Tammas investigated how modes of climate variability influenced Australian heatwaves. He found that the El Nino/Southern Oscillation (ENSO) is especially important in driving heatwave frequency over Northern and Northeastern Australia. Moreover, the Indian Ocean Dipole and ENSO can work together to increase heatwave intensity and frequency in certain active phases. Tammas has developed a freely available heatwave metrics code, which identifies heatwaves in climatological data, using a range of metrics and characteristics. The code is available at https://github.com/tammasloughran/ehfheatwaves
Dr Peter Gibson
Dr Peter Gibson researched the driving synoptic systems of Australian heatwaves. He evaluated their simulation by global climate models and how particular high pressure systems were responsible for heatwaves over different Australian regions. Peter also compared the range of projected heatwaves under enhanced greenhouse gas conditions among the CMIP5 model ensemble, discovering quite a diverse range among the models. Lastly, Peter investigated how the circulation of synoptic systems interacts with land surface fluxes to generate regional heatwaves. He found a substantial increase in the likelihood of a heatwave when local conditions were dry, as well as the occurrence of particular circulation patterns. Peter is now working at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, at Caltech in California.