The last glaciation maximum climate conundrum and environmental responses of the Australian continent to altered climate states. (2011–2013)
Reconstructions of climate at the last glaciation maximum (21,000 years ago) suggest that climate in southern Australia was significantly cooler and drier than modern with winter rainfall switched off or down, but the data are internally conflicting. Two possibilities exist, 1) there is an unrecognised major re-organisation of climate systems over southern Australia during glacial times or 2) the interpretation of extreme cooling and drying over southern Australia is flawed. These alternative hypotheses will be tested by constructing accurate temperature and paleo-hydrological estimates for the glacial maximum. Either outcome is significant for understanding climate system responses and the resilience of Australian biota to climate change.