27.06 - 28.06.2005

This 2-day workshop will bring together climatologists (palaeo and contemporary) and modellers working on a variety of different palaeoclimatic and historical datasets spanning the last 60,000 years to discuss their results within the context of past and future change in the region. The workshop will allow the presentation of the latest different palaeoclimatic datasets of relevance to the Australia and New Zealand region (from the ice, marine and terrestrial realms) and place the results in a global context. The workshop will provide an opportunity for the scientific community to discuss ways in which this data can be used more effectively to help us understand climate mechanisms for predicting future climate change and its variability on the millennial, centennial, decadal and annual timescales.

To enhance the utility of the data in modelling applications, discussion will be made of the ways in which future research should be directed to develop methods of integrating and characterising the diverse palaeo indicators on a regional spatial scale. Additionally, it will be necessary to quantify the uncertainties associated with both the palaeo data and any resulting climate reconstructions. Nowhere is this more relevant than for the past millennium where reconstructions for the Northern Hemisphere have generated a robust discussion in the scientific community of methodological approaches to datasets. The workshop will pave the way for new and robust methods for reconstructing past climatic changes in the Australasian region for comparison to other datasets from around the world (including the Northern Hemisphere ‘hockey stick’ curve). The workshop will identify records where the assembly of data will provide higher temporal and spatial resolution than have previously been available (or attempted), and the provision of data in a manner suitable for use in model validation (including the last glacial-interglacial transition which is the focus of the INQUA Australasian INTIMATE Project). Participants who have attempted to calibrate palaeo data against existing instrumental climate records are keenly encouraged to attend.