ACRE Antarctica is a project within the Deep South National Science Challenge. ACRE is a global initiative, run by the UK Met Office that stands for Atmospheric Circulation Reconstructions over the Earth.
ACRE Antarctica will support data rescue of critical past weather and environmental observations for the purpose of extending the global reanalysis (day-to-day weather reconstructions) into the 1800s. Old paper-based observations of surface pressure, sea ice and temperature from journals, diaries and ship logs will be identified for southern New Zealand, the subantarctic and Antarctica (from the Drake Passage west to the South Indian Ocean sector).
Primary work will consist of digital scanning, keying data, quality control of data, and archiving the observations at NIWA. This will immediately produce more readily available and temporally extensive climate records for the Deep South. Surface observations will be forwarded to the International Surface Pressure Databank for integration into a novel ‘reanalysis without radiosondes’ project lead by NOAA-CIRES, which is using powerful supercomputers to integrate global surface observations into reconstructions of the Earth’s atmospheric circulation.
The team will then access the augmented reanalysis to target and investigate poorly understood aspects of New Zealand regional climate that have direct or indirect links to high-latitude atmospheric and oceanic dynamics. Key elements include multi-decadal variability and long-term change of major drivers like the Southern Annular Mode (SAM) and the Pacific South American Mode (PSA) prior to the mid-20th century, and impacts of those modes on synoptic weather patterns and sea ice in the Antarctic dipole region of the Bellinghausen – Ross Sea sectors. The extended reanalysis and linkages to New Zealand's Virtual Climate Station Network (VCSN) will allow us to make crucial connections between the local NZ response to wider mid-to-high latitude Southern Hemisphere climate and weather processes.
Conference presentations about ACRE Antarctica are provided below: