Skip to content

Programme

8:45 AM - 9:00 AM

WELCOME TO SCIENCE FOR LIFE SYMPOSIUM

Jeff Wilson (Master of Ceremonies Day 1), Ellie Highwood, Royal Meteorological Society (RMetSoc), UK and Mary Voice, President, Australian Meteorological, and Oceanographic Society (AMOS)

Ellie Highwood

Ellie Highwood is Professor of Climate Physics in the Department of Meteorology at the... More

Mary Voice

Mary Voice is the current President of AMOS. Mary’s career focused on climate R&D, on... More

Jeff Wilson

Jeff Wilson has worked as an educator, trainer and Principal of the Australian Bureau of... More

Duration: 15 mins
9:00 AM - 9:20 AM

WMO’s role as a Convening Power for Global Science

Weather, climate and the water cycle know no national boundaries, and oceans are both national and international and interact profoundly with the overlying atmosphere. Global cooperation between researchers and service providers is important for the development of meteorology and hydrology as well as to reap the benefits from their application. This talk will provide a short overview of the WMO, showing how WMO facilitates global cooperation and serves as an enabler in bringing to together the global community to meet societal challenges.

 

David Grimes

David Grimes has been Assistant Deputy Minister and head of Environment and Climate Change... More

Duration: 20 mins
9:20 AM - 9:40 AM

Weather, Climate, Water, Oceans - Australia

The Bureau of Meteorology is Australia's national weather, climate and water agency. Its expertise and services assist Australians in dealing with the harsh realities of their natural environment, including drought, floods, fires, storms, tsunami and tropical cyclones. Transformation to meet user needs as Australia’s population shifts geographically and as technology and economic activities change, has been a regular feature of the post-war years, and continues to this day. This talk will share a strategic vision for the Bureau’s services to Australia in the coming years.

Andrew Johnson (TBC)

Duration: 20 mins
9:40 AM - 12:30 PM

WEATHER FOR LIFE

The talks in this session will explore the latest ways we are analysing extreme weather and creating approaches for society to adapt.  CHAIR: Peter May, Bureau of Meteorology

Duration: 2.83 hours
9:40 AM - 10:20 AM

A new generation in weather warnings worldwide

In October 1987 southern England was hit by the worst storm in centuries. The subsequent enquiry set the Met Office on a path that has led to its current risk-based early warning system. This talk will describe how this happened and how the World Meteorological Organisation's 10 year HIWeather project aims to make the developing world more resilient to extreme storms. 

Brian Golding

Brian is co-chair of the World Meteorological Organisation's 10-year high impact weather... More

Duration: 40 mins
10:20 AM - 10:30 AM

Address by Her Excellency the Honourable Linda Dessau AC Governor of Victoria

Her Excellency the Honourable Linda Dessau AC Governor of Victoria

Duration: 10 mins
10:30 AM - 11:00 AM

- MORNING TEA -

Duration: 30 mins
11:00 AM - 11:30 AM

The current revolution in weather prediction modelling

Weather prediction modelling has made remarkable progress over the over the past few decades, underpinning massive advances in our ability to predict the weather, and yet it is undergoing a major revolution, opening up many new and exciting areas of research. A combination of new technologies - not just the “big” technology of satellites, radar networks and high performance computing, but also through smaller scale technology that is in the hands of society such as personal weather stations, mobile phones, telemetry from modern cars – is enabling richer data and the evolution of weather prediction modelling.  The World Weather Research Program aims to bring all these threads together, integrating software engineering, advanced mathematics, fundamental physical sciences and the social sciences, generating ever more interesting insights.

Peter Steinle

Peter Steinle has over 20 years experience with the development and use of numerical models for... More

Duration: 30 mins
11:30 AM - 12:00 PM

New services to assist industry and public health

Weather information providers such as the Australian Bureau of Meteorology are developing new new services designed to provide energy, health, emergency services, and other sectors with tailored information for weather-related decision-making. These services are being built in close partnership with the user community, combining environmental information and the supercomputing capability of the national weather service with information supplied by the users. Current examples include prediction of tropical cyclones for the offshore oil and gas industry, and development of a new thunderstorm asthma forecasting system to help health departments alert people with asthma and hay fever to take protective action.

