Export 6 results:
Sort by: Author Title Type [ Year  (Desc)]
Sanchez, SC, Amaya DJ, Miller AJ, Xie SP, Charles CD.  2019.  The Pacific Meridional Mode over the last millennium. Climate Dynamics. 53:3547-3560.   10.1007/s00382-019-04740-1   AbstractWebsite

The Pacific Meridional Mode, a coupled ocean-atmospheric interaction responsible for propagating subtropical anomalies to the tropics via thermodynamic mechanisms, features prominently in discussions of the response of climate variability to climate change. However, it is presently unclear how and why the variance in PMM might change, or even if greenhouse gas forcing might lead to heightened activity. Here, PMM variance over the last millennium is assessed in the Community Earth System Model Last Millennium Ensemble (LME). The model reproduces the main spatial characteristics of the PMM in the modern ocean in agreement with observations. With this basis, we assess the magnitude of the PMM variance over the past millennium, subject to forcing from a variety of sources. Internal (unforced) variability dominates the PMM variance in the LME, but prolonged periods of strong or weak PMM variance are found to be associated with characteristic spatial patterns, consistent across ensemble members and forcing experiments. The pattern of strong PMM variance features a cooler north Pacific, weaker Walker circulation, and a southward-shifted ITCZ. Comparison with a slab ocean model suggests that equatorial ocean dynamics are necessary to sustain the statistically significant multidecadal variability. With respect to the last millennium, present greenhouse forcing does not promote exceptional PMM variance. However, the PMM variability projected in the RCP8.5 scenario exceeds the thresholds expressed with the forcings applied over the Last Millennium. Aside from multidecadal variability, the model simulations also bear on ENSO variability and the sensitivity of climate variability to external forcing.

Linsley, BK, Wu HC, Rixen T, Charles CD, Gordon AL, Moore MD.  2017.  SPCZ zonal events and downstream influence on surface ocean conditions in the Indonesian Throughflow region. Geophysical Research Letters. 44:293-303.   10.1002/2016gl070985   AbstractWebsite

Seasonal surface freshening of the Makassar Strait, the main conduit of the Indonesian Throughflow (ITF), is a key factor controlling the ITF. Here we present a 262year reconstruction of seasonal sea-surface-salinity variability from 1742 to 2004 Common Era by using coral O-18 records from the central Makassar Strait. Our record reveals persistent seasonal freshening and also years with significant truncations of seasonal freshening that correlate exactly with South Pacific Convergence Zone (SPCZ) zonal events >4000km to the east. During these events, the SPCZ dramatically rotates similar to 15 degrees north to near the equator and stronger westward flowing South Pacific boundary currents force higher-salinity water through the Makassar Strait in February-May halting the normal seasonal freshening in the strait. By these teleconnections, our Makassar coral O-18 series provides the first record of the recurrence interval of these zonal SPCZ events and demonstrates that they have occurred on a semiregular basis since the mid-1700s.

Rafter, PA, Charles CD.  2012.  Pleistocene equatorial Pacific dynamics inferred from the zonal asymmetry in sedimentary nitrogen isotopes. Paleoceanography. 27   10.1029/2012pa002367   AbstractWebsite

There is little agreement among models in predicting the average state of the tropical Pacific when subjected to enhanced greenhouse gas forcing. This uncertainty emphasizes the importance of reconstructing past variability in tropical Pacific climate through episodes of significant and estimable radiative forcing. Thus far, efforts along these lines have concentrated primarily on inferences of sea surface temperature variability from deep-sea sediments. Here we offer a different view of the equatorial Pacific over the past similar to 1.2 million years (Myr)-before and after the mid-Pleistocene shift in the structure of ice ages. The zonal gradient in the nitrogen isotopic composition of sediment across the equatorial Pacific reflects nutrient delivery to the surface and, by extension, ocean dynamical properties. Over the last similar to 1.2 Myr, the variability of eastern equatorial Pacific nutrient upwelling (inferred from relative nitrate utilization) was highly correlated with local seasonal insolation. By contrast, nitrate utilization was insensitive to the 100,000 year cycle that dominated many other aspects of the Pleistocene ice ages, including greenhouse gas concentrations. A strong linear relationship between relative nitrate utilization and seasonal insolation over the past similar to 1 million years suggests a predictable response of one primary determinant of tropical Pacific climate change.

