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Posts tagged Gulf of Carpentaria

Phytoplankton of Gulf of Carpentaria, Australia – May 28th, 2013

16.8S 139.8E

May 28th, 2013 Category: Image of the day, Phytoplankton

Australia – May 28th, 2013

The phytoplankton of the shelf waters of the Gulf of Carpentaria, Australia, is basically a diatom flora, distinctly different from the oceanic, predominantly dinoflagellate flora of the Coral Sea and Indian Ocean. Large morphologically elaborate tropical diatoms and dinoflagellates of this shelf region show great species diversity (click here for more information).

Sediments from the Flinders River, Australia

17.8S 140.5E

May 24th, 2013 Category: Rivers, Sediments

Australia – May 24th, 2013

Predicted climate change for the Australian tropics includes higher temperatures, a more intense monsoon, general increase in rainfall intensities, possible marked increase in heavy rains, more floods and dry spells, increased potential evaporation and enhanced topographic effects on rainfall. To predict river response to climate change and agricultural development, scientists have studied the condition of existing rivers in the Australian tropics, such as the Flinders River, visible here spilling sediments into the southern part of the Gulf of Carpentaria.

The Flinders River is the longest river in Queensland, Australia at about 1004 km, and the sixth longest river in all of the country. The river rises in the Burra Range, part of the Great Dividing Range, and flows into the Gulf of Carpentaria 25 km west of Karumba, Queensland. The catchment covers 109,000 km², in which anabranching rivers predominate, with confined and constrained rivers also present. (click here for more information).

Climate Change in Australia’s Gulf Region

18.4S 140.0E

May 7th, 2013 Category: Climate Change

Australia – May 7th, 2013

The Gulf region of Australia, along the Gulf of Carpentaria, is in the wet-dry tropics (savannah) and is generally hot to very hot throughout the year, with a distinct hot and humid ‘wet season’ (November–March) where rainfall is generated by heavy thunderstorms, monsoonal lows or tropical cyclones.

The region is being affected by climate change. Average annual temperature in the Gulf region has increased 0.2 °C over the last decade (from 26.6 °C to 26.8 °C). Projections indicate an increase of up to 4.4 °C by 2070, leading to annual temperatures well beyond those experienced over the last 50 years. The sea-level rise on parts of the coastline around the Gulf of Carpentaria is projected to be up to 25 mm above the global average sea-level rise by 2070.

Average annual rainfall in the last decade increased by more than 3 per cent compared to the previous 30 years. This is generally consistent with natural variability experienced over the last 110 years, which makes it difficult to detect any influence of climate change at this stage. Models have projected a range of rainfall changes from an annual increase of 24 per cent to a decrease of 26 per cent by 2070. The ‘best estimate’ of projected rainfall change shows a decrease under all emissions scenarios. Projections indicate annual potential evaporation could increase 7–14 per cent by 2070 (click here for more information).

Tropical Cyclone Zane (23P) Expected to Dissipate Over Gulf of Carpentaria

14.6S 146.9E

May 1st, 2013 Category: Tropical Cyclones

Tropical Storm Zane (23P) – April 30th, 2013

Enhanced image

Track of Tropical Storm Zane (23P) - April 30th, 2013 © Univ. of Wisconsin

Track of TC 23P

Tropical Cyclone Zane (23P) is being driven westward by a mid- to high- level anticyclone over the Coral Sea, which is weakening and pulling away towards the Solomon Islands.

In anticipation of the weaker steering influence, the JTWC track forecast hedges a little bit slower and poleward, but remains close to, consensus. Intensity guidance consistently indicates rapid weakening and dissipation of the system over the Gulf of Carpentaria, primarily due to VWS.

Although animated water vapor imagery is beginning to reveal some increased subsidence over the western side of the storm, solid radial outflow persists along with a weak poleward tap. Upper level streamline analysis depicts a ridge firmly entrenched over the Gulf of Carpentaria and top end of Australia, which will keep the system under less than 20 knots of VWS along its track.

Hence the VWS values given by the guidance appear over-done, and the JTWC forecast follows a slower dissipation trend. Track confidence is high through the first 48 hours, then very low afterwards due to the uncertainty in the intensity (and hence the associated steering environment) after TAU 48

Fires Southwest of Mornington Island, Australia

17.1S 138.5E

April 24th, 2013 Category: Fires

Australia – April 24th, 2013

Fires can be seen near the coast of the Gulf of Carpinteria, southwest of Mornington Island, in Queensland, Australia, near the border with the Northern Territory. Most of the fires are located in a cluster in the lower left quadrant of the image.