Victoria University of Wellington, PhD.
What Warms or Cools the Ross Sea Region?
The goal of this research project is to contribute to the current understanding of climate change in the Antarctic. Particular emphasis will be given to the relationship between short term (decadal and annular) climate cycles (EI Nino Southern Oscillation – ENSO and Southern Annular Mode – SAM) in the Antarctic climate system and the longer term warming trend. This will be done by developing transfer functions between meteorological data and snow pit geochemistry and establishing the relationship between aerosol deposition and climatic depositional controls at one of two possible NZ ITASE ice core drilling sites. These transfer functions will also form the basis for interpretation of the deeper, high resolution ice-core records at the site.
I will also use the output of the IPCC AR4 climate models and atmospheric reanalysis data (ERA-40 and NCEP/NCAR) to correlate atmospheric circulation patterns with the newly measured climate record. This will help to understand the internal variability and processes of the Antarctic/Southern Ocean climate system and provide an assessment on which climate model most closely captures past climate variability in the Ross Sea Region. This will give insight into the models’ capability for accurately forecasting the impact on the Antarctic region of anthropogenic global warming in the future.