Project: Land-Ocean correlation of long Quaternary records from the southern hemisphere on orbital and sub-orbital timescales
CI(s)/Institution: Peter Kershaw, Monash University (Funded in 2006, $xx,xxx)
1. To determine the present state of knowledge on the
nature and location of land and ocean records covering at least the
last 40,000 years and determine and explain regional and temporal trends
(in relation to tectonic, atmospheric, oceanographic and human influences),
cyclicity (in relation to orbital and ice-volume forcing) and millennial-scale
variability (in relation to ENSO, the Indian Ocean dipole, Heinrich
events, Bond 'cycles', human impacts etc).
It was considered that an independent project on the environmental
history of the Australia and its relationships to other southern hemisphere
continents would provide a firm and comprehensive historical basis for
examination of the more recent evolution of the pattern and biodiversity
of the landscape that could be applied by other related groups within
the network and to the future informed management of this diversity.
Involvement has been facilitated by the project's CI, Peter Kershaw via his membership of the PAGES Scientific Steering Committee, Vice-president of the International Quaternary Association (INQUA) Palaeoclimate Commission (PALCOM), and PALCOM MIS11 and SQS working group on the Middle-Upper Pleistocene, as well as involvement in the INQUA Congress held in Cairns in July-August 07. The PALCOM working group on 'Marine Isotope Stage 11' is critical globally because the period is, in terms of orbital forcing' the most similar to the present interglacial and can provide a guide to future natural climate change. However, in Antarctica, as well as Australia, it generally marks a transition to a different climate state, providing complications that need to be addressed. The INQUA stratigraphic commission's working group on the 'Middle-Upper Pleistocene Boundary' aims at the resolution of differences emerging between records on land and the ocean with clear distinctions between the traditional Eemian and MIS5 in definition of the Last Interglacial period. Major geographical differences are also critical for understanding what is driving the onset of the Last Interglacial - the Antarctic, the tropics or the North Atlantic.
Due to distances involved between southern hemisphere continents, the number of involved researchers from northern hemisphere (particularly North America and Europe), the broad scope of the project and administrative requirements, it has not proved feasible to organize specific PASH2 meetings. However, symposia have been held at two relevant gatherings, the Southern Connections Conference in Adelaide, January 2007 and the INQUA Congress in Cairns
A follow up session, with the broader scope of the INQUA session, has been organised for the European Geosciences Union (EGU) in Vienna, April 2008.
Session CL7: 'Land-Atmosphere-Ocean linkages throughout
the Quaternary' (Jan-Berend Stuut, Peter Kershaw, Isabel Cacho and Thorsten
Web site and data base development
The web site, with linkages to other relevant sites, can be seen at http://users.monash.edu.au/~pkershaw/ . It contains a near complete reference list, mapped location and metadata for almost all terrestrial and marine/terrestrial records covering at least the last 40,000 years in the Australian-Southeast Asian region.