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Climatic History of the Northeastern United States During the Past 3000 Years
External Online Source: doi:10.5194/cp-13-1355-2017
Author and Affiliation:
Marlon, Jennifer R.(Yale Univ., New Haven, CT, United States)
Pederson, Neil(Harvard Univ., Boston, MA, United States)
Nolan, Connor(Arizona Univ., Dept. of Geosciences, Tucson, AZ, United States)
Goring, Simon(Wisconsin-Madison Univ., Dept. of Geography, Madison, WI, United States)
Shuman, Bryan(Wyoming Univ., Dept. of Geology and Geophysics, Laramie, WY, United States)
Robertson, Ann(Yale Univ., New Haven, CT, United States)
Booth, Robert(Lehigh Univ., Earth and Environmental Science Dept., Bethlehem, PA, United States)
Bartlein, Patrick J.(Oregon Univ., Dept. of Geography, Eugene, OR, United States)
Berke, Melissa A.(Notre Dame Univ., Dept. of Civil and Environmental Engineering and Earth Science, Notre Dame, IN, United States)
Clifford, Michael(Desert Research Inst., Reno, NV, United States) Show more authors
Abstract: Many ecosystem processes that influence Earth system feedbacks - vegetation growth, water and nutrient cycling, disturbance regimes - are strongly influenced by multidecadal- to millennial-scale climate variations that cannot be directly observed. Paleoclimate records provide information about these variations, forming the basis of our understanding and modeling of them. Fossil pollen records are abundant in the NE US, but cannot simultaneously provide information about paleoclimate and past vegetation in a modeling context because this leads to circular logic. If pollen data are used to constrain past vegetation changes, then the remaining paleoclimate archives in the northeastern US (NE US) are quite limited. Nonetheless, a growing number of diverse reconstructions have been developed but have not yet been examined together. Here we conduct a systematic review, assessment, and comparison of paleotemperature and paleohydrological proxies from the NE US for the last 3000 years. Regional temperature reconstructions (primarily summer) show a long-term cooling trend (1000BCE - 1700CE) consistent with hemispheric-scale reconstructions, while hydroclimate data show gradually wetter conditions through the present day. Multiple proxies suggest that a prolonged, widespread drought occurred between 550 and 750CE. Dry conditions are also evident during the Medieval Climate Anomaly, which was warmer and drier than the Little Ice Age and drier than today. There is some evidence for an acceleration of the longer-term wetting trend in the NE US during the past century; coupled with an abrupt shift from decreasing to increasing temperatures in the past century, these changes could have wide-ranging implications for species distributions, ecosystem dynamics, and extreme weather events. More work is needed to gather paleoclimate data in the NE US to make inter-proxy comparisons and to improve estimates of uncertainty in reconstructions.
Publication Date: Oct 13, 2017
Document ID:
20180000965
(Acquired Feb 13, 2018)
Subject Category: METEOROLOGY AND CLIMATOLOGY; LIFE SCIENCES (GENERAL)
Report/Patent Number: GSFC-E-DAA-TN48009
Document Type: Journal Article
Publication Information: Climate of the Past (ISSN 1814-9324; e-ISSN 1814-9332); Volume 13; Issue 10; 1355-1379
Publisher Information: European Geosciences Union
Contract/Grant/Task Num: NSF-EF-1065732; NSF-EF-1241870; NSF-AGS-1304262; NSF-BCS-1437074
Financial Sponsor: NASA Goddard Space Flight Center; Greenbelt, MD, United States
Organization Source: NASA Goddard Space Flight Center; Greenbelt, MD, United States
Description: 25p; In English
Distribution Limits: Unclassified; Publicly available; Unlimited
Rights: Copyright
NASA Terms: ANNUAL VARIATIONS; ATMOSPHERIC TEMPERATURE; CLIMATE MODELS; ECOSYSTEMS; HYDROCLIMATOLOGY; NUTRITIONAL REQUIREMENTS; PALEOCLIMATOLOGY; PRECIPITATION (METEOROLOGY); VEGETATION GROWTH; AMOEBA; COASTS; COOLING; DROUGHT; HOLOCENE EPOCH; UNITED STATES; WATER
Availability Source: Other Sources
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