The Climate Variability and Teleconnections research program is only in its formative stages but already the team has added a wealth of individual highlights since the Centre of Excellence for Climate Extremes started.

Three members of our team – Catia Domingues, Shayne McGregor and Joelle Gergis – have been named as Lead Authors for the next IPCC Working Group 1 report for the 6th Assessment Report (AR6), due to be released in 2021.

At the same time, Nathan Bindoff and Nerilie Abram have been named Co-ordinating Lead Authors for the IPCC Special Report, Ocean and Cryosphere in a Changing Climate. It is one of three reports to be released in 2018 and 2019 that precede AR6.

Continuing the authorship of high profile reports, Julie Arblaster will be an author on the 2018 WMO/UNEP Scientific Assessment of Ozone Depletion. These assessments are carried out every four years in accordance with the terms of the Montreal Protocol. Julie has also been recognised for her research when she was named as co-winner of the AMOS Priestley Medal for mid-career scientists.

Julie’s awards were one of a number of awards won by CLEX investigators associated in this research program. At the AMOS ICSHMO conference this year, Matthew England was presented with the Tinker Muse Prize for his research, leadership and advocacy for Antarctic Science.

Another award of particular note was the announcement of Trevor McDougall on Australia Day as a Companion of the Order (AC) as a result of his work on ocean physics and ocean mixing, and his service to the profession.

The RP4 research program is now in the process of powering up with the first PhD students and postdocs coming online and team members putting in place significant foundations for the program’s development.

Nerilie Abram recently took part in some Antarctic fieldwork over the Australian summer and returned with samples that will reveal a 1000-year-long climate history from the remote Indian Ocean sector of Antarctica. This will provide valuable data for the paleoclimate and decadal variability components of our program, with an improved scope for constraining baseline climate variability prior to human interference with the climate system. This will be vital to the Centre of Excellence over the coming years.

Peter Strutton as a member of the Tropical Pacific Observing System 2020 Scientific Steering Committee and co-chair of its Biogeochemistry Task Team has been a key contributor to the System’s implementation plan. Significant progress was made around infrastructure commitments from China and Japan, including the addition of biogeochemical sensors in the Western Pacific.

In other important public engagement in the science of extremes and variability, keep an eye out for Joelle Gergis as she commences a book tour to support her new non-fiction work Sunburnt Country: The history and future of climate change in Australia.

CLEX was well-represented at the 2018 American Geophysical Union Ocean Sciences conference, held during February in Portland. Highlights of the meeting included well-attended talks from Associate Investigators Paul Spence, Adele Morrison and Bishakh Gayen.


Recent RP4 publications: