General Sessions

If you feel that your research doesn’t fit under any of the preceding sessions, please submit to one of our general sessions.

  • Ocean (1.10)

  • Atmosphere (2.6)

  • Climate (3.15)

  • Weather (4.7)

  • Land (5.3)

  • Cryosphere (6.4)

  • Miscellaneous (8)


Theme 1: Oceanographic processes and observations

1.1 Variability and change in the Indo-Pacific and Australian regional seas – A session in honour of Gary Meyers

Caroline Ummenhofer, Helen Phillips, Tim Moltmann

This session is dedicated to honour the late Gary Meyers. Dr Meyers was an eminent oceanographer at the CSIRO in Hobart for many years before taking up the role of Director for the Integrated Marine Observing System (IMOS) at the University of Tasmania in 2007. His contributions have been instrumental in advancing research on a wide variety of topics, such as understanding the circulations in the Indian and Pacific Oceans, the Indonesian Throughflow, and the role of the Indian Ocean in regional climate variability and change. Gary also played a pivotal role in establishing IMOS to provide a sustained ocean observing system in the Indian and Pacific Oceans and regional seas around Australia.

Gary was an active AMOS member throughout his career. He received the AMOS Medal in 2006, and served on the AMOS-Tasmania committee in 2014 and 2015. The AMOS Early Career Research Award has been re-named the Meyers Medal to recognise Gary’s generosity as a mentor to early-career researchers and to commemorate his profound contributions to oceanographic and climate research of the tropical Pacific and Indian Oceans.

This session invites contributions based on observations, modeling, and theory that address Indo-Pacific variability and change across a range of timescales. In particular, we welcome submissions on Indo-Pacific exchange, the Indonesian Throughflow, regional oceanography around Australia, and contributions focused on sustained observing systems, such as the IMOS or RAMA systems.

1.2 Physical oceanography in the Southern Ocean and at the Antarctic margins
Adele Morrison, Andrew Hogg, Paul Spence,

The Southern Ocean plays a critical role in the Earth system and its response to change by facilitating exchanges between the three northern ocean basins, the atmosphere and the cryosphere. However, the quantification and understanding of current and future trends in Southern Ocean heat, salinity, biogeochemistry, sea ice and ocean-driven melting of Antarctic ice-shelves remain highly uncertain. Improvements in observational capabilities, along with rapid advances in the resolution of numerical models, have recently highlighted the significant role of the mesoscale and eddy-topographic interactions, and revealed the three-dimensional complexity of the larger-scale Southern Ocean circulation. In this session, we welcome contributions on all aspects of physical processes in the Southern Ocean, including mixing and mesoscale processes, sea ice- and ice-shelf-ocean interactions, air-sea fluxes, and controls on the large-scale meridional and zonal circulations.

1.3 Ocean extreme events and their impacts
Alex Sen Gupta, Craig Steinberg, Eva Cougnon, Neil Holbrook

Like their atmospheric counterparts marine extremes can have large impacts on marine species with knock on socio-economic effects in industries like fisheries, aquaculture and tourism. For example recent successive marine heat wave events have caused unprecedented levels of coral mortality across the great barrier reef and other parts of the world. New, high spatial and temporal resolution observational and modelling datasets now make it possible to marine extremes in unprecedented detail, leading to new understanding of these important events. In this session we invite observational and modelling studies aimed at characterising and understanding the local processes, large-scale drivers and long-term changes in marine extreme events (including marine heat waves and cold spells) and how these events impact on marine ecosystems and local climate.

1.4 Collaborative Research under the Centre for Southern Hemisphere Ocean Research (CSHOR)

Xuebin Zhang, Agus Santoso, Guojian Wang

Highlighting the climatic role of the southern Southern Ocean, this special session celebrates the establishment of Centre for Southern Hemisphere Ocean Research (CSHOR). CSHOR is a joint initiative between the Qingdao National Laboratory for Marine Science (QNML, China), CSIRO, UNSW and UTAS. CSHOR research projects initially focus on research areas, from tropical variability (ENSO, IOD, Indo-Pacific interbasin exchange, air-sea coupling over Warm Pools, tropics-high latitude interactions) to Southern Ocean studies (sea level, ocean circulations and water mass formation, observations, and climate change). We solicit contributions from a broad range of topics related to the aforementioned research areas, ranging from observation-based studies to modelling efforts, from basin-scale studies to regionally-focused investigations, and from ocean-only to fully-coupled earth system modelling, with the aim of sharing new insights. This is an excellent opportunity to coordinate and exchange ideas between CSHOR and the broad ocean and climate communities, as CSHOR expands its research coverage.

