolu et al., 2012). 2
Figure 1: Climate change impacts on food supply may result in price rises and food substitution with varying outcomes for different socio-economic groups. Growth of these crops is expected to benefit from increased atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) levels. However, this growth can come at the cost of decreased protein levels and micronutrients (MĂźller et al., 2014), thus reducing the minerals in the typical Australian diet. Increased CO2 may also encourage growth of weeds that reduce crop yields (Fuhrer, 2003). One potential benefit of the drier climate is a reduction in natural habitats for insect pests that migrate into crops (Hoffmann et al., 2008). In contrast, elevated temperatures may increase growth rates of mites and beetles that attack crops and stored grains, respectively (Driscoll et al., 2000; Hoffmann et al., 2008). 2. Fruits, vegetables and nuts For many, consuming sufficient fruits and vegetables is challenging due to the availability and affordability of convenience foods, which are highly processed, energydense, and nutrient poor. Favourite fruits consumed are bananas, apples and oranges. For vegetables, Australians are still keen on mashed or chipped potato (Table 1). An increasing variety of cheaper exotic vegetables and fruits is becoming available. Despite our abundance of fruit growing regions, Australia still imports substantial amounts of fruit, particularly when it is out of season. As the climate changes, the suitability of areas where crops are grown will change; for example, the apple chilling requirements of current production areas may not be met forcing productions areas to move further south where water availability may be problematic. Similarly the areas suitable for sub-tropical crops will expand (Webb and Whetton, 2010). Climate change will pose challenges to some horticulture when thermal maxima are exceeded, changes in the timing of flowering and fruiting, and water availability. Climate change may also affect fruit and nut production that is mediated by pollinators as it is generally expected to influence pollinator abundance and population dynamics. Fruit and nut yields are generally tightly coupled with the abundance of both honeybees and native pollinators (Garibaldi et al., 2013) that are being reduced by climate change (Potts et al., 2010). Bulletin of the Australian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society Vol. 29 page 24
3. Meat, poultry and dairy Australians have access to high quality, relatively affordable meat and so not surprisingly this food group also forms a large part of the typical Australian diet. It is not uncommon for red meat (beef, lamb) to be eaten several times a week. Milk also appears in the Australian diet in many forms (Table 1) including with breakfast cereals and in coffee. Cheese is also popular for sandwiches, pasta and pizza and as a snack. Many animals are susceptible to heat stress. Heat stress affects the quality of the meat and weight gain; for chickens the quality of eggs; and in dairy cattle, reduced milk yields (Nidumolu et al., 2014). Increased temperature may also indirectly reduce meat availability by increasing the abundance of animal parasites (White et al., 2003). The quality and availability of our beef, lamb and poultry also depends on the quality and availability of pasture and grains for feed. Similarly, lower quality diets in dairy cattle reduce proteins in milk that affect cheese yield and quality. Feed supplies are generally under threat from climate change due to shorter growing seasons and reduced rainfall. Dairy output is expected to decline in all regions of Australia, except Tasmania, by 2030 (Reisinger et al., 2014). Alternatives to beef and lamb in the Australian diet may grow due to financial pressures in the family budget, changing perceptions of a healthy diet or of â€œgreen choicesâ€? (e.g. greenhouse gas emissions and water requirements). There may also be incentives to farmers to move away from greenhouse gas intensive production. These influences may drive increased preferences towards white meat, such as chicken or pork, or a switch to potentially more sustainable meats such as kangaroo. 4. Fish and seafood Seafood is less common than poultry and beef in the everyday Australian diet, but forms a notable part of Australian cuisine (Danenberg and Mueller, 2011) and popularity is increasing (Stephan and Hobsbawn, 2014). Canned tuna, prawns, crumbed and battered white fish, and canned and fresh salmon are popular choices1. Sixtysix percent (by weight) of seafood consumed in Australia
