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The Antarctic – New Zealand Connection

Leader: Uwe Morgenstern

The goal of this programme is to obtain paleoclimate records from ice cores at up to three sites on key glaciers in New Zealand’s Southern Alps. The comparison between Antarctic ice core records and these NZ cores will provide useful data for the development of climate models over the Antarctic – New Zealand region.

nz ant

These climate archives will have the potential for sub-annual resolution of the drivers, feedbacks and responses of local climate variability in the several centuries preceding instrumental weather records. This information will in turn improve the presently limited understanding of atmospheric circulation between Antarctica and the tropics, for example as controlled by the El Niño-Southern Oscillation and the Southern Annular Mode. Such atmospheric dynamics are poorly represented in the global climate models that are currently used to predict future impacts of global climate change. The scientific results are also expected to have implications for the effects of decadal scale climate variability on glacier length fluctuations in New Zealand.

Icecore drilling info leaflet.pdf 1.50 MB


  • Climate Change Institute, University of Maine
  • Institute of Tibetan Plateau Research
  • Victoria University of Wellington