1.5 South Atlantic Ocean: circulation, processes, observations and modelling
Paulo Polito, Olga Sato, Angela Maharaj, Regina Rodrigues

The South Atlantic is the main conduit through which the southward outflow of North Atlantic Deep Water is compensated by northward inflows of upper and intermediate waters from the Pacific and Indian oceans, as part of the Meridional Overturning Circulation (MOC). Thus the South Atlantic exerts a fundamental role on the exchange of mass and heat across other oceanic basins. Observations and models indicate that the South Atlantic circulation significantly influences the water mass structure of the MOC particularly in regions of high mesoscale variability.

Despite its importance, our understanding of the physical processes that affect its mean state and variability are limited. This session welcomes studies related, but not limited, to the following topics: South Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (SAMOC); Subtropical mode water formation, characterization and dissipation; Eddies, planetary waves, and mixing processes; Dynamics of Brazil Current and Brazil – Malvinas Confluence; Agulhas Current eddies and inter-ocean heat exchange.

1.6 Oceanic pathways from the Subtropical Southwest Pacific

Janet Sprintall, Sophie Cravatte, William S. Kessler, Awnesh Singh, Melissa Bowen, Neil Holbrook

South Pacific thermocline and intermediate waters from the subtropical gyre are redistributed throughout the southwest Pacific Ocean via circulation pathways extending to the equatorial region and the Southern Ocean. Because of the complex geography, the circulation is highly variable on a wide range of space and time scales. The strong boundary currents transport significant amounts of heat, freshwater, nutrients and other properties, and represent regions of intense eddy activity and air-sea exchanges that have a marked influence on the regional climate. This session welcomes papers that discuss recent observations (in situ and remote), analyses, and model simulations of the variability of flow pathways and water masses that transit through the Southwest Pacific Ocean. Studies that attempt to quantify exchanges with the equatorial zone or higher latitudes, and that might provide guidance for possible future development of an effective monitoring network, are particularly encouraged.

1.7 Sea-level science: from surface waves to global change

Jan Zika, Kathleen McInnes, John Church, Alex Babanin

Sea-level change and variability threaten coastal societies and ecosystems through physical impacts such as coastal flooding, erosion and salinization. Causal factors range from the long to the short term. Increases in ocean heat content and melting of glaciers and ice sheets drive long term global and regional sea-level rise. Weather systems drive storm surges and severe waves that, in concert with tidal variability and wave climate, lead to short-term sea-level extremes. Improved understanding of these various processes and their interactions (for example between wave climate and ocean heat uptake) under present climate conditions as well as on interannual to centennial time scales is critical for forecasting and guiding disaster risk reduction and adaptation strategies to develop coastal resilience. This cross-disciplinary session will draw together relevant research, and create a forum to facilitate discussion. Recent advances in understanding will be covered, as well identification of areas for future research and collaboration.

1.8 Ocean variability on timescales from days to decades

Moninya Roughan, Shane Keating, Matthew Archer

Ocean dynamics are characterized by a wide range of temporal scales, from tidal and inertial forcing to seasonal and interannual variability and decadal response to a changing climate. This session invites presentations on observational, modelling, and theoretical analysis of temporal variability of ocean dynamics. Particular emphasis is placed on oceanographic processes that span multiple timescales and novel observational or analytical methods for studying such phenomena.

1.9 Advances in ocean modelling and prediction

Diana Greenslade, Laurie Menviel, Gary Brassington

Numerical modelling and forecasting of ocean variability across a range of time and space scales is an area of active research. Continual increases in the availability of computational power allow higher resolution and more detailed and extensive modelling studies as well as more optimal data assimilation methods. At the same time this poses challenges in terms of the adequacy of our observing system to constrain these scales as well as their predictability. This session invites abstracts on aspects of ocean modelling and analysis across a range of time and space scales. Studies may include, for example, numerical model development, data assimilation, observing system design, operational forecasting, ensemble forecasting, verification, case studies and coupled modelling. Abstracts relating to all forms of ocean variability are welcome, including but not limited to: general ocean circulation, ocean mixing, wind waves, air-sea interaction, the carbon cycle and ecosystem dynamics.

