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Rebecca Scott, Media Officer,
University of Melbourne
M:0417 164 791

An international workshop to reconstruct climate change history in the Australasian region is being held this week at the University of Melbourne on Monday 31 May to Wednesday 2 June 2010

The Aus2K workshop brings together over 70 international and Australian experts to reconstruct climate over past last 2,000 years in the Australasian region.

It will provide a forum for prominent Australian and international climatologists and climate modellers to discuss ways past and current climate data can be used more effectively to help understand and predict our changing climate.

In particular, the scientists aim to have the collated data ready for the next United Nations’ Inter-Governmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) global climate assessment (due in 2013).
The three-day meeting is funded by the Past Global Changes (PAGES) program under the International Geosphere Biosphere Program and supported by the Australian Research Council will bring together the latest climatic datasets relevant to the Australian and New Zealand region.
It is being coordinated by two leading paleoclimatogists Dr Joelle Gergis from School of Earth Sciences at the University of Melbourne and Dr Christian Turney of the University of Exeter, UK.

Paleoclimatologist Dr Joelle Gergis from the University of Melbourne says Weather observations, such as temperatures and rainfall only go back around 100 years.

"This workshop will allow us to combine coral, cave, tree ring and ice core records to better understand natural climate variability in the Australasian region. This will help scientists place events like south-eastern Australia’s 14-year drought into a long-term context”
Australian climate scientist Professor Chris Turney from the University of Exeter, UK says this meeting will allow us to place Australian records in a global context and gives us an opportunity to fully understand natural climate variability.

"By working with climate modellers we hope these data will be used to improve our ability to predict future climate change and help Australia prepare for such changes."