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2018/2019 undergraduate scholarships | CLEX

BoM1: Is Australia’s rainfall variability changing?

The associations between rainfall variability, ENSO and temperature appeared to be stationary early in the record, but there was a hint that there was some evidence of a shift in the late 1990s. Has that shift continued? Alternatively, have the rainfall variance characteristics returned to what was observed earlier in the record? This project will use the latest observed datasets to explore these questions.

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MON1: Is tropical rainfall becoming more clustered?

In this project, we will investigate the clustering of thunderstorms using satellite observations of rainfall in the tropics. In particular, we will examine the question of whether rainfall in the tropics is becoming more clustered, and what effect this may have on heavy precipitation now and into the future. 

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MON4: The dynamics of the onset of the northern Australian monsoon

In this project, you will investigate the atmospheric dynamics associated with the onset of the monsoon, for example, the influence of mid-latitude and tropical disturbances. You will gain useful and transferable skills in data analysis and programming, as well as an opportunity to contribute to an active area of research in Australian weather and climate science.

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UMELB1: A historical analysis of Australian climate extremes (based at UMelb/BoM)

This project provides an exciting opportunity to develop the longest homogenised daily climate record for Perth using newly digitised observations beginning in 1830. The project will involve working with BoM staff to conduct state-of-the-art quality control measures on the new historical observations to allow a reliable, long-term analysis of extremes and their possible dynamical causes.

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UNSW1: Tropical influence on Southern Hemisphere climate

This project will use one or more simplified climate model(s) to investigate the importance of the tropical stratosphere in modulating the effects of ENSO and the MJO on Southern Hemisphere climate. It can either involve the actual model setup and running, model output analysis, the review of current scientific knowledge and hypotheses, or a combination of these.

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UNSW3: Understanding the vertical mixing of water vapour

In this project, we seek to utilise 40 years of observations of water vapour profiles from the global radiosonde network to improve our process level understanding of water vapour mixing. The applicant is expected to know the basics of atmospheric physics and statistics. Some knowledge of data processing tools will be an advantage.

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UNSW4: How well can the Australian climate model predict droughts?

This project will use satellite and flux tower observations to characterise the response of Australian ecosystems to water stress. These data will then be used to evaluate how well the Australian climate model predicts droughts. The successful candidate will obtain skills in programming and analysis of spatial datasets and model outputs.

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UNSW9: Were all Heinrich Events similar?

The aim of this project is to quantify the main differences between Heinrich events in terms of ocean circulation changes, and climate impacts. The student will gather published proxy data for a few of the most prominent events and compare these with existing climate model simulations.

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UNSW12: Pushing the ocean to extremes

What would happen if we suddenly warmed the ocean at the sea-surface? Would suddenly cooling it down cause an equal and opposite response? The student will work towards developing novel theories to describe the ocean’s response to extreme perturbations. These theories are needed to understand the ocean’s role in transient climate change.

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