Science Article are low-value products imported from Asia, New Zealand and elsewhere (Stephan and Hobsbawn, 2014). Climate change is already affecting our oceans through changes in temperature and ocean chemistry and will affect the availability and price of seafood (HoeghGuldberg et al., 2014). Frozen and thawed basa (catfish) from Vietnam are now the most commonly eaten import, its low cost, white flesh and neutral flavour makes this attractive to a large cross-section of Australians (Department of Agriculture, 2013). Seafood could provide an increasing proportion of protein to the Australian diet, particularly if consumers choose fish as a “healthy choice” or cost is reasonable compared to other meat. Aquaculture industries, both domestic and overseas, are considered to have high capacity to cope with climate change and to increase production and diversify over the coming decades (Hobday and Poloczanska, 2010; Department of Agriculture 2013). 5. Potable water Access to safe and sufficient (potable) drinking water is taken for granted by most Australians. There is increasing concern that extreme weather-related events can affect drinking water quantity and quality through their impacts on treatability and infrastructure integrity, and are also likely to increase the overall costs of providing safe drinking water (Stanford et al., 2014). While Australian water utilities are generally designed and operated to reduce the impacts of weather events to acceptable levels, public health advisories may be needed to protect public health. Even with otherwise safe drinking water, consumers may face aesthetic (taste, odour, colour and turbidity) issues with their drinking water. As a result, consumers may turn to less sustainable and more expensive bottled water.
Future Australian diet and the impact on human health The typical contemporary Australian diet is not especially healthy, as evidenced by our increasing obesity rates (Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, 2012). The Australian diet, comprised as it is with a high proportion of processed and convenience foods, is typically too high in fats, salt, sugar and refined carbohydrates while lacking in sufficient fresh fruits, vegetables and plain water (Table 1). Convenient, energy-dense foods are usually more cost effective in terms of meeting energy requirements, but do not meet other nutritional requirements. Promoting a healthy diet underpins prevention efforts in obesity and cardiovascular disease, two National Health Priority Areas3. Nevertheless, pressure from climate change on Australia’s agricultural productivity and the associated food price increases may drive the goal to have a healthier diet by consuming more fresh produce farther out of reach for many people. Shifting dietary attitudes and behaviours towards those that are healthier to prevent obesity and related chronic disease, will become increasingly difficult as the cost of fresh food increases. 3
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Wheat, meat, fruits and vegetables and dairy are likely to remain dominant in our diet, but farming practices will need to adapt to our changing climate, in particular in increasing water efficiency and pressure to produce fewer greenhouse gas emissions. As an alternative it may become more common to eat our fruits and vegetables after they have been tinned or frozen and imported from more climatically favourable regions and countries. Nonetheless, transport could attract an emissions price that will also drive up food prices. The growing consumption and availability of seafood, both as a high-quality product and as a nutritious food source, will have positive implications for the Australian diet, given the high content of Omega-3 in some fish such as salmon, and the wider health benefits of lower calorie content of white fish compared to other meat. Nevertheless, the way we eat the fish—whether it’s grilled or battered and deep fried—will affect how healthy this option truly is. Encouraging people to drink sufficient quantities of plain water is also a public health imperative as we face increasing temperatures and heatwaves. Plain water is the preferred source of fluids for health and may be complemented with fruit juices. Adapting to climate change and mitigating the health risks requires a trans-disciplinary approach across many sectors (research, policy and advocacy) and disciplines (climate, agriculture, health and technology). Nutrition and diet is just one small aspect of our health that is affected. It is possible—with good planning and an approach to food and agricultural policies that accepts the evidence—to adapt our diet to suit our climate and make us healthier. Reducing food waste is one obvious avenue to improving food security so that we can make better use of potentially dwindling supply. There is a large amount of edible food that is lost or wasted along the food supply chain, from production to consumption. The Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO) estimates that up to one-third of all food produced is not consumed (FAO, 2011). Recently campaigns have begun to encourage the purchase of “ugly” food which is usually thrown out as it does not meet cosmetic requirements4. Another source of food wastage occurs once the food reaches the home. Household wastage is estimated to be around AU$5 billion per year and is linked to improper consumer behaviour such as insufficient purchase planning, exceeding shopping needs, cooking more than the required amount, being too sensitive to food safety, inappropriate food storage techniques and a deficiency of kitchen skills (Pearson et al., 2013). A parallel consumer education campaign regarding the current massive food waste can lead to a change in consumer behaviour and 4 http://www.news.com.au/lifestyle/food/ugly-fruit-andvegetables-sold-at-discount-prices-in-odd-bunch-campaign-bywoolworths/story-fneuz8wn-1227143733738
Science Article overall optimisation of our food resources from paddock to plate.
