During El Niño periods, characterized by elevated sea surface temperatures in the tropical Pacific Ocean, Australia often experiences a significant alteration in its weather patterns. El Niño’s warming effect on the Australian climate can lead to more prolonged and intense heatwaves, posing significant challenges for communities, ecosystems, and policymakers alike. Understanding these connections is crucial for better preparedness and adaptation to the evolving impacts of climate change on Australia’s climate extremes. El Niño events can be broadly categorized into two types: Eastern Pacific (EP) El Niño and Central Pacific (CP) El Niño. It would be interesting to investigate the distinct effects these two types of El Niño events on Australian heatwaves.

In this project, you will work on identifying these two types of El Niño events, choosing a heatwave index, quantifying the intensity and duration of heatwaves during EP/CP El Niño periods, and compared to other time periods.

Supervisors: Huazhen Li (huazhen.li@unsw.edu.au) and Andrea Taschetto (a.taschetto@unsw.edu.au)