1.10 Oceans - general

Theme 2: Atmospheric processes

2.1 Observations – Atmospheric, marine and remote

Jane Warne

Observations are the fuel of scientific endeavour and particularly the fields of meteorology and oceanography. They provide the basis that drives the models and their development. But in this era of big data, with a observations coming from sources as varied as phones, cars and sophisticated satellites, are all observations equal. Do some observations help while others harm? What new sources of observations are being developed to help answer ever evolving and complex scientific problems? Do we make the best use of the observations and data we already have at hand?
The session will include presentations on;

  • New technologies and methodologies of measurement

  • Developments in operational observation networks

  • Observational field campaigns

  • Use of dense semi-quantitative observations

  • Metrology and standards

2.2 Atmospheric and oceanic chemistry in the earth system: insights from the Southern Hemisphere

Jenny Fisher, Robyn Schofield, Matthew Woodhouse

Meteorology and climate drivers are controlled by and determine the chemical (trace gas and aerosol) composition and reactivity of the atmosphere. Similarly, oceanic composition is driven by climate and meteorology processes. With large areas that are near-pristine, the southern hemisphere provides a unique opportunity to investigate these couplings in the natural atmosphere. At the same time, emissions from terrestrial vegetation and oceanic sources, seasonal biomass burning and expanding megacities can have large local to hemispheric influence on atmospheric composition. Ongoing environmental changes throughout the earth system can profoundly impact these emissions - with consequences that feed back into climate processes. This session welcomes submissions that examine atmospheric and oceanic gas and aerosol composition and chemical processing in southern hemisphere environments using laboratory, observational and/or modelling studies. Results addressing links between atmospheric and oceanic chemistry and meteorological, climate, land surface and/or oceanic processes are especially encouraged.

2.3 Clouds and convective processes

Martin Singh, Todd Lane, Hamish Ramsay

Clouds and convective-scale processes play an important role in the energy and water budgets of the climate system, and they have a strong influence on the large-scale atmospheric circulation. The effects of clouds and convective-scale processes are often not well represented in weather and climate models, and this leads to model errors that contribute substantially to uncertainty in weather forecasts and climate projections. An improved understanding of clouds and convective-scale processes is therefore paramount in order to improve predictive capability across a wide range of temporal and spatial scales. This session welcomes theoretical, observational or modelling studies focused on improving our understanding of the microphysical, dynamical and thermodynamical processes associated with clouds and convection. Studies on mesoscale dynamics, convective organisation, and the influence of convective-scale processes on large-scale weather and climate are particularly encouraged. Studies on other components of the global monsoon system including the South and North American monsoon and African monsoon are welcomed.

2.4 Australia-Asian monsoon and their interactions in current and future climate

Huqiang Zhang, Aurel Moise, Chengzhi Ye, Alex Sen Gupta

The Australian-Asian monsoon is a key component in the global climate system, yet it remains a great challenge to predict it across different temporal and spatial scale. This session calls for research targeted to improve our understanding of the physical/dynamical processes governing its evolution and variations, such as (not limited to) its onset/retreat, rainfall variations, tropic-extratropical interactions, tropical moisture transport ("atmospheric river") diagnosis, ENSO/IOD-monsoon, and projections of its potential changes in warmed climate. This session also encourages collaborative studies on monsoons between scientists in Australia and Asia through bilateral or multilateral projects.

2.5 Large-scale atmospheric and climate dynamics of the Southern Hemisphere

Bradford Barrett, Nicolas Fauchereau

Large-scale atmospheric and climate processes are important drivers of weather on a variety of scales. These processes themselves are often modulated by teleconnections, including tropical-extratropical interactions. Many of the most recent advances in our understanding of Southern Hemisphere weather and climate have come from better physical and numerical models of large-scale dynamics, including, but not limited to, flow blocking, air-sea ice-ocean exchanges, and flow-terrain interactions, many times aided by improved in situ and remote observations. Additional progress has come from work to discover the character and role of teleconnections, particularly extratropical responses to tropical convection, including from the MJO and ENSO. In this session, we invite abstract submissions from across the weather and climate communities for studies that seek to understand and predict any of the varied large-scale processes that are key to the Southern Hemisphere.

2.6 Atmospheric - general

Theme 3: Climate

3.1 Changes in atmospheric circulation and Southern Hemisphere regional climate

Milton Speer, Julie Arblaster, Harry Hendon, Marilyn Raphael, James Renwick

Many features of the circulation of the Southern Hemisphere relevant for regional climate are being affected by climate change but are also modulated by large-scale patterns of variability such as the Southern Annular Mode (SAM) and the El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO). Attributing the causes of observed changes in the mid-latitude circulation over the past 40 years is complex, involving an understanding of the effects of ozone depletion, greenhouse gas increase, decadal variability in ENSO, trends in tropical ocean surface temperature, expansion of the Hadley Circulation, and other factors. This session welcomes contributions on all aspects of Southern Hemisphere circulation variability and change, and their role in changing regional climates.

