South West Western Australia
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Extending and understanding the South West Western Australian rainfall record using the Dome Summit South ice core, East Antarctica
A 2038-year South West Western Australia rainfall reconstruction. 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 longterm 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.