Climate Change: Polar Amplification and Impacts During the 21st Century

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Past changes in temperature were consistently stronger toward the poles than at lower latitudes. Climate projections for the 21st century show this too. This would enhance the potential destabilization of Antarctic ice sheets, melting of permafrost, and changes to storm track dynamics and extreme weather in mid-latitudes. The polar amplification predicted by current climate models is too weak when compared to geologic records of warmer climate periods, implying gaps in our understanding of important processes in the climate system. This could mean we are underestimating future climate impacts. This project will quantify the role of potential processes by analyzing atmospheric and oceanic heat transports, changes in local radiation balance through changes in e.g. polar clouds, ocean-ice shelf interactions, and biogeochemical feedbacks. It will span timescales from those of the geologic past to future projections. We seek students with expertise in physics, chemistry or other STEM fields to attack this problem.

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Supervisory team
Katrin
Meissner

Science
Climate Change Research Centre
Steven
Sherwood

Science
Climate Change Research Centre, School of Biological, Earth and Environmental Sciences
Alex
Sen Gupta

Science
Climate Change Research Centre
k.meissner@unsw.edu.au

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