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Pacific decadal variability over the last 2000 years and implications for climatic risk

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Vance, TR ORCID: 0000-0001-6970-8646, Kiem, AS, Jong, LM ORCID: 0000-0001-6707-570X, Roberts, JL, Plummer, CT ORCID: 0000-0002-9765-5753, Moy, AD, Curran, MAJ and van Ommen, TD ORCID: 0000-0002-2463-1718 2022 , 'Pacific decadal variability over the last 2000 years and implications for climatic risk' , Communications Earth & Environment, vol. 3 , pp. 1-9 , doi: 10.1038/s43247-022-00359-z.

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Abstract

The Interdecadal Pacific Oscillation, an index which defines decadal climate variability throughout the Pacific, is generally assumed to have positive and negative phases that each last 20-30 years. Here we present a 2000-year reconstruction of the Interdecadal Pacific Oscillation, obtained using information preserved in Antarctic ice cores, that shows negative phases are short (7 ± 5 years) and infrequent (occurring 10% of the time) departures from a predominantly neutral-positive state that lasts decades (61 ± 56 years). These findings suggest that Pacific Basin climate risk is poorly characterised due to over-representation of negative phases in post-1900 observations. We demonstrate the implications of this for eastern Australia, where drought risk is elevated during neutral-positive phases, and highlight the need for a re-evaluation of climate risk for all locations affected by the Interdecadal Pacific Oscillation. The initiation and future frequency of negative phases should also be a research priority given their prevalence in more recent centuries.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Vance, TR and Kiem, AS and Jong, LM and Roberts, JL and Plummer, CT and Moy, AD and Curran, MAJ and van Ommen, TD
Keywords: drought, quantifying climatic risk, water resources, Australia
Journal or Publication Title: Communications Earth & Environment
Publisher: Nature Publishing Group
ISSN: 2662-4435
DOI / ID Number: 10.1038/s43247-022-00359-z
Copyright Information:

© The Author(s) 2022. This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) License, (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.

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