Waters in EAC travel southward along east coast of Australia, with most of it splitting from the coast near Sydney, heading for New Zealand. A small part of the current, known as the EAC Extension, works its way southward past Victoria and Tasmania…A typical signature in this region are the large eddies, around 200 kilometres across and hundreds of metres deep. Some of the warm water is trapped here along with marine life.
This year a larger proportion of the EAC was sent southward instead of breaking away to the east. Winter ocean temperatures off Bass Strait were around 19C, an increase of 4C. This impacted local fishing, beach conditions and the weather…The southward extent of EAC is controlled by collective behaviour of winds between Australia and South America. Over 50-year period these winds changed their pattern due to a strengthening of a climate system known as the Southern Annular Mode…The changes to this mode have been attributed to a combination of ozone depletion and increasing atmospheric CO2.