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Comment on ‘Drought variability in the eastern Australia and New Zealand summer drought atlas (ANZDA, CE 1500–2012) modulated by the Interdecadal Pacific Oscillation’


Vance, TR and Roberts, JL and Plummer, CT and Kiem, AS and van Ommen, TD, Comment on Drought variability in the eastern Australia and New Zealand summer drought atlas (ANZDA, CE 1500-2012) modulated by the Interdecadal Pacific Oscillation', Environmental Research Letters, 12, (6) Article 068001. ISSN 1748-9326 (2017) [Letter or Note in Journal]

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DOI: doi:10.1088/1748-9326/aa7282


The study of (Palmer et al 2015 Environ. Res. Lett. 10 124002) details a spatial reconstruction of drought across eastern Australia and New Zealand over the last 500 years. The authors used a global 0.5° by 0.5° gridded network of the self-calibrating Palmer drought severity index (scPDSI) spanning 1901–2012 as the basis for a nested point-by-point regression to reconstruct austral summer (DJF) scPDSI for this region. Their study used 176 tree rings from New Zealand, Indonesia and Australia, and one coral record from the Great Barrier Reef. In their paper Palmer et al (2015) compared three publically available proxy records and reconstructions derived from the Law Dome ice core (East Antarctica) to their reconstructed scPDSI. These were the LD summer sea salt (LDsss) series, which is a proxy for Western Pacific sea surface temperature and subtropical eastern Australian rainfall (Vance et al 2013 J. Clim. 26 710–25, 2015 Geophys. Res. Lett. 42 129–37, Tozer et al 2016 Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci. 20 1703–17), and two Interdecadal Pacific Oscillation (IPO) reconstructions produced using two independent methods, namely the Piece-wise Linear Fit (PLF) and Decision Tree (DT) series (Vance et al 2015 Geophys. Res. Lett. 42 129–37, 2016 Clim. Past 12 595–610). We show that the treatment of the Law Dome LDsss record and the PLF and DT IPO reconstructions mis-characterizes both the utility and targets of the three records.

Item Details

Item Type:Letter or Note in Journal
Keywords:ice core, paleoclimate
Research Division:Earth Sciences
Research Group:Physical geography and environmental geoscience
Research Field:Palaeoclimatology
Objective Division:Expanding Knowledge
Objective Group:Expanding knowledge
Objective Field:Expanding knowledge in the earth sciences
UTAS Author:Vance, TR (Dr Tessa Vance)
UTAS Author:Roberts, JL (Dr Jason Roberts)
UTAS Author:Plummer, CT (Mr Christopher Plummer)
UTAS Author:van Ommen, TD (Dr Tas van Ommen)
ID Code:122567
Year Published:2017
Web of Science® Times Cited:3
Deposited By:CRC-Antarctic Climate & Ecosystems
Deposited On:2017-11-17
Last Modified:2017-11-20

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