Australian researchers have begun a major study to provide ocean forecasts for coastal and marine industries, and which could generate a long-term ocean-based climate monitoring system for primary producers.

Advances in technologies necessary to observe and simulate the oceans around Australia have provided scientists at CSIRO and the Bureau of Meteorology with the tools to provide near real-time information on ocean behaviour.

"At the end of the day, we want to generate ocean charts for marine users similar to weather forecast charts available to the rest of the community," said principal investigator, Dr Andreas Schiller.

Unlike the atmosphere, the ocean changes at a much slower rate and a rule of thumb is that a day in the atmosphere is equivalent to a week in the ocean. The BLUElink> initiative centres on ocean prediction and analysis, and forecasting of day-to-day variations in ocean currents, ocean eddies and temperatures.

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