Field, DB, Baumgartner TR, Charles CD, Ferreira-Bartrina V, Ohman MD.  2006.  Planktonic foraminifera of the California Current reflect 20th-century warming. Science. 311:63-66.   10.1126/science.1116220   AbstractWebsite

It is currently unclear whether observed pelagic ecosystem responses to ocean warming, such as a mid-1970s change in the eastern North Pacific, depart from typical ocean variability. We report variations in planktonic foraminifera from varved sediments off southern California spanning the past 1400 years. Increasing abundances of tropical/subtropical species throughout the 20th century reflect a warming trend superimposed on decadal-scale fluctuations. Decreasing abundances of temperate/subpolar species in the late 20th century indicate a deep, penetrative warming not observed in previous centuries. These results imply that 20th-century warming, apparently anthropogenic, has already affected lower trophic levels of the California Current.

Charles, CD, Cobb KM, Moore MD, Fairbanks RG.  2003.  Monsoon-tropical ocean interaction in a network of coral records spanning the 20th century. Marine Geology. 201:207-222.   10.1016/s0025-3227(03)00217-2   AbstractWebsite

The 20th century evolution of basin-wide gradients in surface ocean properties provides one essential test for recent models of the interaction between the Asian monsoon and the tropical ocean, because various feedback mechanisms should result in characteristic regional patterns of variability. Although the instrumental record of climate variability in the tropics is essentially limited to the last few decades, the stable isotopic composition of living corals provides an effective means for extending the instrumental observations. Here we present two coral isotopic records from the Indonesian Maritime Continent, and we use these records with other previously published records to describe: (i) the relationship between western Pacific and central Pacific climate variability over the past century, with special emphasis on the biennial band; and (ii) the strength of the west-east 'Indian Ocean Dipole'. We find that the amplitude of the biennial cycle in the Pacific did not vary inversely with the strength of ENSO (El Nino Southern Oscillation), as might be expected from some models of monsoonal feedback on the central Pacific. Instead, the biennial variability was modulated on decadal timescales throughout much of the Pacific. We also show that the zonal oxygen isotopic gradient in the Indian Ocean coral records was significantly correlated with central Pacific sea surface temperature on a variety of timescales. Thus, it is likely that this 'coral dipole' was a product of strong ENSO-like teleconnections over the Indian Ocean, as opposed to being the result of unique Indian Ocean or monsoonal dynamics. (C) 2003 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Moore, MD, Charles CD, Rubenstone JL, Fairbanks RG.  2000.  U/Th-dated sclerosponges from the Indonesian Seaway record subsurface adjustments to west Pacific winds. Paleoceanography. 15:404-416.   10.1029/1999pa000396   AbstractWebsite

Stable isotope records from sclerosponges collected at 10-20 m depth in the Indonesian Seaway and Solomon Islands are particularly well suited for reconstructing century-scale trends in ambient temperature variability and the oceanic uptake of fossil fuel carbon. Basal U/Th dates demonstrate that the sclerosponges analyzed are 85-100 years old. Isotopic records from the Indonesian specimens suggest a strong subsurface cooling over the past 20 years that is not manifested in either surface instrumental or shallower coral proxy records. However, analysis of observed subsurface temperatures in Indonesia, observed winds in the west Pacific, and simulated subsurface temperatures from a steady state general circulation model hindcast forced by observed winds combine to suggest that thermocline adjustments could account for at least part of the recent cooling inferred from the Indonesian sclerosponges. If so, the sclerosponge data suggests that, on average, the west Pacific thermocline has shoaled significantly over at least the past 2 decades.