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Research Thesis Topic

Interaction of the Indian and Australian summer monsoons

Topic ID:

Thesis Topic/Title:
Interaction of the Indian and Australian summer monsoons


The onset of the Australian summer monsoon (ASM) is marked by a sudden transition from a dry to a wet regime over northern Australia. Knowing the approximate timing of this transition is of great importance for primary producers. In 2019, there was a delay in the transitional rainfall onset by about 20 days compared to the long-term average, contributing to the driest Nov-Dec period on record for northern Australia. Prior to this, the 2019 Indian summer monsoon (ISM, June to September) withdrew more than a month later than usual. This, along with the delayed ASM onset was linked to cooler-than normal eastern Indian Ocean temperatures extending beyond December. The main challenge moving forward is to better understand what drives the seasonal variations in the ISM and ASM, with the strong focus on improving predictability at longer (seasonal) lead times.
This project will delve into the ISM-ASM relationship, in terms of the large-scale drivers that are associated with variations in ASM onset and amplitude, and its connection to the ISM using a variety of observations, reanalyses and climate model simulations. The project will employ the Bureau of Meteorology's latest seasonal climate forecast system (ACCESS-S) and evaluate the ISM-ASM relationship in a seasonal hindcast predictability framework. A possible project extension may include using the recently available CMIP6 model archive to study the ISM-ASM relationship, both from a historical decadal perspective and in future projections. The outcomes from this project will include a comprehensive understanding of the role of oceanic variability in driving monsoon variability and its potential predictability, which will aid the development of more skilful seasonal predictions of the ASM.
Potential research students interested in developing a project proposal in this field are invited to contact us to discuss their ideas. Prior computational knowledge not essential but is desirable.

Principal Supervisor

Research Affiliations
  • International Centre for Applied Climate Sciences

Field of Research
  • Agriculture, Land and Farm Management
  • Atmospheric Sciences
  • Oceanography

Available Academic Programs
  • Doctor of Philosophy (DPHD)
  • Master of Research (MRES)

Application Open Date

Application Close Date

USQ Scholarship Applications

Other Scholarship Funding Details
The Northern Australia Climate Program will consider funding a stipend

Pre-approved for Ethics
Not Applicable

Admission Requirements

Please review the admission requirements for the academic program associated with this Thesis Topic

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