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A synoptic bridge linking sea salt aerosol concentrations in East Antarctic snowfall to Australian rainfall


Udy, DG and Vance, TR and Kiem, AS and Holbrook, NJ, A synoptic bridge linking sea salt aerosol concentrations in East Antarctic snowfall to Australian rainfall, Communications Earth and Environment, 3 Article 175. ISSN 2662-4435 (2022) [Refereed Article]

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DOI: doi:10.1038/s43247-022-00502-w


Previous research has shown that aerosol sea salt concentrations (Southern Ocean wind proxy) preserved in the Law Dome ice core (East Antarctica) correlate significantly with subtropical eastern Australian rainfall. However, physical mechanisms underpinning this connection have not been established. Here we use synoptic typing to show that an atmospheric bridge links East Antarctica to subtropical eastern Australia. Increased ice core sea salt concentrations and wetter conditions in eastern Australia are associated with a regional, asymmetric contraction of the mid-latitude westerlies. Decreased ice core sea salt concentrations and drier eastern Australia conditions are associated with an equatorward shift in the mid-latitude westerlies, suggesting greater broad-scale control of eastern Australia climate by southern hemisphere variability than previously assumed. This relationship explains double the rainfall variance compared to El Niņo-Southern Oscillation during late spring-summer, highlighting the importance of the Law Dome ice core record as a 2000-year proxy of eastern Australia rainfall variability.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:synoptic weather, palaeoclimate, Antarctic ice cores
Research Division:Earth Sciences
Research Group:Atmospheric sciences
Research Field:Atmospheric dynamics
Objective Division:Environmental Management
Objective Group:Air quality, atmosphere and weather
Objective Field:Atmospheric processes and dynamics
UTAS Author:Udy, DG (Ms Danielle Udy)
UTAS Author:Vance, TR (Dr Tessa Vance)
UTAS Author:Kiem, AS (Associate Professor Anthony Kiem)
UTAS Author:Holbrook, NJ (Professor Neil Holbrook)
ID Code:151828
Year Published:2022
Deposited By:Oceans and Cryosphere
Deposited On:2022-08-05
Last Modified:2022-09-19

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