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Distinguished Lecture

Distinguished Lecture – OS

Wenju CAI
Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation

Thu- 01 Aug, 12:00-12:30pm
Nicoll 1, Level 3

"Response of El Niño/La Niña to Greenhouse Warming"

The El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) is the dominant and most consequential climate phenomenon with global impacts. The response of ENSO sea surface temperature (SST) variability to greenhouse warming is one of the most important issues in climate change science, and has challenged scientists for decades. I will present recent findings showing that the frequency of extreme La Niña, and variability of eastern Pacific El Niño SST are expected to increase in response to unabated greenhouse gas emissions. With this projected increase, we should expect more occurrences of extreme weathers associated with ENSO events, with pronounced implications for the twenty-first century climate, extreme weather, and ecosystems.

Dr Wenju Cai, a Chief Research Scientist and Office of Chief Executive Science Leader at CSIRO, and Director of Sothern Hemisphere Ocean Research, specializes in research into global climate variability and change. With over 25 years of research and leadership experience, his interest spans from dynamics of modes of climate variability (such as El Niño-Southern Oscillation, the Indian Ocean Dipole) and their mechanisms, to climate change detection and attribution, through to impacts of individual forcing factors of increasing carbon dioxide, increasing anthropogenic aerosols, and stratospheric ozone depletion. His sustained science achievement has had major influence on research directions of a large body of work. His service to science communities includes a contributing authorship to IPCC reports, co-Chair of World Climate Research Programme CLIVAR Pacific Panel during 2009 – 2015, a member of the CLIVAR Scientific Steering Group (2016-2018) and its co-Chair (2019-ongoing).