Small Things Matter: Global Currents Meet Tiny Pockets Of Turbulence

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8th October 2010, 05:57pm - Views: 686





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AUSTRALIAN ACADEMY OF SCIENCE

MEDIA RELEASE


AAS 29/10

8

October 2010


Small things matter: global currents meet tiny pockets of turbulence


Understanding small-scale ocean turbulence and eddies, the transport of currents and salt and nutrient

content, will lead to better ocean-climate forecasting models.


Professor Matthew England from the University of New South Wales will present these research findings

on Sunday 10 October at the 2010 UK-Australia Frontiers of Science Marine Science Meeting, being

held by the Australian Academy of Science and the UK Royal Society.


About 80 per cent of the additional heat trapped by man-made greenhouse gases has been absorbed by

the oceans, along with about one third of the world’s industrial carbon emissions. 


'Our oceans are central to the planet’s climate, its variability and future change,' said Professor England,

who will also discuss how various forecasting models work.


Dr Andy Hogg from the Australian National University in Canberra will provide examples of modelling at

various locations around the globe that show how eddies on the scale of 10 to 100 kilometres, and even

turbulent mixing on the scale of millimetres, can influence large-scale ocean circulation. 


'It is known that where these interactions occur, changes in ocean dynamics may also occur. More

sophisticated ocean-climate models are needed to improve representations of these,' Dr Hogg said.


Dr Stephanie Waterman from the National Oceanography Centre, Grantham Institute of Climate Change

in London will discuss improvements to ocean-climate models that might be made based on findings from

the Southern Ocean SOFINE project. In this project, observations in a particular mixing hotspot in the

Southern Ocean appear to provide clues for understanding the interaction of small-scale turbulence and

global ocean circulation patterns.


'If we can better represent the current state of the ocean, we will be in a better position to predict its future

evolution in a changing climate,' she said.


The scientists will be presenting their work in Perth on Sunday 10 October. Media are welcome to attend

and interview speakers.




Event:  2010 UK-Australia Frontiers of Science Marine Science Meeting


Date:  10 to 12 October 2010


Venue:  Rendezvous Observation City Hotel, 140 The Esplanade, Scarborough, Perth


Media Contact:  Sue McKenna on 0011 61 8 9254 4044 or 0424 196 771

or Kerry Hodson on 0011 61 8 9447 0756 or 0438 565 086

Sue or Kerry at the conference venue on 0011 61 8 9340 5628






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