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Advancing science to reduce drought disasters

a-taschetto-744Researchers are using NCI’s supercomputer Raijin to better understand how El Nino impacts Australia’s rainfall.

Dr Andrea Taschetto, Associate Investigator at the Australian Research Council (ARC) Centre of Excellence for Climate System Science at UNSW is studying the role that tropical oceans play in driving changes to the Australian climate.

The research aims to better understand and El Nino and its effects.

Dr Taschetto says her work has many benefits for Australia and could help the nation better prepare for droughts in the future.

“Australia is susceptible to climate change with extreme events like drought making us especially vulnerable.

“By understanding exactly how El Nino events and their different types, like El Nino Modoki, affect Australia’s rainfall we can improve drought forecasts to minimise the negative consequences.”  

“Our research helps to advance the science and that information could be potentially used to improve seasonal forecasting,” she said.

NCI’s supercomputer enables Dr Taschetto to run complex climate models across a distributed parallel environment.

“NCI is critical for my research – I use state-of-the-art climate models to simulate El Nino events and their teleconnections to Australia.

“My current experiments require simulations that have large computational costs as well as a huge amount of output and NCI provides this resource for my work.   

“Several numerical simulations are integrated on Raijin, post processed and stored in the mass storage system,” she said.

Dr Taschetto says that understanding El Nino and its effects on the nation’s climate is essential and will have a positive impact for the Australian community.

“We expect to identify the mechanisms by which the tropical Pacific climate system and its modes of variability affect Australian climate, directly through changes in atmospheric circulation and indirectly through changes in other ocean basins.

“It’s still unclear how the remote ocean basins (Atlantic and Indian Oceans) modulate the tropical Pacific and vice-versa, which in turn impact the Australian climate.

“The results can help improve predictions and knowledge of Australia’s climate which is essential for national planning and adaptions to future climatic changes.

“This can benefit many sectors of society dependant on regional patterns of temperature and rainfall, including agriculture, water management, power production and tourism.”

UNSW

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