development of better fruit and vegetable preservation for greater acceptance as a snack food.
Ultimately the solutions need to come from broader concerted efforts and will need to consider a range of options targeting both supply of produce and consumer demand. Changing farming practices will become essential to adapt to individual location changes such as reduced water supply and more extreme droughts and floods. Some solutions to food production may in future arise through biotechnological advances given the appropriate scientific investment, but better, more efficient farming practices are needed now.
Conclusions Keeping healthy food in the “typical” Australian diet will come under increasing pressure from a number of sources over coming decades including climate change. Food supply and distribution is a complex system with many competing market factors that are difficult to predict. Further, the specific changes to our climate, the response of crops and pests, and potential technological advances have levels of uncertainty associated with them. Nevertheless, we can begin to understand how our diet may vary in the future. Broadly it is likely that the cost of food and water will increase as supply becomes less reliable and once productive areas are subject to increasingly uncertain rainfall. Changing market dynamics are likely to encourage people to eat less of the fresh Australian crops impacted by increased droughts and extreme events, such as fruit, vegetables, wheat products, and meat. With Australia’s climate becoming less favourable to food production, the consumption of fresh produce will be compromised. It is likely these will be replaced by processed or frozen foods, which are lower in quality. The consequences for health are serious, as this poorer diet will augment the already increasing prevalence of chronic disease related to obesity. Through its impact on what we eat and drink, climate change may cause the numbers of people with diabetes, cancer, cardiovascular and kidney disease to rise. These nutrition related diseases will increasingly occur disproportionately among the disadvantaged, reducing life expectancy and increasing chronic disease and associated costs to the Australian healthcare system. The interplay of climate on food security and health is a complex system. Nevertheless, it is clear that there is likely to be a negative impact on health with increasing costs to individuals and the health system. We should be addressing these health issues urgently through multisectoral policies and planning, before climate change impacts our diet much further. For example, investment in alternative farming techniques, preservation of our most productive land, programs to encourage more fish consumption from sustainable fisheries; and the
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Australian Bureau of Statistics, 1998, National Nutrition Survey: Nutrient Intakes and Physical Measurements, Australia. 4805.0, ABS, Canberra. Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2014, Australian Health Survey: Nutrition First Results - Foods and Nutrients, 2011–12. 4364.0.55.007, ABS, Canberra. Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, 2012, Australia’s food & nutrition 2012. Cat. no. PHE 163. Canberra: AIHW. http://www.aihw.gov.au/WorkArea/ DownloadAsset.aspx?id=10737422837 Bambrick H. and Burton A., 2012, Human Health Review and Research Synthesis for the Sydney Adaptation Strategy. NSW Office of Environment and Heritage CSIRO and Bureau of Meteorology, 2015, Climate Change in Australia Information for Australia’s Natural Resource Management Regions: Technical Report, CSIRO and Bureau of Meteorology, Australia, pp 216. Danenburg N. and Muller S., 2011, ‘Omnibus Consumer Research Findings wave 2’, Australian seafood cooperative research centre. Project no. 2008/779. Department of Agriculture, 2013, Australia’s seafood trade, Department of Agriculture, Canberra. pp 19. http://www.agriculture.gov.au/SiteCollectionDocuments/ fisheries/aus-seafood-trade.pdf Driscoll R., Longstaff B.C., Beckett S., 2000, Prediction of insect populations in grain storage. Journal of Stored Products Research. 