3.2 Tropical Indo-Pacific variability: dynamics, teleconnections and impacts

Dietmar Dommenget, Ailie Gallant, Shayne McGregor

The tropical Indo-Pacific region is home to the world’s most important modes of climate variability. This includes the Pacific’s El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO), which is the dominant source of interannual climate variability in the tropics and throughout the globe, and other modes, which are also known to modulate rainfall and temperature variability around the globe. These modes induce climate extremes such as droughts and flooding across many parts of the globe, including Australia. The global impact of these modes makes understanding their dynamics, predicting their future evolution, and anticipating changes in their characteristics and impacts vitally important for society, globally. Despite each of these modes being extensively studied, aspects of their dynamics and teleconnections with regional climate remain elusive. Such knowledge gaps contribute to limiting the skill of seasonal forecasting and the uncertainty of regional climate changes under greenhouse warming. This session invites contributions regarding the dynamics of the tropical Indo-Pacific region modes of variability and their teleconnections, including multi-scale interactions; low frequency, decadal and paleo variability; ENSO theory; ENSO diversity; impacts on climate, society and ecosystems; seasonal forecasting; and climate change projections. Studies aimed at understanding coupled models of tropical climate variability are especially welcomed, including analysis of CMIP model intercomparisons.

Expected content:

  • Dynamical studies investigating tropical climate variability

  • Studies on tropical teleconnections and impact

  • Observational studies on tropical climate variability

  • Model evaluation and development studies

  • Projections, predictions and predictability of tropical climate

  • Studies on tropical climate change

3.3 Maritime Continent earth system science for improved understanding and prediction of its local variability and global impact

Matthew Wheeler, Chidong Zhang, Susan Wijffels, Robyn Schofield

The Maritime Continent (MC) is a unique mix of islands and ocean straddling the equator to the north of Australia, located within the Indo-Pacific warm pool that experiences the globally highest mean sea surface temperatures and acts as the anchor for the largest centre of deep atmospheric convection. It therefore has a strong influence on both nearby and global weather and climate. The scientific issues of the MC region are its frequent convective storms, strong diurnal cycle, complex topography and bathymetry, and its location at the interface between the Pacific and Indian Oceans. These issues require special research attention for progress to be made in our earth system modelling, prediction, and projection efforts. In this session we solicit submissions on all aspects of earth systems science focussed on the MC region, including atmospheric convection, ocean vertical mixing, Indonesian Throughflow, biogenic emissions, model biases, Madden-Julian oscillation, land-atmosphere interactions, and troposphere-stratosphere exchange.


3.4 South American climate variability, change and predictability

Regina Rodrigues, Tércio Ambrizzi, Andréa S. Taschetto

South America is the home of the world’s largest river basin and rainforest (Amazon basin). It also includes one of the wettest places in the world (in Colombia) as well as the driest region in the globe (Atacama Desert). These peculiarities in conjunction with a distinct topography (ranging from the Andes mountains to the Brazilian plateau) and meridional extent makes South American climate unique, but hard to predict. Great progress has been made in understanding its variability from daily to interannual time scales as well as its connections with the adjacent oceans, but further work is required in areas such as multi-decadal variability and predictability.

Contributions based on theoretical, observational, modeling, or combined approaches are invited on a range of topics including, but not limited to: the South American Monsoon System and its components; Inter-tropical Convergence Zone; South Atlantic Convergence Zone; Weather events; Teleconnections associated with modes of climate variability.

3.5 Climate of the tropical Pacific Islands

Hanh Nguyen, Margot Bador, Christophe Menkes, Alexandre Peltier, Gilles Bellon

The tropical Pacific islands located within and in the vicinity of the South-Pacific Convergence Zone (SPCZ), are characterised by their large number (20,000-30,000) and a wide diversity in their dimension, shape, and topography . They experience a large variety of climate regimes and variability. In particular, extreme events such as tropical cyclones or droughts are amongst the most devastating impacts on land and sea resources over these particularly vulnerable islands.

Global climate models have a too coarse spatial resolution and poorly represent the SPCZ. Assessing the climate of these islands requires high-resolution simulations to fully represent their complex orography as well as their regional climate. In addition, high-quality observation datasets are necessary to document the different climate regimes and extreme events over the islands.

This session welcomes talks related the climate of the Pacific islands from observations and simulations. Studies focused on extreme events and their impacts on these Islands in the current and future climate are of particular interest. Human (e.g., TC related diseases) and environmental impacts are also encouraged.