Beth Ebert

Beth Ebert leads the Weather and Environmental Prediction program in the Bureau's Research and... More

Duration: 30 mins
12:00 PM - 12:30 PM

A new world of extreme weather

From across society, there is an increasing demand for The Bureau of Meteorology to offer enhanced information and products in relation to extreme weather. This is tracking the rising trend in frequency and impact of severe weather events. In response to this demand, the Extreme Weather Desk has trialled new scientific tools and techniques over the last two severe weather seasons. More are planned for the current year. Two key trials include a daily verification product focussing on continual forecast improvement of events such as thunder, large hail, damaging winds, heavy rainfall and tornado. The second trial is a National Fire Weather Outlook.

Philip King

Phil has extensive experience in operational meteorology, including general forecasting work,... More

Duration: 30 mins
12:30 PM - 1:45 PM

- LUNCH -

Duration: 1.25 hours
1:45 PM - 4:30 PM

OCEANS FOR LIFE

The talks for this session will explore how we are developing and using ocean forecasting and its implications for sea-level rise, people, property and trade.
CHAIR: Mervyn Lynch, Curtin University

Duration: 2.75 hours
1:45 PM - 2:00 PM

A short history of Oceanography in Australia

Peter Baines

Duration: 15 mins
2:00 PM - 2:30 PM

Ocean forecasting: a grand challenge that is delivering on its promise

The goal to forecast the chaotic ocean was first proposed by the US Navy in the mid-80’s. Ocean forecasting has now matured to the point that skilful forecasts are having a measurable impact on societal applications including defence, search and rescue and offshore industries. New advances in our science will extend this capability and its impact over the next decade.

Gary Brassington

Dr Gary Brassington is a Senior Principal Research Scientist with the Australian Bureau of... More

Duration: 30 mins
2:30 PM - 3:00 PM

Understanding current sea-level change

The advent of modern satellite and in situ ocean and climate observing systems and the development of improved ocean and climate models has greatly improved our understanding of current sea-level change. Key progress has come from high quality satellite missions as well as global in situ observations. There is now a reasonable understanding of sea level change over recent decades and since 1900, including the attribution of the observed change to climatic drivers. There is also improved agreement between ocean observations and models. However, significant and important challenges remain. The deep ocean, continental shelves and the polar regions are inadequately observed leading to ongoing uncertainties in ocean simulations and projections in these regions and globally. Critically important for sea level around the globe is the changing structure of the oceans and the role of the oceans in the future of the ice sheets of Antarctica and Greenland. We need to realistically simulate the observed, three-dimensional and time-dependent ocean and sea-level changes to have confidence in regional interannual, decadal, centennial and longer time-scale sea-level projections.

John Church

John Church was a research scientist with CSIRO from 1978 to 2016, and in the 1990s he was the... More

Duration: 30 mins
3:00 PM - 3:30 PM

- AFTERNOON TEA -

Duration: 30 mins
3:00 PM - 3:30 PM

The latest thinking on extreme sea levels for coastal planning

Storm surges and oceanic waves are the major cause of extreme sea levels and devastating coastal impacts along coastlines. The coastal impact of storm surges and waves will continue to increase under rising sea levels, while projected changes in global atmospheric circulation and weather patterns on interannual to climate change time scales may further influence likelihoods of severe storm surges and waves through changes to the frequency, intensity and location of severe weather events. Understanding such changes at the regional to coastal scale is essential for robust coastal planning and adaptation.  Progress towards understanding wave and storm surge climates and their combined contribution to extreme sea levels in the context of a changing climate is presented.

Kathy McInnes

Kathleen McInnes leads the sea level rise and coasts team at CSIRO Marine and Atmospheric... More

Duration: 30 mins
4:00 PM - 4:30 PM

Influences from the Far South

Antarctica and the Southern Ocean have a profound influence on global weather and climate. This influence is particularly important for Australia: a point that was recognized early by the early Antarctic explorers who argued their expeditions were necessary to better understand Australian weather. This talk will explore how the modern day work of the Australian Antarctic Program continues to pursue this connection between Antarctica and Australia with tools that the early explorers could scarcely have dreamt of. This includes using the very ice itself to tell us about long-term climate.

Tas van Ommen

Tas van Ommen's research interests centre around ice core palaeoclimate studies, particularly... More

Duration: 30 mins
4:30 PM - 5:15 PM

Q & A panel

Speakers will participate in a Q & A session covering topics of the day's proceeedings.