36: 131–151. FAO, 2008, An Introduction to the Basic Concepts of Food Security, available from: http://www.fao.org/docrep/013/ al936e/al936e00.pdf FAO, 2009, The State of Food Insecurity in the World: Economic Crises - Impacts and Lessons Learned, Food and Agriculture Organization, Rome. pp 59. Fuhrer J., 2003, Agroecosystem responses to combinations of elevated CO2, ozone, and global climate change. Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment. 97: 1–20. Garibaldi L.A., Steffan-Dewenter I. et al., 2013, Wild pollinators enhance fruit set of crops regardless of honey bee abundance. Science. 339(6127): 1608–1611. Hobday A.J. and Poloczanska E., 2010, Marine fisheries and aquaculture. Adapting agriculture to climate change. Preparing Australian agriculture, forestry and fisheries for the future (Stokes C.M., Howden S.M., editors). CSIRO Publishing, Collingwood, VIC, Australia. pp 205–228. Hoddinott P., 2014, Understanding Resilience for Food and Nutrition Security, 2020 Conference Paper 8; International Food Policy Research Institute, Washington, DC.
Science Article Hoegh-Guldberg O., Cai R., et al., 2014, The Ocean. Climate Change 2014: Impacts, Adaptation, and Vulnerability. Part B: Regional Aspects. Contribution of Working Group II to the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel of Climate Change (Barros V. R., Field C. B., et al, editors) pp. 1655–1731 Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, United Kingdom and New York, NY, USA. Hoffmann A.A., Weeks A.R., et. al., 2008, The changing status of invertebrate pests and the future of pest management in the Australian grains industry. Australian Journal of Experimental Agriculture. 48: 1481–1493. Howden S. M., Gifford R. G., Meinke H., 2010, Grains. Adapting Agriculture to Climate Change. Preparing Australian agriculture, forestry and fisheries for the future. (Stokes C. M., Howden S. M. editors); pp. 21–48. CSIRO Publishing, Collingwood, VIC, Australia. IPCC, 2013, Summary for Policymakers. Climate Change 2013: The Physical Science Basis. Contribution of Working Group I to the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (Stocker T. F., Qin D. et al., editors); pp. 1–30. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, United Kingdom and New York, NY, USA.
and Evolution. 25: 345–353. Radimer K., 2002, Measurement of household food security in the USA and other industrialized countries. Public Health Nutrition. 5(6A): 859–864. Reisinger A., Kitching R.L., et al., 2014, Australasia. Climate Change 2014: Impacts, Adaptation, and Vulnerability. Part B: Regional Aspects. Contribution of Working Group II to the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel of Climate Change (Barros V.R., Field C.B., et al. editors); pp. 1371–1438 Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, United Kingdom and New York, NY, USA. Rosier K., 2011, ‘Food insecurity in Australia: what is it, who experiences it and how can child and family services support families experiencing it’, Communities and Families Clearinghouse Australia Practice Sheet. July. Skirtun M., Sahlqvist P., Vieira S., 2013, Australian fisheries statistics 2012. In: FRDC project 2010/208. Canberra, Australia. Stanford B., Wright B., et al., 2014, Water quality impacts of extreme weather-related events. Water Research Foundation Report 4324. Denver.
Karoly D., et al., 2015, Appetite for Change. Global warming impacts on food and farming regions in Australia. Prepared by The University of Melbourne, Australia.
Stephan M., Hobsbawn P., 2014, Australian fisheries and aquaculture statistics 2013, Fisheries Research and Development Corporation project 2010/208. ABARES; Canberra.
