Several of our staff and many postgraduate students carry out research into Earth’s climate both past, present and future. Our proximity to the Southern Ocean and Antarctica give us a crucial advantage in understanding how planetary climate has varied over timescales that range from decades to millions of years. Antarctica plays an important role in regulating earth’s climate – ice sheets interact with the ocean and are the powerhouse for global deep circulation which controls our weather and how heat is distributed around the world. Our research includes expeditions on research ships around New Zealand and Pacific Ocean and to remote field areas in Antarctica.
Sediment cores allow us to evaluate past changes in Southern Hemisphere climate, carbon cycling, and marine biogeochemical cycling. We use the geologic record to identify how large-scale coupled climate modes and key components of the global climate system have changed in the past and how the variability and magnitude of past change compares to modern observations. Our research uses paleomagnetism, stable isotope geochemistry and diatom micropaleontology in lake and marine sediments to examine the evolution of Earth’s climate.
Major research facilities
- Otago Large Lake and fjord coring system
- Otago Paleomagnetic Research Facility
- Otago Repository for Core Analysis
Climate research opportunities
For more information about the climate change research we undertake, see the webpages of our staff Christina Riesselman, Christian Ohneiser and Chris Moy.