Bluewater and Climate Node


As an island continent, Australia’s climate, environment, economy and communities are strongly influenced by the surrounding oceans.  The Integrated Marine Observing System (IMOS) provides infrastructure needed by researchers to observe, understand and predict Australia’s oceans.  The Bluewater and Climate Node takes responsibility for articulating the science needs and observing system design driving IMOS investment in the open ocean, beyond the coastal and shelf seas that are the domain of the regional nodes.  The open ocean domain of relevance to IMOS extends from the tropics to Antarctica and from the central Indian Ocean to the central Pacific Ocean.

Observations from the open ocean are essential for improving understanding of the ocean’s role in climate and for tracking the evolution of climate change on decadal time-scales.  Australia’s highly variable climate is sensitive to conditions in the surrounding oceans and measurements of the open ocean provide the primary source of information used to anticipate floods and droughts associated with climate modes like El Niño and the Indian Ocean Dipole. Bluewater observations are also critical for ocean prediction on time-scales of days to weeks. Continental shelf and coastal waters are strongly influenced by offshore conditions and open ocean observations are therefore also needed to support the regional nodes of IMOS.

The Bluewater and Climate Node research community includes Australian scientists tackling a wide range of issues of direct relevance to the nation, including:  climate change and its impacts; sea-level rise; changes in the global water cycle; seasonal to interannual climate variability; ocean carbon uptake and acidification; biodiversity; and management of marine resources and ecosystems.  The Bluewater and Climate Node is also closely integrated with national and international research efforts; in particular, the open ocean observations collected by IMOS are the primary data streams used by Australia’s climate and ocean circulation research communities.  



  • IMOS farewells Dr Susan Wijffels

    Dr Susan Wijffels of CSIRO is recognised nationally and internationally as an outstanding leader within the ocean observing community. She led the Australian component of the Argo program prior to the start of IMOS in 2006, and...[more]

  • Investigator heads to Southern Ocean for climate research

    Australia’s national bluewater research vessel, the RV Investigator, has left Hobart for the Southern Ocean to gather data that will help us understand the impacts of ocean-atmosphere interactions on climate processes.[more]

  • The oceans surrounding Australia have warmed, with the greatest surface warming to the west and south of the continent: State of the Climate 2016.

    The CSIRO and Bureau of Meteorology have just released the 2016 State of the Climate report.[more]

  • Seals reveal how melting ice shelves in East Antarctica affect the global climate system

    Elephant seals tagged by IMOS have helped scientists to discover that fresh water from Antarctica’s melting ice shelves slows the production of powerful deep-water ocean currents responsible for regulating global temperatures.[more]

  • What have we learnt from 15 years of ocean observations with the global Argo array?

    A review of the Argo array recently published in Nature Climate Change considers the progress and provides an outline of how the programme is likely to change.[more]

  • IMOS data contributes to a new version of the Surface Ocean CO2 Atlas

    SOCAT version 3 brings together 14.5 million quality controlled, surface ocean fCO2 (fugacity of carbon dioxide) observations from 1957 to 2014 for the global oceans and coastal seas. [more]