In order to predict changing climate patterns in the coming years and decades, scientists need to understand the various interactions that take place within what is referred to as the earth system. This means understanding and predicting the interactions between atmosphere, land surface, ocean and sea ice, - known as the physical system - as well as the biogeochemical processes, such as the carbon cycle, which interact with this physical system. Today scientists can sucessfully model this system, but it entails an immense level of computing power. This is why the Department of Oceanography is partnering with UCT eResearch to use high performance computing (HPC) facilities for ocean and climate modelling.
The Oceanography Department wants to congratulate Dr. Mark Matthews on being the winner of the Copernicus Masters Ideas Challenge 2014, for his idea on CyanoLakes. The Copenicus Masters 2014, which was held worldwide for the first time, received more than 170 entries from 43 different countries. The ideas submitted offer a glimpse into the next generation of Earth observation services.
The results of a ten-year study by Dr. M Matthews have revealed that harmful cyanobacteria are widespread in South Africa’s 50 largest dams, with the Hartbeespoort dam, in the North West, the Darlington dam, in the Eastern Cape, and Spitskop dam, in the Northern Cape, found to be the worst affected by cyanobacterial surface scum.
Oceanography students Hayley Evers-King (Ma-Re) and Marie Smith (ACCESS) were recently awarded second prize at the international 2013/14 LearnEO! lesson writing competition. They received their prize at the Earth Observation Education workshop at ESA/ESRIN in Frascati, Italy, on 5 November 2014. Their lesson looked at the detection of harmful algal blooms in coastal waters and included examples from the southern Benguela upwelling system.