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Climate Variability in Chile

PI: Oscar Pizarro
Institution: Department of Geophysics, University of Concepcion
Abstract:
The main challenge of our group is to better understand the role of the South Pacific Ocean in local and global climate, in the past, present and future. Particularly, the proposal seeks to understand and quantify how global climate change affects the eastern South Pacific. It is of a primary importance to assess what large scale ocean-atmosphere processes are important to define main characteristics of the regional climate: mean-state and variability on different timescales. Nowadays, a significant part of our knowledge on regional climate variability has been focused on El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) related fluctuations, in the atmosphere and in the ocean. However, other lesser-studied timescales –like intraseasonal and interdecadal– seems also to play a significant role in the regional climate system.

Key research questions to be addressed by the group are:

1) How ongoing climate change has affected circulation, water mass distribution, and sea surface conditions in the eastern South Pacific during last decades?

2) What is the nature of and what are the mechanisms governing the natural decadal and interdecadal variability in the South Pacific Ocean?

3) How climate changes affect coastal upwelling in the eastern South Pacific Ocean?

4) How climate changes affect intraseasonal variability in the equatorial Pacific and along the western coast of South America?


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