Lake I.R., Hooper L., et al., 2012, Climate change and Food Security: Health Impacts in Developed Countries. Environ Health Perspect. 120(11):1520–1526.
Temple J.B., 2008, ‘Severe and Moderate Forms of Food Insecurity in Australia: Are They Distinguishable?’ Australian Journal of Social Issues. 43 (4):649–668.
McMichael A.J., Powles J.W., et al., 2007, ‘Food, livestock production, energy, climate change, and health’, Lancet. 370:1253-63.
Turral H., Burke J., Faures, J.M., 2011, Climate change, water and food security. Food and Agriculture Organisation Water Report. 36, Rome.
Müller C., Elliott J., Levermann A., 2014, Food security: Fertilizing hidden hunger. Nature Climate Change. 4:540– 1.
Webb L., Whetton P., 2010, Horticulture. Adapting Australian agriculture to climate change. Preparing Australian agriculture, forestry and fisheries for the future. (Stokes C. M., Howden S. M., editors). CSIRO Publishing; Collingwood, VIC, Australia.
Nidumolu U., Crimp S., et al., 2014, Spatio-temporal modelling of heat stress and climate change implications for the Murray dairy region, Australia. International Journal of Biometeorology. 58 (6): 1095–1108 Nidumolu U. B., Hayman P. T., et al., 2012, Re-evaluating the margin of the South Australian grain belt in a changing climate. Climate Research. 51: 249-260. Oxfam, 2013, Growing Disruption: Climate Change, Food and the Fight Against Hunger, Oxfam Issue Briefing, September. Pearson D., Minehan M., Wakefield-Rann R., 2013, Food Waste in Australian Households: Why does it occur? Locale: The Australasian-Pacific Journal of Regional Food Studies. No. 3. 118–132 Potts S.G., Biesmeijer J.C., et al., 2010, Global pollinator declines: trends, impacts and drivers. Trends in Ecology Bulletin of the Australian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society Vol. 29 page 27
Westhoek H., Lesschen J.P., et al. 2014, ‘Food choices, health and environment: Effects of cutting Europe’s meat and dairy intake’, Global Environmental Change. 26: 196– 205. White J. and Edwards J., 2007, Wheat Growth and Development. State of NSW through NSW Department of Primary Industries. 104. ISBN 978 0 7347 1894 5 White N., Sutherst R.W., et al., 2003, The vulnerability of the Australian beef industry to impacts of the cattle tick (Boophilus Microplus) under climate change. Climate Change. 61: 157–190. Willis E., Pearce M., et al., 2006, Utility stress as a social determinant of health: exploring the links in a remote Aboriginal community Health Promotion Journal of Australia. 17(3): 255–259.
Meet a Member
Andrew Marshall Dr. Andrew Marshall works at the Bureau in Hobart. He is the current chair of the AMOS Tasmanian Centre as well as the incoming AMOS Vice-President—Ed. 1. Where does this email find you? Five floors up on Macquarie St, Hobart, beneath the glow of a sunlit Mt Wellington. 2. What do you do? Research into drivers of Australian weather and climate variability and extremes, and their prediction on subseasonal to interannual timescales. 3. Why did you get into it? Rewind the clock 15 years to the start of my Ph. D. when I was fortunate to find mentors in Oscar Alves and Harry Hendon on the topic of subseasonal variability and prediction. One thing led to the next and I haven’t looked back. 4. What is the best thing about what you do? No pun intended but, as the father of a two young children, right now I relish predictability in my work day. Otherwise, receiving an email with the words “paper accepted” (which is, ironically, the least predictable aspect of my job). 5. What did you want to do when you were 10? Sing. 6. How do you relax? By doing what I wanted to do when I was 10. I write, record and perform original music, and I am about to release my second studio album (a collaboration with Peter McIntosh) titled A Finer State Of Mind. Also, regular exercise and the occasional whisky, but usually not at the same time.
