Oceanographic Services in the Bureau of Meteorology encompasses a wide range of information, data and products related to the physical state of the ocean and its constituents, including inputs for weather and climate monitoring and prediction, and global and regional seasonal and longer term climate prediction, as well as support for tactical activities of the Australian Defence Force, data and prediction services for resource and environmental management, and information for coastal and open ocean industry operations and activities.
Oceanic conditions are a critical factor in the earth's climate system. They directly influence fisheries and most aquaculture endeavours, while knowledge of them is essential for such diverse applications as coastal construction, maritime safety, marine pollution response and sustainable management of the marine environment.
Oceanographic Services comprise some of the most recent additions to the suite of services provided by the Bureau of Meteorology. Since taking responsibility for operating the national centre for tidal expertise (the National Tidal Centre or NTC) in 2004, operational oceanographic services in the Bureau have grown rapidly.
With the introduction of the routine provision of several new products from the BLUElink ocean prediction system, Oceanographic Services now encompass a substantial set of informative products which support the safer and more intelligent use of the ocean by users who undertake a wide range of activities on or near Australia's great oceanic environments. BLUElink is a multi-million dollar initiative by the Bureau, the CSIRO and the Royal Australian Navy to provide the nation with a major step forward in our ongoing understanding of the behaviour of the vast coastal and ocean areas in our neighbourhood, and for our ability to operate in those environments more safely, more effectively and for a more sustainable future.
The Bureau has been providing tidal services, including predictions, tsunami services, ocean surface wave predictions, and a range of products concerning ocean temperature including sea surface temperature (SST) analyses and temperature-depth analyses, for some time. The new products from the BLUElink system now provide both analyses and daily forecasts out to 7 days, for a range of surface oceanographic variables, including SST, surface currents, surface salinity, and sea level elevation anomaly. These products support improvement to regional climate forecasts, ship routing to achieve greater fuel savings, improvement to maritime rescue and safety capabilities, and the identification of changes in coastal water temperatures, salinity and currents that directly influence reefs, aquaculture and all forms of marine life.
Oceanographic Services also maintains numerous international and regional partnerships, information on these partnerships can be accessed via the side navigation bar.