3.6 Modelling, prediction and projections of climate variability and change

Harun Rashid, Dave Bi, Ian Watterson

Climate models are an indispensable tool for simulating, understanding and predicting the state of the climate system over a broad range of space and time scales. Modern climate models show a remarkable skill in simulating the major features of the climate system. However, significant model systematic errors still exist, which place a limit on our confidence on these models for weather and climate predictions and longer term climate projections. Understanding and documenting the sources of skills and errors of the models may facilitate their further improvements.

This session invites contributions for oral and poster presentations covering model development and evaluation, and modelling and prediction of multi-week to decadal variability. We also welcome abstracts on studies of major drivers of Southern Hemisphere climate variability (e.g., SAM, MJO, IOD, ENSO and IPO) and their changes under global warming. Presentations comparing observations and simulations of the ACCESS Earth System Model (ESM) and other ESMs/coupled models are encouraged.

3.7 Decadal climate prediction session

Richard Matear, Terrence O'Kane, Bernadette Sloyan, James Risbey

Decadal climate prediction aims to deliver multi-year to decadal predictions that will enable Industries and regulators to better deal with climate variability and climate extremes. This endeavour has been identified by the WCRP as a grand challenge in near term climate prediction. Considerable research investment is occurring with the anticipation that useful multi-year to decadal climate predictions are attainable. To be successful will require building a climate prediction system underpinned by identifying and developing a deep understanding of the climate processes that can be skilfully predicted. With these requirements, the session provides an opportunity to present research that:

  1. identifies either climate processes or key observations that will underpin skilful predictions

  2. explores the potential predictability of multi-year to decadal climate

  3. showcases components of the climate prediction system

  4. assesses the skill of multi-year to decadal climate predictions

3.8 Regional climate projections and applications

Jason Evans, Marcus Thatcher, Silvina Solman

There are a growing number of regional climate projections being produced using dynamical and/or statistical approaches. These regional climate projections are aimed at providing data at scales relevant for climate change impacts and adaptation research. As such, they must be evaluated against local to regional scale datasets appropriate for the system of interest. This session invites presentations on all aspects of the creation, evaluation and application of regional climate projection data. This includes presentations on regional climate projection techniques, ensemble creation, uncertainty quantification, the results of evaluations and bias correction, investigation of specific regional climate changes, and application of regional climate projections to investigate specific climate change impacts on various human and natural systems.

3.9 Climate extremes in a warmer world – detection and attribution and implications of global warming thresholds

Andrew King, Sarah Perkins-Kirkpatrick, Sophie Lewis,, Jatin Kala, David Karoly, Matilde Rusticucci, Sue Rosier, James Renwick, Pandora Hope

As anthropogenic influence on the climate increases, changes in regional extreme events are unavoidable. But what exactly is the influence of climate change and natural variability behind these extremes? And what does global warming mean for regional changes in extreme events? This session invites contributions assessing and quantifying the influence of anthropogenic climate change, as well as natural variability phenomena, such as the El Niño-Southern Oscillation, behind specific regional extreme events and related physical mechanisms. We also invite abstracts detailing how universal warming thresholds, such as the 1.5 degrees C and 2 degrees C targets outlined in the Paris Agreement of 2015, correspond to changes in regional extremes. Initial preference will be placed on regions in the southern hemisphere, however comparisons with other global regions are also welcome.

3.10 Climate extremes and impacts

Markus Donat, Matilde Rusticucci, Mark New, Julie Arblaster

Climate extremes often cause damage to infrastructure and the environment, and may be detrimental to human health, agriculture, economy and industry. Due to these impacts, effects of climate change often are most strongly seen in relation to changing climate extremes rather than mean climate changes. This session will focus on climate extremes, including their driving mechanisms and processes, impacts, statistical properties, and changes in their occurrence related to climate variability and climate change.

Therefore contributions are invited that investigate climate extremes and their impacts in past, present and future climates. This includes studies that aim to understand the spatial and temporal variability in the occurrence and magnitude of extremes, their representation and predictability in both models and observations and long-term changes. Contributions are also invited that link climate extremes with environmental and socio-economic impacts.

3.11 Science supporting the Paris Agreement: Southern Hemisphere perspectives

Rachel Law, Vanessa Haverd, David Etheridge

The Paris agreement of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change was adopted in December 2015 and aims to limit global average warming to well below 2oC above pre-industrial levels. As recognized in Article 14 of the agreement, ‘the best available science’ has a role to play in the ongoing implementation of the Agreement. This session welcomes abstracts on any aspect of the science supporting the Paris Agreement, such as research on mitigation, adaptation, carbon budgets, climate projections, geo-engineering, sea level change and integrated assessment. The aim is to encourage dialogue across research areas, including both observational and modelling based studies, and with a particular focus on the southern hemisphere.

