Landcare Research - Manaaki Whenua

Landcare-Research -Manaaki Whenua


The regional variations and spatial pattern of surface temperature and precipitation (that control available liquid water in terrestrial environments, and therefore the biology) in Antarctica are still unknown.

More studies are needed to understand this variability. The low confidence of the regional variations of climate change in Antarctica mainly comes from insufficient climate observations and the low resolution (100–300 km) of global climate models. It is impractical to deploy sufficient long-term climate stations to cover the entire RSR. However, the most recent IPCC assessment report suggests that regional dynamical downscaling will produce better climate detail and resolve meso-scale systems in regions with complex topography and coastlines. Our programme will fill this gap through the development of a regional-scale climate model using a dynamical downscaling approach for the RSR. The novel use of synthesised remotely sensed products will tune and validate the model. The analysis will provide spatial layers of historical and current climate attributes (temperature, precipitation, relative humidity). Using IPCC scenarios, the analysis will also provide spatial layers of forecasted regional climate for additional analysis. Understanding the interconnected effects of climate change is critical for our Programme and further analyses will incorporate these results.