Western Australia and its oceans – the cascade of scales
Nick D’Adamo (UNESCO Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission – Perth Regional Programme Office)
East Indian Ocean marine ecosystems are profoundly influenced by oceanographic and coupled climatic processes that manifest both locally and also from afar where phenomena derive from adjacent oceanic regions. For example, the Indonesian Throughflow brings waters of Pacific origin to the Indonesian-Australian Basin. Australia is surrounded by a marine domain that is strongly characterised by focused flows towards and away from it, along with confined boundary currents that collectively encompass the continent as along-shore flows. The poleward Leeuwin Current from NW to southern Australia and the East Australia Current from NE to SE Australia are cases in point. Western Australia’s globally recognised southward latitudinal gradient of marine biodiversity in the shelf/nearshore zone owes much of its ecological foundations to the Leeuwin Current’s conveyance of tropical/sub-tropical waters southwards. In terms of coupled processes, the surface temperature characteristics of oceanic waters off Western Australia strongly influence key meteorological processes, such as the genesis and behaviour of cyclones. The Indian Ocean Dipole, featuring contrasting and inter-annually reversing warm vs. cool water regions off the respective NW and NE Indian Ocean regions, and also the Madden Julian Oscillation which propagates equatorial weather agglomerations from the NW Indian Ocean region eastwards towards and into the Pacific, both couple with oceanic mechanisms. They have profound influences on the marine environment and weather over continental rim and island countries, both within the Indian Ocean domain and but also through tele-connections in places far from the Indian Ocean per se (e.g., NE Asia, SE Australia). Presentations in this symposium are invited on topics relevant to the cascade of scales in coastal/shelf marine ecosystems through the linkage of coastal, shelf, oceanic, and indeed, inter-oceanic systems Work relevant to Western Australia is encouraged along with research on generically relevant marine science from the Indian Ocean / South East Asian continental rim and island communities. Overview presentations and focussed research from both early career and established marine scientists will be considered.