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AMOS Vice-President Dr. Andrew Marshall. 7. What is your favourite holiday destination? Outback Australia. Anywhere in the outback visiting Aboriginal communities with my wife Hannah, daughters Paige and Adia, our Hilux, a guitar, a didgeridoo and a footy. 8. What do you value most about AMOS? Besides the Meet a Member column in BAMOS? The independent support that AMOS provides its membership across various research and academic institutions is invaluable. In addition, the Society’s annual conferences provide the ideal forum for keeping up with the latest research findings and for developing collaborative links with Australian and international colleagues. Council is currently formulating a plan for a Conference and Events Committee that will support the logistics and planning of professional meetings around the country. I would like to see this provide scope for broader national engagement in the coming years.
Meet a Member
Andrew is also a great photographer! He took this photo of the Aurora Australis in Blackmans Bay, Tasmania at 3 a.m. on 21 January 2016.
The Research Corner with Damien Irving
Podcasting comes to weather and climate science Over the past few years, podcasts have emerged as the next great storytelling platform. The format is open to anyone with a laptop, microphone and access to the web, which means it’s kind of like blogging, only your audience isn’t restricted to consuming your content via words on a screen. They can listen to you in the car on the way to work, on the stationary bike at the gym or at any other time a little background noise is needed to pass the time away. While I’m as excited as the next podcast enthusiast about the new season of Serial, what’s even more exciting is that a number of podcasts about weather and climate science have been launched in recent months. Here’s a list of the podcasts that have really caught my ear: •
Forecast: Climate Conversations with Michael White: A podcast about climate science and climate scientists, hosted by Nature’s editor for climate science.
Mostly Weather: A team from the Met Office explores a new, mostly weather based topic each month.
Climate History Podcast: Interviews with people
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in climate change research, journalism, and policymaking. It’s the official podcast of the Climate History Network and the popular website http://www. historicalclimatology.com/. •
The Method: A podcast that tells the stories of what is working in science and what is not. It launches in mid-2016 and the focus on fundamental research practices sounds right up the alley of The Research Corner.
There are also a number of data science podcasts out there, which can be useful depending on the type of data analysis that you do. I’ve found some of the Talk Python to Me episodes to be very relevant to my daily work. If you know of any other great weather and climate science podcasts, please share the details in the comments section of my blog! A version of this article is available at: https://drclimate. wordpress.com/, which provides links to each of the podcasts.
Charts from the Past with Blair Trewin
22 January 1991 The period from the mid-1980s to the late 1990s was not noted for extreme heat in southeastern Australia, but the 1990–91 summer was something of an exception. It was the hottest summer on record in some parts of eastern New South Wales, including Sydney, and was the fifthhottest for the state as a whole. The warmth was less anomalous elsewhere but seasonal temperatures were still well above normal in Victoria and South Australia. An interlude in the heat came in the second half of January. A warm humid air mass became established over much of the south-east in broad northeasterly flow ahead of a large area of low pressure approaching from the west. A typical midsummer Pilbara low intensified between the 16th to the 18th, then drifted south, then east to merge with an approaching front crossing the southwest of Western Australia on the 21st. A cutoff then formed, centred near the head of the Bight on the 22nd, before moving slowly southeast to be centred south of Kangaroo Island on the 23rd and west of Tasmania on the 25th. It was eventually absorbed into the westerlies south of Tasmania on the 26th. A separate smaller low formed over inland southern Queensland on the 18th and moved south to southeastern New South Wales on the 20th before being absorbed into the larger system. Another part of the mix was a mesoscale low which formed over Spencer Gulf on the 22nd. With such persistent moist northeasterly flow, the environment was ideal for thunderstorms over a large area. The system was responsible for historically significant severe thunderstorms in both Sydney and Adelaide, as well as in many regional areas. The most severe storm in Sydney was on the afternoon of the 21st, forming near Camden but doing most of its damage on the upper North Shore. Hail to 7 cm was