3.12 Processes, impacts and likelihood of severe droughts in the Southern Hemisphere

Benjamin J. Henley, Anna M. Ukkola

The processes, impacts and likelihood of severe drought risk are poorly understood, and changing. The influence of climate change on the future spatial and temporal distribution of drought remains particularly uncertain. Variability on interannual to decadal and longer timescales, as well as the brevity and sparseness of observational records, hinder a complete observational picture of the risk of severe drought. However, improving our understanding of past and future droughts will have far reaching benefits to human society and natural systems.

This session explores the processes behind severe droughts and the role of land-atmosphere-ocean interactions in driving droughts using instrumental observations and models. It also invites insights into past droughts from palaeoclimatology that improve our estimates of drought risk and provide context for droughts in the instrumental period. This interdisciplinary session will bring together our latest understanding of drought impacts, patterns, physical mechanisms and the likelihood and predictability of severe droughts.

3.13 Palaeoclimate reconstruction and modelling

Helen McGergor, Kathy Allen, Joelle Gergis, Steven J Phipps, Michael-Shawn Fletcher

We anticipate a lively session related to all aspects and time scales of past climate, including those that bridge the gap between past and future changes in the climate system.

Palaeoclimate records provide constraints on climate sensitivity and natural climate patterns on time scales from seasons through to millions of years, critical for evaluating the models used to project future climate change. Along with palaeoclimate modeling, these records can reveal processes and interactions that are not necessarily apparent in climate records of the modern era.

 This session spans palaeoclimate reconstructions, climate modelling, data-model comparisons, as well as work from international palaeoclimate synthesis efforts. Presentations that combine multiple datasets or methods, with a focus on understanding the underlying dynamical processes, are encouraged. The session covers all time period up to and including the last 100 years and will make an important contribution to placing present-day climate in the context of past climate variability.

3.14 Data homogenisation and other statistical challenges in climatology

Blair Trewin, Sandy Burden

This session is intended as a forum to present work addressing major statistical challenges in climatology, from the perspectives of both climatologists and statisticians. It is planned to have a particular focus on climate data homogenisation, including the potential for merging observations from multiple sources. However, papers on all aspects of statistics in climatology are welcome, including (but not limited to) spatial analysis and uncertainty, quality control, cross-validation, and extreme value and threshold analysis. Statistical analyses of temperature and rainfall

will be of most interest, but studies using any meteorological data are welcome.

3.15 Climate - general
3.16 Historical climatology in the Southern Hemisphere
Linden Ashcroft, Joëlle Gergis, Stefan Grab, Ruth Morgan, David Nash

Historical instrumental and documentary records contain valuable weather and climate data, as well as detailed records of societal responses to past climatic conditions. This information offers valuable insights into current and future climate research and climate change adaptation strategies. While the use of historical climate information is a well-developed field in the Northern Hemisphere, a vast amount of untapped resources exist in the southern latitudes. Recovering this material has the potential to dramatically improve our understanding of Southern Hemisphere climate variability and change. In this session we welcome interdisciplinary submissions on the rescue, interpretation and analysis of historical weather, climate, societal and environmental information across the Southern Hemisphere. This can include:

  • Instrumental data rescue (land and ocean) projects and practices

  • Comparison of documentary, instrumental and palaeoclimate reconstructions

  • Historical studies of extreme events

  • Past social engagement with weather, climate and the natural environment • Development of long-term climate records and chronologies.

Theme 4: Weather

4.1 A session in honour of Professor Ian H. Simmonds

 Eun-Pa Lim, Pandora Hope, Andrew Watkins, Brad Murphy, Catherine Ganter, Harun Rashid, Petteri Uotila

This session is to honour Professor Ian Simmonds for his pioneering and outstandingcontributions to the research of weather, climate and cryosphere. As a scientist, educator and mentor, Professor Simmonds has played a leading role in improving our understanding of the behaviour of weather systems, interactions and teleconnections between mid, low and high latitude weather and climate, Antarctic/Arctic sea-ice, water isotopes, extratropical large-scale atmosphere and ocean circulations, moisture recycling over Australia, and both past and future climates. Melbourne University cyclone, anti-cyclone and front finding and tracking schemes, which were developed by Professor Simmonds and his colleagues and have been used internationally, support Professor Simmonds’ belief that any change in climate is due to the underlying non-linear, Lagrangian behaviour of the weather. The session calls for oral and poster presentations relating to Professor Simmonds’ research areas of interest and his published contributions to atmospheric and oceanic sciences.