Duration: 45 mins
5:30 PM - 7:30 PM

Cocktail party - Celebrate the 30th Anniversary of AMOS!

Duration: 2 hours
9:00 AM - 9:15 AM

WELCOME TO SCIENCE FOR LIFE SYMPOSIUM DAY 2

Opening address by David Karoly (Master of Ceremonies for Day 2)

David Karoly

David Karoly is a Professor of Atmospheric Science in the School of Earth Sciences and the ARC... More

Duration: 15 mins
9:15 AM - 9:30 AM

A short history of Meteorology in Australia


 

John McBride

Duration: 15 mins
9:30 AM - 10:00 AM

Talking about weather and climate

The weather has long been a “Great British” topic of conversation. The Royal Meteorological Society has been a part of this conversation through the years, from James Glaisher’s illustrations of snowflakes in the annual reports of the 1850s, through records of the Proceedings of the Meteorological Society; monthly Weather magazine since 1946; the International Cloud Atlas, first published in 1896 and relaunched online in 2017. This talk will cover this history briefly and then answer the question “What do you get when you cross crochet and climate change?”

Ellie Highwood

Ellie Highwood is Professor of Climate Physics in the Department of Meteorology at the... More

Duration: 30 mins
10:00 AM - 12:30 PM

WATER FOR LIFE

Explores how we are using science to secure our water supplies - CHAIR:  Angela Maharaj, UNSW Sydney

Duration: 2.5 hours
10:00 AM - 10:30 AM

The state of water resources – today and into next year

Water security is a key challenge in the future, particularly with increasingly variable climate and growing demand from our population for both water and the important services that water provides to us and to the environment. Our water security encompasses multiple time horizons, from years to decades for some groundwater resources, months to years for dams and lakes, and days to weeks for many riverine situations.  The Bureau of Meteorology is Australia's national water information agency, charged with gathering, holding, maintaining and reporting on our water - past, present, and future. The Bureau's water assessment and accounting services tell the story of our past water resources - how much we had, where it was and how we used it. Dynamic services covering climate, groundwater, river, landscape and water storage data and information, allow customers to get a snapshot of today's water resources. Finally, our national flow forecasting services cover future likely conditions from days out to 3 months, and potentially beyond. Through a combination of these services we are able to offer all Australians insight into our water resources and ensure that we are better prepared for our future droughts and flooding rains.

Robert Argent

Dr Argent has over twenty years international experience in water and natural resources... More

Duration: 30 mins
10:30 AM - 11:00 AM

- MORNING TEA -

Duration: 30 mins
11:00 AM - 11:30 AM

Counting on rain

Our ability to predict rainfall characteristics has profound implications for managing our water resources.  Here we will explore the status of our predictive capacities, progress we are making, the big challenges we face, and their relevance to society.

Jason Evans

Jason is interested in water resource issues at the regional scale, particularly the impact on... More

Duration: 30 mins
11:30 AM - 12:00 PM

How we use hydroclimate information to plan and manage Victoria’s water resources

Victoria has a long history in investing in climate science to provide insight into how our variable and changing climate impacts on our precious water resources. We will illustrate how Water for Victoria, the state’s strategic water management plan, is used by the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning and urban and rural water authorities in strategic decision making across the state.    

Grace Mitchell

Duration: 30 mins
12:00 PM - 12:30 PM

Meeting the challenge to provide localised flood and climate prediction and advice

Flash flooding and similar events cause significant infrastructural damage and disruption around the world. Our challenge is to combine higher computational speed and local observational data, collected at various scales, e.g. mobile phone towers, rain gauges and satellite, into an integrated system producing data for multiple purposes.  Towards this aim, CSIRO with its partners are conducting a series of related projects with the goal of producing an integrated and elegant solution.

Mahesh Prakash

Dr Mahesh Prakash is a Senior Principal Research Scientist at CSIRO Data61 and leads a group of... More

Duration: 30 mins
12:30 PM - 1:00 PM

Lunch (provided)

Duration: 30 mins
1:30 PM - 5:00 PM

CLIMATE FOR LIFE

The following talks explore international approaches to climate, the state of the climate, and insights into climate and risk.   CHAIR: Roger Stone

Duration: 3.5 hours
1:30 PM - 2:15 PM

Can our brains keep pace with our climate models?

