CLIMANZ – Climatic change in Australia and New Zealand

Back in 1980 the Australian National Committee for Quaternary Research initiated a project to improve collaborate with their colleagues across the Tasman in New Zealand. They started project CLIMANZ to help piece together the physical record of Pleistocene climatic change and processes that control it in this part of the Southern Hemipshere.

The coordinating committee was made up of Jim Bowler and Neil Streten in Australia and Matt McGlone and Jim Salinger in New Zealand. Subsequent discussions at ANZAAS led to the CLIMANZ conference to bring together geologists, palaeo-botanists and zoologists, involved with proxy climatic data from Australia, New Zealand and Papua New Guinea, with climatologists. The aim was to reconstruct the behaviour of the general circulations over the last 40,000 years.

There were a series of meetings in Australia and New Zealand over the following years. They identified a number of similarities between a range of different environments and proxies, but also highlighted a paucity of reliable dates and large gaps in the data sets. It was recognised that New Zealand has a wide diversity of Late Quaternary environments and the potential to use tephra chronology to link the north island sequences with the south island glacial sequences.

A series of maps were produced – see data.