$124,521: NSF Paleo Perspective on Climate Change (P2C2)
Unravelling the Signals in Tropical Pacific Lake Archives: Towards Improved Holocene Hydroclimate Reconstructions
Principal Investigator: Donald Rodbell, professor of geology
Globally, the largest single cause in interannual precipitation variability is associated with the El Nino-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) phenomenon. Large uncertainties remain regarding the magnitude and direction of the projected precipitation response with ENSO. Numerous lake sediment paleoclimate reconstructions have been developed from the Amazon, Andes, and Galapagos Archipelago with the goal of understanding the response of ENSO and tropical hydroclimate (i.e., precipitation amount, intensity, and seasonality) to past climate changes. However, disagreement between these records complicates the ability to prepare for climate risks and hydroclimate extremes.
This collaborative project will use a new interdisciplinary toolbox to resolve inter-site uncertainties by synthesizing existing lake sediment cores records with existing global climate models to simulate atmospheric moisture transport, built proxy-system models, and, ultimately, improve the understanding of tropical precipitation variability and change.
The broader impacts include improved understanding of the magnitude, timing, and drivers of tropical hydroclimate variability over the Holocene. Additionally, between the collaborating schools, this project will provide support for two early-career researchers, a postdoctoral fellow, two graduate students, and several undergraduate students.
Collaborating institutes of higher education on this project include the University of Arizona and Florida Institute of Technology.