Climate models that describe how the earth’s systems respond to increasing CO2 are a remarkable human achievement. These models are becoming ever more sophisticated and complex, and the volume of data they produce is increasing. Whether we have the intellect to keep up with these models and develop reliable predictions remains to be seen.  We face significant systemic issues including lack of funding, academic frustration and barriers to international collaboration. Yet there are hopeful trends in areas such as diagnostic tools, sharing of model descriptions, and scientific cooperation.

David Carlson

Dr. David Carlson has been Director of the World Climate Research Programme (WCRP) since mid... More

Duration: 45 mins
2:15 PM - 2:30 PM

A new synthesis of historical greenhouse gas concentrations

In preparation for the CMIP6 climate model runs, a new historical record of 43 greenhouse gases has been compiled by the international community, led by the University of Melbourne and researchers from CSIRO's Climate Science Centre. The new greenhouse gas record synthesizes station data from the AGAGE, CSIRO and NOAA networks as well as firn and ice core data. It showcases Australia’s major contribution to this global scientific collaboration. The talk will also provide a short outlook of future CO2 concentrations under the new SSP RCP scenarios, and highlight the remainder carbon budget under the Paris Agreement targets.

Malte Meinshausen

A/Prof Malte Meinshausen is Director of the Australian-German College at The University of... More

Duration: 15 mins
2:30 PM - 2:45 PM

As we clean up our world our cities will get hotter

Atmospheric composition effects health, crops, water, soil, infrastructure, surface UV, visibility and climate. Environmental treaties dealing with global and toxic air pollutants have produced significant climate and health outcomes. Banning of ozone depleting substances has delivered more climate protection than any other climate mitigation measure to date. Simultaneously, the Antarctic ozone hole has significantly amplified the Southern hemispheric climate changes experienced to date over greenhouse gases alone. Fossil fuel derived aerosols are currently shielding us from the full impact of greenhouse gas radiative forcing, as we clean up our cities and transport, we’ll improve air quality health, but amplify heat associated health consequences.

Robyn Schofield

Dr Schofield is the Director of the Environmental Science hub at the University of Melbourne and... More

Duration: 15 mins
2:45 PM - 3:15 PM

- AFTERNOON TEA -

Duration: 30 mins
3:15 PM - 3:45 PM

Seasonal to decadal climate – and the UK Australia connections

In the mid-2000s, the Australian Bureau of Meteorology and CSIRO agreed to jointly develop a national weather, climate and Earth System model. A partnership was also forged with the UK MetOffice. The result was ACCESS (Australian Community Climate and Earth System Simulator). It also is now the Bureau’s operational weather prediction model. In 2016, the newly formed CSIRO Climate Science Centre was tasked with developing a new decadal climate forecasting capability. Like ACCESS, this decadal climate model system combines Australian innovation with that of our international collaborators. We will look at journey to date, our progress, and the need for ongoing international collaboration to meet society’s climate prediction needs. 

Helen Cleugh

Dr Helen Cleugh is an atmospheric scientist with almost 30 years’ experience combining... More

Duration: 30 mins
3:45 PM - 4:15 PM

A new climate for managing risk

Recent decades have seen a change in the frequency and magnitude of some forms of extreme weather, and most tangibly extreme heat. Such high impact extreme events are driving a reconfiguration of our responses to climate and weather-related risk.  This talk will highlight of some of the changes that have occurred in Australia, and the challenges we will face over the remainder of the 21st century. 

Karl Braganza

The Climate Monitoring section is responsible for the preparation and analysis of Australia's... More

Duration: 30 mins
4:15 PM - 5:00 PM

Q&A Panel

Speakers will participate in a panel to answer questions on the day's proceedings.

Duration: 45 mins
5:00 PM - 5:30 PM

WMO President - Closing Address - Polar and High Mountain Science for Life

The polar regions are a principal, global driver of the climate system.  Polar regions are undergoing an unprecedented rate of change having consequences beyond well beyond the poles.  WMO and the global scientific community are working to better understand the linkages between polar regions and mid-latitudes on weather and climate.   This presentation will highlight some of the significant changes taking place in polar regions and outline some of the activities being undertaken to respond to the threats, inviting the AMOS community to engage in this critical work. 

David Grimes

David Grimes has been Assistant Deputy Minister and head of Environment and Climate Change... More

Duration: 30 mins