CSIRO’S WEALTH FROM OCEANS FLAGSHIP, ISSUED THIS MEDIA RELEASE ON MONDAY 2 SEPTEMBER 2013
Today Australia’s Marine National Facility research vessel, Southern Surveyor, will return with five scientific moorings installed by CSIRO Scientists 18 months ago, along a line stretching 240km east of Brisbane. The moorings will provide detailed observations of one of the country’s most influential natural features, the East Australian Current.
The East Australian Current has major impacts on the east coast ocean conditions and the nation’s climate. Understanding the physical and chemical characteristics of the current as recorded by the mooring network will be important for both climate studies and marine resource management.
“The East Australian Current is one of the world’s ocean currents where we are identifying change. The current has pushed 350 kilometres further south into the Tasman Sea and water temperatures east of Tasmania are close to 2°C warmer now than they were in the mid-1940s when the first regular measurements were collected
“While we have evidence that changes have already occurred in the southern sector and models predict warming will continue, we need to know if there is commensurate change occurring closer to where the East Australian Current begins its journey,” Mr Ridgway said.
Deployed in waters as deep as five kilometres, the moorings were retrieved during the past 10 days by CSIRO Wealth from Oceans scientists and co-principal investigators, Mr Ken Ridgway and Dr Bernadette Sloyan. The moorings are part of the Integrated Marine Observing System (IMOS), a network of ocean observing technologies.