July 19, 2019 | Published by |

Supervisor: 

  • Location: UNSW
  • Time: Any

Project description:

The ocean is a key component of the climate system because it can modulate the Earth’s energy balance and the atmospheric CO2 content. Climate models predict a slowdown of the Atlantic ocean circulation in response to the current global warming. However, the uncertainties remain substantial and the modern instrumental record too short (a few decades) to fully capture the possible ocean circulation modes.

Longer ocean circulation records can be derived from indirect evidence (e.g. elemental or isotopic analysis of the sediments) called proxies. There is compelling evidence that under different climate states (e.g. glacial-interglacial cycles), the Atlantic Ocean has experienced significant water mass reorganisations and circulation changes. This project aims to better constrain these variations, using models able to simulate proxy variations.

The project will use climate model simulations in which the circulation has been perturbed. The student will first explore and characterise the Atlantic ocean circulation and its variability and then compare to the simulated proxies. 

Requirements: Some experience of/or interest in developing skills in programming and data visualisation (e.g. ferret, python) is required. Interest in/willingness to learn about paleoclimate and/or ocean circulation is a plus.