CSIRO has launched a new book to explain the crucial role oceans play in the lives of all Australians.

Oceans: Science and Solutions for Australia  is available for free download, or in hardcopy through CSIRO Publishing.

CSIRO Oceans and Atmosphere Director Dr Tony Worby says Australia is in a crucial place, with three of the world’s four major oceans in its marine estate.
“Australia’s oceans cover almost 14 million square kilometres, nearly twice the area of our land, and hold the key to our climate, weather, economy, international security, and social well-being,” Dr Worby said.

“It is important that we strike a balance between our national economic and resource requirements, while ensuring long term sustainability of our marine estate and this is key research focus for CSIRO and the Australian marine science community.

“Our oceans do the heavy lifting with respect to carbon dioxide and heat absorption and their capacity to continue to do these things is one of many areas we are focused on through our climate research.

“The effects of ocean warming can be seen already as tropical fish are found further south from warming coastal waters, cold water species decline in some regions, and coral bleaching becomes more frequent.

“There has never been a more important time to focus on marine research.”

Oceans editor and CSIRO Chief Research Scientist Dr Bruce Mapstone said national and international collaboration was essential, with Australia having stewardship of the third largest marine estate in the world and the largest in the Southern Hemisphere. 

“The book focuses on Australia’s marine estate which includes the Indian, Pacific and Southern Oceans, however many of the topics covered have global relevance because of the interconnectedness of the world’s oceans,” Dr Mapstone said.

“Collaboration is the only way we can tackle the breadth of marine research Australia and the world need to fully understand our oceans.

“Indigenous coastal peoples have had cultural and livelihood connections with Australia’s oceans for thousands of years and their knowledge is extremely valuable.

“Importantly, this book takes complex and detailed research and translates it into clear English that can be understood by policy makers and just as importantly students, some of whom are Australia’s future marine scientists.”