4.2 High impact weather in research and operations

Harald Richter, Robert Warren

High-impact weather (HIW) events are a significant threat to life and property, and cause large economic losses each year. It is therefore vital that we continue to improve our understanding of and ability to predict such events. This session will be devoted to studies of HIW, including severe thunderstorms and their associated hazards (damaging winds, large hail, heavy rain, and tornadoes), severe turbulence, fire weather, tropical cyclones, hazardous winter weather and floods. Relevant topics include the physical processes and predictability of HIW, the production, communication, and application of forecasts of these events, and the effects of natural variability and climate change on their frequency and severity. We will welcome contributions from the research and forecast communities, as well as end users of HIW forecast/research products such as emergency managers and the insurance industry.

4.3 Special session on renewable energy – the effects of weather and climate on integrating renewables into our energy industry

Merlinde Kay, Roger Dargaville

The weather already has a significant impact on our energy demands from our existing non-renewable sources of energy (e.g., coal and gas). Changes in the weather, due to extreme heat or cold can lead to significant changes in demand, and advanced knowledge of these changes can make sure there is enough supply to meet these surges in demand.  But as an ever-greater proportion of renewable energies is integrated into our energy industry, the weather will begin to have an impact on the supply-side also. The role of meteorology in the energy sector is emerging as a key component in understanding how weather and climate variability affect both electrical energy consumption and production from renewables.  Topics included in this session:

  • Weather and climate forecasting for renewable technologies

  • Renewable energy resource assessment

  • Effects of climate change on the renewable resources

  • Climate data and modelling applied to long-term renewable energy resource development

  • Observation and forecasts for high penetration of renewable generation sources

4.4 Repairing the Space-Time Continuum: post-processing atmospheric model outputs from hours to seasons

Andrew Charles, Debra Hudson, Morwenna Griffiths, Andrew Watkins

Statistical post-processing methods are applied to weather and climate models outputs to correct for systematic biases, to transform ensembles into probability forecasts, to add detail at finer resolutions and to adjust the variability of model outputs used to drive application models (e.g. seasonal forecasts driving cropping models, ensemble cyclone track forecasts driving wave models, wind forecasts driving fire models).

This session covers statistical and machine learning methods for spatial downscaling, temporal disaggregation and bias-correction for weather, ocean and climate forecasts across the range of timescales from hours to seasons. We also welcome contributions describing the methods and motivations for the 'manual post-processing' applied to model grids in the weather forecasting process.

What are the areas of active development for model post-processing? What training data is needed? Where do the algorithms break down? Is information lost in the process? Do data-intensive machine-learning methods promise advantages over cheap, computationally simple methods?

4.5 East coast lows – drivers of variability and associated extremes

Andrew Dowdy, Alejandro Di Luca

East coast lows can cause severe impacts on coastal regions in eastern Australia, including extreme winds, precipitation, lightning, ocean waves, inundation and erosion. This session invites contributions on understanding the drivers of east coast lows and associated hazards, including the underlying weather forecasting knowledge as well as climate-scale processes that modulate the occurrence of these events. Topics are welcomed based on observations or modelling for understanding historical or future projected events. This can include comparisons between different modelling methods, such as global-scale models or finer-scale downscaling approaches. Understanding east coast lows in relation to similar phenomena from other regions of the world is also welcomed, as well as examinations in relation to the broader climatology of midlatitude low pressure systems and associated extreme events in the southern or northern hemispheres. Topics are also invited on applying this knowledge for enhanced services and preparedness for these extreme events.

4.6 Impact and risk assessment for weather extremes

Craig Arthur, Geoscience Australia, Bruce Buckley, Harald Richter

Physical impacts of extreme weather events are challenging to predict in a quantitative manner. Sources of uncertainty in assessing impacts of past events make it difficult to build robust models for predicting the impacts of future events. Key datasets are relatively short compared to the return interval of extremes that drive overall risk, or to establish design criteria. Links between observed weather elements and damage to infrastructure are complicated by myriads of permutations of construction methods, and demographic changes. Uncertainty in short-term weather forecasts leads to a range of impact outcomes, presenting challenges for emergency management planning.

This session will focus on quantifying and managing impacts of extreme weather, specifically the development and utility of connected models of extreme weather and impacts. Submissions may present observations, models or tools for quantifying impacts from extreme weather events; describe challenges to quantifying the impacts of extreme events; or discuss risk management solutions.

