Paleoclimatology

Paleoclimatology is the study of past climates using proxy that record (archive) evidence of temperature, precipitation, atmospheric circulation, turbidity and composition. The selection of proxy is dependent on whether they exist at a location; the quality of their preservation and whether they can be recovered and dated accurately.

In the Atmospheric Observations Research Group we conduct paleoclimate research in southeast Queensland; the Kimberley in northwest Western Australia and the Snowy Mountains. We develop records of past climate primarily from organic sediments such as peats from which we build paleoclimate records using pollens and trace elements. We use stable isotopes also to inform our paleoclimate reconstructions and apply understanding of contemporary atmospheric processes, synoptic circulation and teleconnection forcings of climate to gain new insight to climates of the past.