Member Profile

Flora Norton

Honours student

School of Earth Sciences
University of Melbourne


Flora is commencing her Honours in Atmospheric Science this year after having completed a Bachelor of Science in 2019, majoring in Climate and Weather. Her project will involve a field campaign to the Southern Ocean to gather aerosol observations and to conduct a comparison and validification of the observations recorded at Cape Grim. She will also conduct an analysis of the aerosol size distribution, concentration and transport in the region.

THESIS: Measuring the world's cleanest air - validating the measurements above the Southern Ocean

Clouds and aerosols present some of the most significant uncertainties in climate models operating over the Southern Ocean which, in turn, is responsible for the most model uncertainty globally. Observations of aerosols over the Southern Ocean are limited and consequently our understanding of the mechanisms which produce and drive them is poor. This project will involve a field campaign on board the RV Investigator which, along with Cape Grim in Tasmania, is a premier GAW site. The primary aim of this project is to validify the observations recorded at Cape Grim and to determine how spatially representative the station is of the wider Southern Ocean. This will simultaneously enhance our ability to trust the output of both Cape Grim and the RV Investigator. Following this comparison, data from the campaign will be analysed to provide much needed information on aerosol concentrations, size distributions and transport trajectories which will contribute to better representation of aerosols in climate models.