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Antarctic ice confirms we've had a dry spell - for a century


Vance, TR, Antarctic ice confirms we've had a dry spell - for a century, ABC Country Hour - Sally Dakis, ABC News, Hobart, Australia, August 30, 2012 (2012) [Media Interview]


Ice cores in the Antarctic have confirmed rainfall in eastern Australia over the past 100 years has been below the average for the past millennium. Dr Tessa Vance, from the Antarctic Climate and Ecosystems CRC, says while Australia's land-based rainfall records extend back around a century, the ice cores confirm the lower rainfall over a much longer period of time. The cores were taken from the Law Dome in eastern Antarctica and show that wind-borne salt deposits parallel El Nino events and rainfall, particularly in inland eastern Australia. Dr Vance says researchers were surprised by the strong link between the ice cores and the El Nino-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) climate system. "Yes, we call these proxy records and for a proxy record, that's quite remote from the ENSO centre of action in the Tropical Pacific, it was quite strong," he said. "The rainfall signal was, surprisingly enough, stronger. "It's telling us that in the last hundred or so years the rainfall has actually been lower than average compared to the last millennium, so we've got a thousand-year proxy record of rainfall now, and it looks like the current rainfall we've got is a bit low." The study was undertaken by the ACE CRC and the Antarctic Division.

Item Details

Item Type:Media Interview
Keywords:Ice cores, Antarctica, rainfall in Australia
Research Division:Earth Sciences
Research Group:Physical geography and environmental geoscience
Research Field:Glaciology
Objective Division:Environmental Policy, Climate Change and Natural Hazards
Objective Group:Understanding climate change
Objective Field:Effects of climate change on Australia (excl. social impacts)
UTAS Author:Vance, TR (Dr Tessa Vance)
ID Code:90998
Year Published:2012
Deposited By:CRC-Antarctic Climate & Ecosystems
Deposited On:2014-05-06
Last Modified:2014-05-06

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