I’m a climate scientist interested in extreme events. In my research, I study how to better understand the anthropogenic signal behind heatwaves and their impacts. Heatwaves have become my passion – they are such complex events that have such high impacts.
My work on heatwaves has seen me recognised both nationally and internationally. I was short listed as a member of “team extreme” in the 2014 Eureka Prizes, I received a 2013 NSW Young Tall Poppy Award, I’ve worked closely with Australia’s Climate Council, and I have ongoing collaborations with international colleagues who are leaders in my field. I co-ordinated the first interdisciplinary Australian heatwave workshop in 2014, with the second following in 2015.
I developed Scorcher, where members of the general public can track heatwaves at many different sites across Australia. I also take on an active communication role on all things heatwaves, extremes and climate change. I strongly believe in climate science communication – who better else is there to convey the facts, than the experts themselves?
UNSW Climate Change Research Center
Articles on The Conversation
Follow me on Twitter @sarahinscience
Monday November 5th, 4pm
RC-4082, The Red Centre, UNSW
Heatwaves are changing. What role does statistics have in understanding these changes?
Heatwaves are increasing in their frequency, intensity and duration. Loosely described as prolonged periods of excessive heat, statistical techniques underpin their measurement, understanding their changes, the physical mechanisms behind these changes, the role anthropogenic climate change plays, and estimates of uncertainty (or certainty) surrounding these factors. This talk will explore the vital role statistics has behind heatwaves, making our understanding of these high-impact events possible.
Dr Sarah Perkins-Kirkpatrick is an ARC Future Fellow at the Climate Change Research Centre, UNSW Sydney. Her background focuses on measuring heatwaves, what drives them, the role climate change plays and future projections in a warmer world. Sarah’s Future Fellowship is working towards improving the attribution methods of extreme events (such as heatwaves) to human influence, as well as determining whether the health impacts of heatwaves can be attributed to human influence on the climate. Since gaining her PhD in 2010, Sarah has published 60 peer reviewed scientific papers on climate extremes. She co-leads an expert team for the World Meteorological Organisation’s Commission for Climatology, and is a frequent voice in local and international media on all things climate change in heatwaves. Sarah has won numerous awards for her research, and was named one UNSW’s 20 rising stars who will change our world in 2016.
This seminar is part of the ‘Mathematics for Planet Earth’ initiative (mathsforearth.com) and is co-hosted by the Department of Statistic at the School of Mathematics and Statistics at UNSW, Sydney. Light refreshments will follow the seminar.
Dr Shane Keating (UNSW Sydney) spoke on ABC Radio National Breakfast about the lessons the Montreal Protocol has for climate policy.
Check out the interview here. Shane also recently wrote about this topic for The Conversation.
Patterns in dispersion and accumulation of plastic litter by ocean currents and eddies
Erik van Sebille, Institute for Marine and Atmospheric Research, Utrecht University, Netherlands
Mon, 15/10/2018 – 4:00pm
RC-3085, The Red Centre, UNSW
Ocean currents and eddies carry floating plastic litter from coastlines into the infamous garbage patches in the centres of the gyres. However, the time scales and pathways on which this happens are unknown. In order to assess the impact of the plastic, it is key to know where it gets carried through vulnerable ecosystems.
In this talk, Dr Van Sebille will first discuss how tracks of satellite-tracked drifting buoys can be used to create a Markov model of dispersion at the surface of the ocean. He will show that this simple model accurately simulates the formation of the garbage patches, and can be used as a quick and easy tool to assess pathways of floating stuff.
Dr Van Sebille will then introduce more complicated models of passive particulates in the ocean, based on a Lagrangian description of the flow field from high-resolution models. While Lagrangian particle tracking is widely used in oceanography to track tracers, here the challenge is to make the virtual particles actually ‘behave’ like plastic.
About the speaker:
Erik is an oceanographer and climate scientist. His research focuses on how ocean currents transport heat, nutrients, marine organisms and plastic litter between different regions of the ocean.
He currently leads the “Tracking Of Plastic In Our Seas” (TOPIOS) project, funded by a 5-year (2017-2022) European Research Council Starting Grant.
Erik is the winner of the 2016 European Geosciences Union (EGU) Ocean Division Outstanding Young Scientist Award. In 2013, Erik was awarded a Discovery Early Career Researcher Award (DECRA) by the Australian Research Council.
Erik is a strong science communicator, with appearances on international television, radio and newspapers. He was a Media Fellow with the Australian Government Climate Commission and has co-hosted a section on sea level rise in Tuvalu in the international documentary series Tipping Points.
He is a sought-after international expert on oceanography, having done over 250 interviews on ocean circulation and plastic pollution with media outlets including CCN, BBC, NBC, ABC, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Guardian, TIME magazine, AP, and Reuters.
Erik also holds an honorary lectureship at Imperial College London’s Grantham Institute