The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) 6th assessment report has identified significant risks to marine ecosystem. Primarily due to more frequent occurrence of ocean extremes. In this study, we aim to quantify the co-occurrence of two ocean extremes in the Tasman Sea, namely mesoscale eddies and marine heatwaves. Mesoscale eddies are rotating water bodies of 10-100km diameter spanning from a month to years in the ocean. They are pervasive in the global ocean accounting for more than half of the ocean energy budget and transporting properties across the ocean basins thereby impacting both local and remote ecosystem. Marine heatwaves are extreme climate events of anomalously warm ocean surface that have significant impact on marine species, ecosystem distribution consequently on our society. Our knowledge of these ocean extremes has grown rapidly in recent years. However, the co-occurence of mesoscale eddies and marine heatwaves yet to be quantified.

The aims of this project are to:

1) identify marine heatwaves event;

2) identify and track mesoscale eddies;

3) quantify the co-occurrence of marine heatwaves and mesoscale eddies in the Tasman Sea.

Essential criteria: some programming experience in either python, Matlab, or R.

Desirable criteria: 1) programming experience in python; 2) good understanding of statistics and statistical analysis; 3) good written and verbal skills.

Benefits to student: The student will gain expertise with conducting quantitative analyses in both Matlab and Python, including data curation and dissemination, creating informative figures to clearly communicate results. What’s more, the student will gain experience working in a collaborative effort as this project will contribute to goals of the ARC Centre of Excellence for Climate Extremes Ocean Extremes Research Program.

Dr Ramkrushn S. Patel and Dr Jules Kajtar

This project will be based at University of Tasmania.

To apply: the Undergraduate Scholarship application form can be found here.