Indian Ocean Climate Initiative - Western Australia

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About IOCI

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What is IOCI?

The Indian Ocean Climate Initiative (IOCI) is a research partnership between the WA State Government, Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation and Bureau of Meteorology. The IOCI research program, formed in 1997, investigates the causes of the changing climate in WA and develops projections of the future climate in WA. IOCI formally began its Stage 1 programs in January 1998, while Stage 2 started in July 2003.

The IOCI Seminar and Workshop ‘Living in our Changing Climate’, held in August 2005, laid the foundation for the proposed climate research programme of IOCI Stage 3. Priorities were further developed in a workshop held in April 2006 which identified the core focus and the outcomes that would be sought for decision support and capacity building in Western Australia.

Consequently, the economically important north west region of the State will be a major focus of the research programme for IOCI 3. Work will continue on the south west to infill outstanding knowledge and data gaps identified by the State. For example, the programme will draw heavily on the extensive modelling studies carried out as a part of the recently released Fourth Assessment Report of the IPCC, and will produce climate change scenarios for both the south west and north west at spatial and temporal resolutions that are useful for adaptation decision-making purposes.

In March 2008, the three parties to the IOCI partnership signed the research agreement which indicated the formal start of Stage 3 of IOCI. Research work is carried out in the CSIRO and BoM facilities both in Perth and in Melbourne. Results from this research effort will be delivered in ways that will readily inform decision-making by the State Government, Local Governments, industry and the community.

Governance Structure

The work of IOCI Stage 3 is overseen by a Board consisting of:

  1. An independent Chairperson;
  2. Two representatives appointed by the State Government;
  3. One representative appointed by the Bureau of Meteorology; and
  4. One representative appointed by the CSIRO.

The IOCI Board monitors the progress of the research and makes recommendations on management issues and opportunities for further collaboration.

The Hon Hendy Cowan has been appointed as the Chairperson of the IOCI3 Board. The two State Government representatives are the Director General, Department of Water and the Department of Environment and Conservation’s Assistant Director, Climate Change and Strategic Policy. Dr Andrew Ash and Dr Neville Smith are the CSIRO and Bureau of Meteorology representatives respectively.

Management and day-to-day coordination of the IOCI Stage 3 work program is carried out by Project Managers representing each partner organisation. The Project Managers are:

  1. I-Lyn Loo (WA State Government) This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
  2. Dr Bryson Bates (CSIRO)
  3. Dr Carsten Frederiksen (Bureau of Meteorology)
  4. Dr Pandora Hope (Bureau of Meteorology)

Links with key stakeholders

The core climate science programme will hold two workshops during the lifetime of IOCI Stage 3 at dates agreeable to the State and the research providers. These workshops will involve the complete IOCI research team, State agencies and other invited stakeholders.

The workshops will consist of an overview presentation; individual presentations by IOCI scientists, with each presentation followed by a question and answer session; and a closed meeting of State representatives and key BoM and CSIRO staff to discuss progress against milestones, revision of the research plan, and other matters of concern.

Two workshops were held in October 2008 and October 2009. The 2008 Workshop was a one day event where scientists presented updates on their respective projects.

In 2009, a two day workshop was held. Day 1 consisted of updates from scientists. On the second day, proceedings were focused on stakeholder needs. Officers from several government departments presented on their climate science needs and discussions were held in the afternoon. The future of IOCI was also briefly discussed. (See the 2009 Workshop Report [PDF 1.4 MB]).

A symposium was held in October 2010 to update government stakeholders on the progress of IOCI3. (See the Report of the 2010 Symposium [PDF 5 MB]).

Regular presentations are also made to government stakeholders.

Previous work

The IOCI research program has been studying the climate of WA’s south west since 1998. Projections under all scenarios and all models point to drier conditions across the south west in the future. The current global climate models all agree on the direction of change in winter (June-July-August, JJA) across the south west.

During the first two stages of IOCI much was learnt about the multi-decadal rainfall decline in the first half of the winter half-year (May to July) over the South west. Key scientific findings included:

  • Winter rainfall has decreased sharply and suddenly in the region since the mid 1970s.
  • The rainfall decline was accompanied by and apparently associated with changes in the large scale atmospheric circulation that are most likely due to a combination of natural variability and the enhanced greenhouse effect.
  • While the role of land cover change is unlikely to be a major factor, it should be recognised as a possible second-order effect.
  • There is increased confidence in a temperature rise and a decrease in winter rainfall (by as much as 20 percent relative to the 1960-1990 baseline) by 2030. .

Progress and milestone reports from IOCI Stage 1 and Stage 2 can be accessed here.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 25 October 2011 11:19

Contact us

C/- Department of Environment Regulation
Perth, Western Australia 64675000
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