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  • Author or Editor: Anthony S. Kiem x
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Michelle Ho, Danielle C. Verdon-Kidd, Anthony S. Kiem, and Russell N. Drysdale


Recent advances in the collection and analysis of paleoclimate data have provided significant insights into preinstrumental environmental events and processes, enabling a greater understanding of long-term environmental change and associated hydroclimatic risks. Unfortunately, it is often the case that there is a dearth of readily available paleoclimate data from regions where such insights and long-term data are most needed. The Murray–Darling basin (MDB), known as Australia’s “food bowl,” is an example of such a region where currently there are very limited in situ paleoclimate data available. While previous studies have utilized paleoclimate proxy records of large-scale climate mechanisms to infer preinstrumental MDB hydroclimatic variability, there is a lack of studies that utilize Australian terrestrial proxy records to garner similar information. Given the immediate need for improved understanding of MDB hydroclimatic variability, this paper identifies key locations in Australia where existing and as yet unrealized paleoclimate records will be most useful in reconstructing such information. To identify these key locations, rainfall relationships between MDB and non-MDB locations were explored through correlations and principal component analysis. An objective analysis using optimal interpolation was then used to pinpoint the most strategic locations to further develop proxy records and gain insights into the benefits of obtaining this additional information. The findings reveal that there is potential for the future assembly of high-resolution paleoclimate records in Australia capable of informing MDB rainfall variability, in particular southeast Australia and central-northern Australia. This study highlights the need for further investment in the development of these potential proxy sources to subsequently enable improved assessments of long-term hydroclimatic risks.

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