reported, along with winds estimated at 170 to 230 km/h (from damage surveys), and rainfalls of 35 mm in six minutes. Damage was widespread and severe; there was one death, 100 buildings were unroofed and 10,000 were damaged. Losses were estimated at $226 million, making it—at the time—Sydney’s most costly storm (later surpassed by the 1999 hailstorm). Severe thunderstorms also occurred in many inland areas, with 5.5 cm hail reported at Ladysmith near Wagga Wagga, and extended into southern Queensland. On the next day, even larger hail occurred when a supercell, which started its track over the Yorke Peninsula, tracked over Adelaide in the early evening. Hail as large as 10 cm was observed. This storm also caused extensive damage with reported losses of $25 million in Adelaide and $36 million statewide, the largest for a South Australian thunderstorm. A tornado was sighted in Pandappa, east of Peterborough, with two other suspected tornadoes in the state’s mid-North. As the low moved south-east, the main impact became heavy rain and flash flooding, although there were still some severe thunderstorms (including one which produced large hail at Orbost on the 24th). The main focus of heavy falls for the 24 hours to 9am on the 24th was south-west Victoria and south-east South Australia. A number of sites exceeded 100 mm. Cobden (105.0 mm) set an all-time record, Colac (102.8 mm) fell just short, with Heywood (116.0 mm) and Warrnambool (102.2 mm) also recording three figures. A second area of heavy falls was in southern New England, with 157.8 mm at Spring Ridge and 144.0 mm at Ebor. The event finished the next day with heavy rains in eastern Tasmania, including 194.8 mm at Gray and 108.0 mm at St. Helens, with some January records set.
Synoptic chart for 0000 UTC (1100 AEDT), 22 January 1991 Bulletin of the Australian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society Vol. 29 page 30
31–5 August, 13th Annual Asia Oceania Geosciences Society, Beijing, China
13–15 High-Resolution Ocean Modelling for Coupled Seamless Predictions Workshop, Exeter, UK
16–22 International Radiation Symposium (IRS) 2016, University of Auckland, New Zealand 17–22 EGU 2016, Vienna International Center, Vienna, Austria
May 3–6 4th International Symposium on the Ocean in a HighCO2 World, Hobart, Tasmania 17–20 International Conference on Regional ClimateCORDEX 2016 (ICRC-CORDEX 2016), Stockholm, Sweden
20–25 10th International Carbon Dioxide Conference, Interlaken, Switzerland 28–September 2 15th International Swiss Climate Summer School, Grindelwald, Switzerland 28–September 2 12th International Summer School on Atmospheric and Oceanic Science (ISSAOS): Advanced Programming Techniques for the Earth System Science, Gran Sasso Science Institute, L’Aquila, Italy
September 1–2 Universities and Climate Change: the Role of Higher Education Institutions in Addressing the Mitigation and Adaptation Challenges, Manchester, UK
23–27 The 48th International Liege colloquium on Ocean Dynamics “Submesoscale Processes: Mechanisms, implications and new frontiers”, Liege, Belgium
12-16 16th EMS Annual Meeting & 11th European Conference on Applied Climatology (ECAC), Trieste, Italy
6–10 13th Meeting on Statistical Climatology, Canmore, Canada
20–24 ARCCSS Annual Workshop, Lorne, Victoria
6-10 SPARC DynVar Workshop & S-RIP Meeting: The Large-Scale Atmospheric Circulation: Confronting Model Biases and Uncovering Mechanisms, Finnish Meteorological Institute, Helsinki, Finland 19–22 36th International Symposium on Forecasting, Santander, Spain
2017 January 22–26 2017 AMS Annual Meeting, Seattle, USA
February 7–10 AMOS National Conference 2017, Canberra
Australian Meteorological and Oceanographic Journal
Articles — Vol. 65 No. 3–4, December 2015 Peace et al. WRF and SFIRE simulations of the Layman fuel reduction burn. Smith et al. Tropical low formation during the Australian monsoon: the events of January 2013. Huva et al. Influential synoptic weather types for a future renewable energy dependent national electricity market. Charles et al. Seasonal forecasting for Australia using a dynamical model: improvements in forecast skill over the operational statistical model. Saha and Wasimi. Statistical modelling of tropical cyclones’ longevity after landfall in Australia.
