Otto-Bliesner Bette

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  • Article
    Climate variability, volcanic forcing, and last millennium hydroclimate extremes
    (American Meteorological Society, 2018-05-03) Stevenson, Samantha ; Overpeck, Jonathan T. ; Fasullo, John T. ; Coats, Sloan ; Parsons, Luke A. ; Otto-Bliesner, Bette ; Ault, Toby ; Loope, Garrison ; Cole, Julia
    Multidecadal hydroclimate variability has been expressed as “megadroughts” (dry periods more severe and prolonged than observed over the twentieth century) and corresponding “megapluvial” wet periods in many regions around the world. The risk of such events is strongly affected by modes of coupled atmosphere–ocean variability and by external impacts on climate. Accurately assessing the mechanisms for these interactions is difficult, since it requires large ensembles of millennial simulations as well as long proxy time series. Here, the Community Earth System Model (CESM) Last Millennium Ensemble is used to examine statistical associations among megaevents, coupled climate modes, and forcing from major volcanic eruptions. El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO) strongly affects hydroclimate extremes: larger ENSO amplitude reduces megadrought risk and persistence in the southwestern United States, the Sahel, monsoon Asia, and Australia, with corresponding increases in Mexico and the Amazon. The Atlantic multidecadal oscillation (AMO) also alters megadrought risk, primarily in the Caribbean and the Amazon. Volcanic influences are felt primarily through enhancing AMO amplitude, as well as alterations in the structure of both ENSO and AMO teleconnections, which lead to differing manifestations of megadrought. These results indicate that characterizing hydroclimate variability requires an improved understanding of both volcanic climate impacts and variations in ENSO/AMO teleconnections.
  • Article
    Paleoclimate constraints on the spatiotemporal character of past and future droughts
    (American Meteorological Society, 2020-10-15) Coats, Sloan ; Smerdon, Jason E. ; Stevenson, Samantha ; Fasullo, John T. ; Otto-Bliesner, Bette ; Ault, Toby
    Machine-learning-based methods that identify drought in three-dimensional space–time are applied to climate model simulations and tree-ring-based reconstructions of hydroclimate over the Northern Hemisphere extratropics for the past 1000 years, as well as twenty-first-century projections. Analyzing reconstructed and simulated drought in this context provides a paleoclimate constraint on the spatiotemporal characteristics of simulated droughts. Climate models project that there will be large increases in the persistence and severity of droughts over the coming century, but with little change in their spatial extent. Nevertheless, climate models exhibit biases in the spatiotemporal characteristics of persistent and severe droughts over parts of the Northern Hemisphere. We use the paleoclimate record and results from a linear inverse modeling-based framework to conclude that climate models underestimate the range of potential future hydroclimate states. Complicating this picture, however, are divergent changes in the characteristics of persistent and severe droughts when quantified using different hydroclimate metrics. Collectively our results imply that these divergent responses and the aforementioned biases must be better understood if we are to increase confidence in future hydroclimate projections. Importantly, the novel framework presented herein can be applied to other climate features to robustly describe their spatiotemporal characteristics and provide constraints on future changes to those characteristics.
  • Preprint
    The role of North Brazil Current transport in the paleoclimate of the Brazilian Nordeste margin and paleoceanography of the western tropical Atlantic during the late Quaternary
    ( 2014-05) Nace, Trevor E. ; Baker, Paul A. ; Dwyer, Gary S. ; Silva, Cleverson G. ; Rigsby, Catherine A. ; Burns, Stephen J. ; Giosan, Liviu ; Otto-Bliesner, Bette ; Liu, Zhengyu ; Zhu, Jiang
    Reconstructions of surface paleoceanographic conditions of the western equatorial Atlantic and past climates of the adjacent Northeast Brazilian (the "Nordeste") continental margin were undertaken by analyzing sediments from a piston core and associated gravity and box cores recovered from 3107 meter water depth at 0° 20’ N on the equatorial Brazilian continental slope. The record is dated by radiocarbon analysis and oxygen isotopic stratigraphy of planktonic foraminifers and spans from near- modern to approximately 110 Ka. High-resolution XRF analysis provides insight into the paleoclimate history of the Nordeste during the last glacial interval. Several large-amplitude and abrupt peaks are observed in the time series of Ti/Ca and are usually accompanied by peaks of Fe/K. Together these record periods of increased precipitation and intense weathering on the adjacent continent and increased terrestrial sediment discharge from Nordeste rivers into the Atlantic. Within the limits of dating accuracy, most Ti/Ca peaks correlate with Heinrich events in the North Atlantic. This record thus corroborates, and extends back in time, the previous record of Arz et al (1998) determined on sediment cores from farther southeast along the Nordeste margin. Stable oxygen isotopic analysis and Mg/Ca paleothermometry on the near- surface-dwelling planktonic foraminiferal species Globierinoides ruber find that mean sea-surface temperature (SST) during glacial time (20 to 55 Ka, n = 97) was 23.89 ± 0.79 °C and the mean SST during the late Holocene (0 to 5 Ka, n = 14) was 26.89 ± 0.33 °C. SSTs were 0.5 to 2 °C higher and inferred sea-surface salinities were lower during most of the periods of elevated Ti/Ca, thus, as observed in previous studies, the western equatorial Atlantic was warm (at least locally) and the adjacent southern tropical continent was wet at the same time that the high-latitude North Atlantic was cold. Using the SYNTRACE-CCSM3 fully coupled climate model with transient forcing for the period 22 Ka to present, we find that decreased transport of the North Brazil Current co-occurs with reduced Atlantic meridional overturning circulation, and colder-than-normal SSTs in the North Atlantic region. These simulated conditions are invariably associated with significantly increased precipitation in the Nordeste region.
  • Article
    North Atlantic cooling triggered a zonal mode over the Indian Ocean during Heinrich Stadial 1
    (American Association for the Advancement of Science, 2023-01-04) Du, Xiaojing ; Russell, James M. ; Liu, Zhengyu ; Otto-Bliesner, Bette L. ; Oppo, Delia W. ; Mohtadi, Mahyar ; Zhu, Chenyu ; Galy, Valier V. ; Schefuß, Enno ; Yan, Yan ; Rosenthal, Yair ; Dubois, Nathalie ; Arbuszewski, Jennifer ; Gao, Yu
    Abrupt changes in the Atlantic meridional overturning circulation (AMOC) are thought to affect tropical hydroclimate through adjustment of the latitudinal position of the intertropical convergence zone (ITCZ). Heinrich Stadial 1 (HS1) involves the largest AMOC reduction in recent geological time; however, over the tropical Indian Ocean (IO), proxy records suggest zonal anomalies featuring intense, widespread drought in tropical East Africa versus generally wet but heterogeneous conditions in the Maritime Continent. Here, we synthesize proxy data and an isotope-enabled transient deglacial simulation and show that the southward ITCZ shift over the eastern IO during HS1 strengthens IO Walker circulation, triggering an east-west precipitation dipole across the basin. This dipole reverses the zonal precipitation anomalies caused by the exposed Sunda and Sahul shelves due to glacial lower sea level. Our study illustrates how zonal modes of atmosphere-ocean circulation can amplify or reverse global climate anomalies, highlighting their importance for future climate change.