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Global Seasonal Climate Forecasts for Australian Environmental Outlooks

Young, R.A. Mr; ph.(07) 3365 1349; fax: (07) 3896 9606;

Research Organisations: Department of Natural Resources, 80 Meiers Road, Indooroopilly Qld 4068; Dr N Graham, IRI/Scripps Inst., USA


Department of Industry, Science and Tourism (DIST); Major Grants

International Science & Technology Program (ISTP), (Europe/Americas)


  • Atmospheric Sciences Division (ASC) at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL);
  • National Centres for Environmental Prediction (NCEP) at NOAA;
  • Scripps Institution of Oceanography (SIO) International Research Institute (IRI);
  • Division of Atmospheric Research (DAR), CSIRO;
  • San Diego Supercomputing Centre (UCSD), University of California, San Diego (UCSD)
  • Advanced Computational Modelling Centre (ACMC), University of Queensland (UQ);
  • Centre for Resource & Environmental Studies (CRES), Australian National University (ANU).


  • develop necessary infrastructure for a distributed spatial decision support system;
  • create a databank of retrospective climate predictions for a 30 year timeframe;
  • integrate Global Circulation Models (GCMs), Regional Climate Models (RCMs) and environmental simulations into a coherent information stream;
  • operationalise the information into a strategic tool for management;
  • progressively apply coupled ocean-atmospheric forecasts to the developed product.


This project is based on national and international collaboration and addresses the latest advances in global seasonal climate forecasts in conjunction with the DNR fine resolution spatial model. The work is being developed in parallel with DNR's existing climate risk management capabilities and uses a fine resolution spatial model of Queensland and Australia's grazing lands based on the best combinations of rainfall analyses, seasonal climate forecasts, satellite and terrestrial monitoring, and simulation of biological processes.

The timetable is as follows:

  • 1997/8 - develop infrastructure, deploy regional and global climate models (DARLAM+NCEP);
  • 1998/9 - generate one complete hindcast 1965-1995+, interface with spatial model (GRASP);
  • 1999/0 - validate hindcasts, parameterise integration of all spatial models, spatial-temporal analysis;
  • 2000/1 - overall integration, inclusion of other climate/region models, operationalise.


This project has been identified by the Department of Industry, Science & Tourism (DIST) as significant international collaborative work warranting Commonwealth Government financial support interms international travel assistance. International visits are essential to both port the updated GCMs to the DNR hardware and tune the models for regional conditions, and to acquire critical expertise to create a web-based decision support system and the associated infrastructure. Key personnel with the necessary skills and experience have been identified for exchange visits.

Period: starting date 1997-07; completion date 2000-06


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