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Regular features: Blockley. Seasonal climate summary southern hemisphere (summer 2014–15): very warm summer with above average rainfall. Cook. Seasonal climate summary southern hemisphere (autumn 2015): El Niño arrives. Wu. Quarterly numerical weather prediction model performance summary—July to September 2015.
BAMOS Author Guidelines
For all submissions: The Bulletin of the Australian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society (BAMOS) accepts short (<2500 words) contributions of original research work for peerreview and consideration in the “Science Articles” section. Longer articles will be considered at the discretion of the Editor and Editor-in-Chief. Articles submitted to BAMOS should also be appropriate for the whole AMOS community (from weather enthusiasts to professional members) and should aim to be concise without using excessive scientific jargon. For the peer-reviewed “Science Articles” section, authors should follow these guidelines: 1. Articles should be submitted as a PDF or Word document (or similar) for peer-review and include all figures and tables either within the main text or consecutively at the end of the article. 2. Articles should have a line spacing of 1.5 or more using a font size of 12. Articles should preferably be written using Times New Roman or Arial. 3. Articles should be split into sections, with the heading for each section numbered consecutively and using a font size of 14. For example (these are title examples, headings are made at the authors’ discretion):
4. An abstract is required and should not be more than 150 words in length. 5. Acknowledgements to be included after the final work section and before the references. 6. References should follow these example formats: •
Jung, T., Ferranti, L. and Tompkins, A.M., 2006, Response to the summer of 2003 Mediterranean SST anomalies over Europe and Africa, Journal of Climate, 19, 5439–5454. •
Holton, J.R., 2004, An Introduction to Dynamic Meteorology. Academic Press, New York. 535 pp. •
Raymond, D.J., 1993. Chapter 2: Observational constraints on cumulus parameterizations. In: The representation of cumulus convection in numerical models, Meteorological
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Monographs, 24 (46), 17–28, American Meteorological Society, Boston, USA. •
Trewin, B., 2001, Extreme temperature events in Australia. PhD Thesis, School of Earth Sciences, University of Melbourne, Australia. •
Department of Sustainability and Environment, 2012, Bushfire history - Major bushfires in Victoria, www.dse. vic.gov.au/fire-and-other-emergencies/major-bushfires-invictoria/ 7. We recommend that the author(s) make five suggestions for referees to undertake the peer-review. Also, we ask for a list of five potential referees whom the author does not want as reviewers, due to conflicts of interest, or past close association.. 8. Once peer-review has been completed, a final version of the document should be sent to the editor either in Word format or as plain text. The document should also include figure and table captions and the references but no figures. Figure files should be sent separately (they may be in any format and the editor will confer with the author(s) on the resolution and formatting). 9. Galley-proofs will be sent to the author(s) for final checking before publication. BAMOS also accepts a wide range of non-peer-reviewed work, for example news items, charts from the past, conference reports, book reviews, biographical articles and meet a member. AMOS members are therefore encouraged to submit articles that would be of general interest to the AMOS community without necessarily requiring peer review. File formats should follow those given above; a word or plain text document should be submitted (which includes any figure captions and tables) along with any figure files given separately. All articles should be either posted or emailed to the editor with any questions on the formatting also directed to the editor (see the inside back cover of this issue for contact details).
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The Bulletin of the Australian Meteorological and Oceanographic Sociey Vol 29 No.1 Feb/Mar 2016