Australasian climate over the last 2,000 years: The PAGES AUS2K synthesis
Australasia is unique because it lies at the junction of several oceanic and atmospheric components of Earth’s climate system. However, the lack of detailed paleoclimate reconstructions from the Southern Hemisphere limits our understanding of past global climate dynamics. This special collection helps to address this key issue by showcasing the recent findings of the PAGES AUS2K research group, which is a consortium of researchers who are investigating modern climate and paleoclimate of Australasia. AUS2k is part of the PAGES (Past Global Changes) international initiative that is supported by the International Geosphere-Biosphere Program.
The PAGES AUS2k special collection contains state-of-the-art past climate reconstructions (quantitative, qualitative, and modeling approaches) with a focus on the last 2000 years, in addition to analyses that have been undertaken on modern extreme events (like tropical cyclones) and teleconnections for Australasia regional climate drivers. Linkages between these results and regional, hemispheric, and global climate phenomenon (such as the El Nino-Southern Oscillation) are showcased along with integrations of some paleoclimate reconstructions with model simulation results. We anticipate that this research will help to fill a major knowledge gap for the region, and greatly improve the prospects of harnessing past climate information to generate robust future climate simulations. Overall, the uniqueness and breadth of the AUS2K paleoclimate research project will demonstrate past analogues are a useful baseline for future changes that are possible.
Andrew Lorrey, New Zealand National Institute of Water & Atmospheric Research (NIWA)