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Southern Hemisphere Extratropical Climate Variability

PI: Alex Sen Gupta
Institution: University of New South Wales
Abstract:
This data would be used for two main areas of interest:

1. Investigation of large scale patterns of climate variability.

While much focus on climate variability is associated with the El Nino Southern Oscillation (ENSO), the Southern Hemisphere extratropics has its own distinct patterns of variability. Of particular importance is the Southern Annular Mode (SAM) which is particularly robust occurring in many climate models, even where ENSO is not captured and has far reaching effects on the ocean and ice systems as well as regional climate. This has recently become an area of intense research, in particular as a robust trend in the characteristics of the SAM have become evident. Our work will investigate the response of the climate system to both variability and trends in the SAM. Continued research will also focus on the effect of the interaction between the atmosphere, ocean and sea ice systems in modulating the SAM.

Sen Gupta, A. and M. H. England (2006). Coupled ocean-atmosphere feedback in hte Southern Annular Mode. Journal of Climate, accepted with minor revisions.

Sen Gupta, A. and M. H. England (2006). Coupled ocean-atmosphere feedback in hte Southern Annular Mode. Journal of Climate, accepted with minor revisions.


2. While the patterns of variability may be hemispheric in nature distinct regional effects are evident. Australia (and New Zealand) are within the domain of the SAM and as such a large part of the continental climate variability (including rainfall and temperatures) are likely influenced by the SAM. In addition other patterns of variability including ENSO and an Indian Ocean counterpart the Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD) will have a controlling effect over the continent. We will be investigating the mechanisms behind the variability and trends for both Australian and New Zealand rainfall and determine the associated predictability of extreme climate events.



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