Atmospheric Sciences on the Rise

Thanks to Craig Macaulay, CSIRO for contributing this article:

Once a year Australian atmospheric scientists gather for a research review centred on a real singing ‘canary’ – the Cape Grim Baseline Air Pollution Monitoring Station.  The Cape Grim Baseline Air Pollution Station was established in 1976 to monitor and study global atmospheric composition; the Bureau manages the station and its research is jointly managed by the Bureau and CSIRO. This year’s annual Cape Grim science meeting at the Bureau of Meteorology from November 15-17 was combined with the 5th Annual Centre for Australian Weather and Climate Research Workshop with a focus on the science of atmospheric composition.

The timing could not have been more appropriate coinciding with a series of releases on carbon and greenhouse gas emission figures from the International Energy Agency ( and the World Meteorological Organisation (

Both activities brought together more than 90 researchers from New Zealand and Australian research agencies and universities. The Workshop also included the Annual Priestley lecture, which was given this year by Dr Stephen E. Schwartz (Brookhaven National Laboratory).

This meeting provided a much needed forum for atmospheric composition researchers from different disciplines (in-situ observations, remote sensing observations, modelling) to share ideas, enhance collaboration and develop a coordinated regional approach to characterising atmospheric processes in Australasia.  A major outcome of this meeting is the decision to continue this forum into the future and to investigate during 2012 the establishment of a co-ordinated atmospheric composition research group.

Melita said there is energy to bring researchers more closely together through collaboration to benefit from the expanding  and emerging infrastructure and tools  that are providing  increasing opportunities observations, modelling and assessments. These include the Australian Community Climate Earth System Simulator, new observation sites such as the Tropical Atmosphere Research Station at Gunn Point and Australia’s new research vessel, the RV Investigator that will be commissioned in June 2013.

Leave a Reply