Impact of climate change on Southern Hemispheric westerlies

Assess the impact of changes in oceanic circulation on the position and strength of Southern Hemispheric westerlies using atmospheric models

Supervisors: A/Prof. Laurie Menviel and Dr. Martin Jucker

Synopsis:

Changes in the strength and position of the Southern Hemispheric (SH) westerlies significantly affect Southern Ocean circulation and the carbon cycle. While it has been hypothesised that a strengthening and/or poleward shift of the SH westerlies could have played a significant role in driving past increases in atmospheric CO2 concentration, there is little consensus as to whether these SH westerlies changes could have occurred.

Aims:

The impact of different idealised changes in oceanic circulation on the strength and position of the SH westerlies will be assessed by performing numerical simulations with an atmospheric model.

Student benefits:

Through this project, the student will learn about atmospheric dynamics as well as past climate change. The student will learn to perform experiments with an atmospheric model, analyse and interpret the outputs (previous experience with data analysis is preferred) and write a scientific paper.