Five centuries of climate change in Australia: the view from underground

Pollack, Henry N.; Huang, Shaopeng; Smerdon, Jason E.

Fifty-seven borehole temperature profiles from across Australia are analysed to reconstruct a ground surface temperature history for the past five centuries. The five-hundred-year reconstruction is characterised by a temperature increase of approximately 0.5 K, with most of the warming occurring in the 19th and 20th centuries. The 17th century was the coolest interval of the five-century reconstruction. Comparison of the geothermal reconstruction to the Australian annual surface air temperature time series in their period of overlap shows excellent agreement. The full geothermal reconstruction also agrees well with the low-frequency component of dendroclimatic reconstructions from Tasmania and New Zealand. The warming of Australia over the past five centuries is only about half that experienced by the continents of the Northern Hemisphere in the same time interval.

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Also Published In

Journal of Quaternary Science

More About This Work

Academic Units
Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory
Ocean and Climate Physics
Published Here
May 1, 2012