Disciplines: This session will appeal to researchers from disciplines including climate/weather impact modelling, forecasting, and catastrophe modelling and climate/weather risk management.

Importance: There is a global focus on quantifying and managing the risks posed by weather-related disasters and climate change. More locally, issues of insurance affordability, particularly for tropical cyclone risk in northern Australia, point to the importance of understanding and responding to current and future climate and weather risks.

4.7 Weather - general

Theme 5: Land surface processes

5.1 Urban climate

Melissa Hart, Marcus Thatcher, Nigel Tapper

Land-use modifications due to urbanization can modify the energy balance in cities; this in turn affects the urban thermal environment, resulting impacts include the urban heat island (UHI) effect. With greater than 50% of the world’s population living in urban areas it is imperative we understand the impact of both cities on climate and climate on cites.  Research that would be of relevance to this session include: urban heat island studies, urban weather forecasting, urban canopy models, representation of urban areas in climate models, urban areas and extreme events, urban air quality, urban climate and health, and urban climate mitigation strategies.

5.3 Land surface processes - general
James Cleverly, Cacilia Ewenz


Theme 6: Antarctic Science and cryosphere

6.1 Antarctic sea ice: variability, trends, and drivers

James Renwick, Marilyn Raphael, Will Hobbs, Sam Dean

For most of the last 30 years, total Antarctic sea ice extent has been increasing slowly, a trend that in a warming world seems counter-intuitive, poorly modelled, and is yet to be fully explained. Since September 2016, total sea ice extent has dropped to record low levels and has yet to recover. The rapid loss of sea ice in late 2016 also remains unexplained. Many factors affect Antarctic sea ice extent, including the Southern Annular Mode (SAM) and the El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO), the effects of upper ocean circulation, and ocean waves. Sea ice extent changes exhibit strong regional variability, with different behaviour between the Amundsen and Ross Seas, and across the Weddell Sea. Understanding what drives Antarctic sea ice variability is now a major research question in the study of Southern Hemisphere climate. This session will address open questions in research on Antarctic sea ice and welcomes contributions on Antarctic sea ice observations, process studies, variability, trends, forcings, and modelling.

6.4 Antarctic science
James Renwick, Will Hobbs, Marilyn Raphael, Ben Galton-Fenzi

Theme 7: Climate services and Community engagement

7.1 Weather and climate in the media

Ben Domensino 

Climate and weather are a cornerstone of the media industry because they affect everybody, every day.

In recent years, new platforms (social media and mobile apps) are being used to disseminate information to the public. There has also been a shift in the style of reporting scientific information to the public, which has seen a surge in 'fake news.'

This session would address the following topics:

  • How are new media platforms and technologies being used to communicate weather and climate information?

  • What risks does the surge of 'fake news' pose to the future climate research in Australia?

  • How can official organisations ensure important and reliable information gets through to the public?

  • What effect does the media have on the funding, planning and consumption of weather and climate research in Australia? Has this changed in recent years?

  • How should the scientific community respond to the growth of social media and can it be used as a tool to better communicate with the public?

7.2 Education and outreach

Angela Maharaj, Stephanie Downes

The education and outreach special session at AMOS-ICSHMO 2018 welcomes contributions from all education sectors and industry working in weather and climate to showcase and exchange ideas, tools and practical tips on pedagogy and student/community engagement with the sciences related to weather and climate.

This special session has become a regular feature of the AMOS annual conference encompassing a range of interesting topics and attracting wide participation. The session is divided into subthemes around primary, secondary, tertiary and community outreach to facilitate a robust discussion on each topic area. This year, we would especially like to welcome participants from all across the Southern Hemisphere for a broader discussion of education and outreach practices and challenges being faced across Africa, South America, Southeast Asia and the Pacific.

This session will be run as short talks and posters if there is a high number of quality abstracts.

7.3 Climate services for decision makers

 Andrew Watkins, David Jones, David Walland 

In a highly variable and changing climate, increasingly decisions will be made that have a climate context. Users need climate information in a form that not only is easy to interpret, but also relevant to their needs - termed Climate Services. The World Meteorological Organization's Global Framework for Climate Services (GFCS) provides a framework for producing climate services through collaborations between scientists and the end users of the data. The GFCS has focused on:

  • Capacity development

  • User interface platforms

  • Climate service information systems

  •  Observations and monitoring

  • Research, modelling and predictions,

This session will provide an exchange of ideas around climate services, including their value and impact, using examples of what is current working, and what may be developed in the future. This will assist researchers develop a better understanding of the challenges and opportunities in translating their science into services that will be have a positive impact for users.



Session list - detailed

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