EARTH SCIENCE | CLIMATE INDICATORS | PALEOCLIMATE INDICATORS | ICE CORE RECORDS
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2019-20 Honours project - Identifying atmospheric processes favouring the formation of physical features in the Mount Brown South ice core
Ice cores from Mount Brown South (MBS), East Antarctica, were drilled to help understand the past atmospheric circulation variability in the southern Indian Ocean and southwest Pacific Ocean. There are visible bubble-free layers occurring frequently multiple times a year, and the origin of these features is still unknown. This project aims to determine whether the bubble-free layers in the MBS ice core can be related to atmospheric processes. ERA-5 data, including surface (skin) temperature, 2 metre air temperature, wind at 10 metre height, the mean surface downward short-wave radiation flux and snowfall, is used to assess the target climate variables from 1979 to 2017 at the ice core sites.
2019-20 Honours project - Extending and understanding the South West Western Australian rainfall record using the Dome Summit South ice core, East Antarctica [THESIS]
The prolonged rainfall reduction in South West Western Australia (SWWA) in recent decades has previously been reported to be unprecedented in the past 750 years. This rainfall reduction has reduced the water supply for both residents and agriculture in SWWA. However, the cause of this rainfall reduction is unclear. The relatively short length of the SWWA instrumental rainfall record limits long term studies of SWWA rainfall. In this study, SWWA rainfall is reconstructed based on a statistically significant negative correlation between SWWA rainfall and snowfall at Dome Summit South (DSS), East Antarctica. The 2000-year DSS snow accumulation record is used to reconstruct SWWA rainfall from 22 BCE to 2015 CE. With Cumulative Summation (CUSUM) analysis applied to the rainfall reconstruction, it is found that SWWA rainfall started to reduce around 1971 CE. This prolonged rainfall reduction is unprecedented during the past 750 years, but there have been two prior droughts of similar duration and intensity during the past 2000 years. Applying statistical techniques to compare the rainfall reconstruction with climate model simulations, it is found that greenhouse gases are likely to be the dominant driver of the SWWA rainfall drying trend after 1971 CE. This record describes the Honours Thesis [available for download in 'Online Resources' section of thsi record]. For the data generated by this project, see https://metadata.imas.utas.edu.au/geonetwork/srv/eng/catalog.search#/metadata/d7d5ea56-f972-435d-b44b-44fea598150c