Variability and change of the Indo-Pacific climate system and their impacts upon Australia rainfall

PhD Thesis


Shi, Ge. 2008. Variability and change of the Indo-Pacific climate system and their impacts upon Australia rainfall. PhD Thesis Doctor of Philosophy. University of Southern Queensland.
Title

Variability and change of the Indo-Pacific climate system and their impacts upon Australia rainfall

TypePhD Thesis
Authors
AuthorShi, Ge
SupervisorRibbe, Joachim
Institution of OriginUniversity of Southern Queensland
Qualification NameDoctor of Philosophy
Number of Pages137
Year2008
Abstract

[Abstract]: Australia is one of the driest continents in the world, and over the past decades, severe drought has plagued most of the country. Water security is an important national issue. The ultimate water supply, rainfall, however, is one of the most variable ones in the
world and is complicated by the fact that it is affected by several remote oceanatmospheric teleconnection systems simultaneously, including the El Niño-Southern
Oscillation, the Indian Ocean Dipole and Southern Hemisphere oceanic and atmospheric variability. These three systems sometimes conspire to produce a severe impact, whereas sometimes they offset each other to produce a mild influence. The recent severe water
shortage has generated a surge of investments with strong regional applications. The present study focuses on areas and issues outside the scope of these regional studies,
aiming to provide an Australia-wide assessment of future Australian rainfall under climate change. Firstly, we unravel a process of the Indo-Pacific oceanic teleconnection and examine its role in influencing variability of the Indian Ocean, and hence Australian
rainfall variations. An examination of their contribution to the warming structure of the Indian Ocean is carried out. Secondly, we explore dynamics of North West Australian
rainfall variability and mechanisms of a rainfall increase over the past decades, and benchmark climate models in terms of their ability to reproduce the observed variability and trends, focusing on the role of increasing northern hemispheric aerosols in the rainfall
increase. Thirdly, we provide a dynamical explanation to the common future of a fast Tasman Sea warming rate under climate change, and identify the impacts of such
warming on Australian rainfall. Finally, we examine the relative importance of the three systems, in addition to Tasman Sea warming, in driving rainfall changes under
greenhouse conditions. This project contributes to no less than six peer-reviewed journal publications.

KeywordsAustralia; Australian; rainfall; indo-Pacific climate system
ANZSRC Field of Research 2020370201. Climate change processes
Byline AffiliationsDepartment of Biological and Physical Sciences
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