New South Wales IMOS
The marine environment on the narrow continental shelf along the coast of NSW is dominated by the poleward flowing East Australian Current (EAC) and the eddy field it produces. The EAC and its eddies are strongly linked to fisheries recruitment, local biodiversity, marine park location and there is a strong connection between the EAC and other regional seas and currents. The poleward extension of the EAC is strengthening, shown by an increase of over 2ºC per century at the Maria Island reference station off eastern Tasmania. The water temperature regime has therefore been shifted ~350 km southwards. The EAC, and its changing nature, will impact the climate and weather of NSW, as well as the state’s ecological and socio-economic values.
The natural variability of the EAC makes it difficult to forecast. Our focus is on processes north and south of the separation zone off Coffs Harbour (30ºS) and Sydney (34ºS). The NSW-IMOS Node aims to investigate the key feature of the EAC, including physical, bio-physical and biological properties, while building on historical observations.