A message from the Director

Dr Wenju Cai, CSHOR Director

  • I am delighted to report on the first year of operations at the Centre. We have demonstrated the importance of strategic partnerships in delivering outstanding new science and in communicating our findings to both scientific and public audiences. Significant findings were reported in 20 publications, with 8 high profile research articles published by the Nature group (7 articles) and Science Advances (1 article).

We have confirmed our excellent science and impact on several fronts including extreme El Niño and extreme positive IOD in a 1.5 °C warming world; heat uptake in the Southern Ocean through changes in subantarctic mode water; and accelerated sea-level rise over the last decades. CSHOR and Antarctic Climate and Ecosystem Cooperative Research Centre researchers aboard the RV Investigator discovered a shift in a decades-long trend towards fresher less dense water off Antarctica. Also during this voyage 11 deep Argo floats supplied by collaborators from the USA, Japan and France were deployed and all are working successfully. This is the first deployment of deep Argo floats in the Southern Ocean.

A 4 page publicity brochure is available to download at: CSHORFirstYearHighlights.

I enjoyed meeting our new wave of early career researchers at the Centre’s science seminar in early May. Their research is providing new insights on the southern hemisphere and its connectivity to the Earth’s climate system. I look forward to hearing more from our new Postdoctoral Fellows over the next few years. Project collaborators, the CSHOR Steering Committee and the newly formed international Advisory Committee also attended the seminar. The Committees, with their depth of experience in climate research, made a worthwhile contribution to development of the Centre’s science plan due to be released in late September 2018.

I look forward to the second year of CSHOR and to learning more about our Earth’s complex climate system as our projects begin to reveal:

  • how the El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO) and the Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD) occur and interact and how they vary on decadal timescales;
  • the multifaceted behaviour of the Indonesian Throughflow and its impact on the interaction between the Pacific and Indian Oceans and their modes of variability (ENSO and IOD);
  • if air-sea coupling in the Indian Ocean warm pool holds the key for improved sub-seasonal and inter-annual climate predictions in the Indo-Pacific;
  • what role the Southern Ocean and the Antarctic ice sheet play in sea-level change;
  • the underlying mechanisms driving change in oceanic temperatures around Antarctica and the associated changes in Southern Ocean carbon uptake; and
  • the sensitivity of circulation and water mass formation to changes in forcing of the Southern Ocean.

Kind regards,




Dr Wenju Cai

CSHOR Director

August 2018