Cook Edward R.

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Cook
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Edward R.
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  • Preprint
    A long-term context (931–2005 C.E.) for rapid warming over Central Asia
    ( 2014-11) Davi, Nicole K. ; D'Arrigo, Rosanne ; Jacoby, G. C. ; Cook, Edward R. ; Anchukaitis, Kevin J. ; Nachin, B. ; Rao, M. P. ; Leland, C.
    Warming over Mongolia and adjacent Central Asia has been unusually rapid over the past few decades, particularly in the summer, with surface temperature anomalies higher than for much of the globe. With few temperature station records available in this remote region prior to the 1950s, paleoclimatic data must be used to understand annual-to-centennial scale climate variability, to local response to large-scale forcing mechanisms, and the significance of major features of the past millennium such as the Medieval Climate Anomaly (MCA) and Little Ice Age (LIA) both of which can vary globally. Here we use an extensive collection of living and subfossil wood samples from temperature-sensitive trees to produce a millennial-length, validated reconstruction of summer temperatures for Mongolia and Central Asia from 931 to 2005 CE. This tree-ring reconstruction shows general agreement with the MCA (warming) and LIA (cooling) trends, a significant volcanic signature, and warming in the 20th and 21st Century. Recent warming (2000-2005) exceeds that from any other time and is concurrent with, and likely exacerbated, the impact of extreme drought (1999-2002) that resulted in massive livestock loss across Mongolia.
  • Preprint
    400 years of summer hydroclimate from stable isotopes in Iberian trees
    ( 2016-11) Andreu-Hayles, Laia ; Ummenhofer, Caroline C. ; Barriendos, Mariano ; Schleser, Gerhard H. ; Helle, Gerhard ; Leuenberger, Markus ; Gutierrez, Emilia ; Cook, Edward R.
    Tree rings are natural archives that annually record distinct types of past climate variability depending on the parameters measured. Here, we use ring-width and stable isotopes in cellulose of trees from the northwestern Iberian Peninsula (IP) to understand regional summer hydroclimate over the last 400 years and the associated atmospheric patterns. Spatial correlations between tree rings and gridded climate products demonstrate that isotope signatures in the targeted Iberian pine forests are very sensitive to water availability during the summer period, and are mainly controlled by stomatal conductance. Non-linear methods based on extreme events analysis allow for capturing distinct seasonal climatic variability recorded by tree-ring parameters and asymmetric signals of the associated atmospheric features. Moreover, years with extreme high (low) values in the tree-ring records were characterised by coherent large-scale atmospheric circulation patterns with reduced (enhanced) moisture transport onto the northwestern IP. These analyses of extremes revealed that high/low proxy values do not necessarily correspond to mirror images in the atmospheric anomaly patterns, suggesting different drivers of these patterns and the corresponding signature recorded in the proxies. Regional hydroclimate features across the broader IP and western Europe during extreme wet/dry summers detected by the northwestern IP trees compare favourably to an independent multicentury sea level pressure and drought reconstruction for Europe. These independent sources of past climate validate our findings that attribute non-linear moisture signals recorded by extreme tree-ring values to distinct large-scale atmospheric patterns and allow for 400-yr reconstructions of the frequency of occurrence of extreme conditions in summer hydroclimate.
  • Article
    Cold tropical Pacific Sea surface temperatures during the late sixteenth-century North American megadrought
    (John Wiley & Sons, 2018-09-21) Cook, Benjamin I. ; Williams, A. Park ; Smerdon, Jason E. ; Palmer, Jonathan G. ; Cook, Edward R. ; Stahle, David W. ; Coats, Sloan
    The late 16th‐century North American megadrought was notable for its persistence, extent, intensity, and occurrence after the main interval of megadrought activity during the Medieval Climate Anomaly. Forcing from sea surface temperatures (SSTs) in the tropical Pacific is considered a possible driver of megadroughts, and we investigate this hypothesis for the late 16th‐century event using two new 600‐year long hydroclimate field reconstructions from Mexico and Australia. Areas represented by these reconstructions have strong teleconnections to tropical Pacific SSTs, evidenced by the leading principal component in each region explaining ∼40% of local hydroclimate variability and correlating significantly with the boreal winter (December‐January‐February) NINO 3.4 index. Using these two principal components as predictors, we develop a skillful reconstruction of the December‐January‐February NINO 3.4 index. The reconstruction reveals that the late 16th‐century megadrought likely occurred during one of the most persistent and intense periods of cold tropical Pacific SST anomalies of the last 600 years (1566–1590 C.E.; median NINO 3.4 = −0.79 K). This anomalously cold period coincided with a major filling episode for Kati Thanda‐Lake Eyre in Australia, a hydroclimate response dynamically consistent with the reconstructed SST state. These results offer new evidence that tropical Pacific forcing was an important driver of the late 16th‐century North American megadrought over the Southwest and Mexico, highlighting the large amplitude of natural variability that can occur within the climate system.