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Browsing by Author "Stansell, Nathan D."
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ItemA 2,300-year-long annually resolved record of the South American summer monsoon from the Peruvian Andes(PNAS, 2011-05-24) Bird, Broxton W.; Abbott, Mark B.; Vuille, Mathias; Rodbell, Donald T.; Stansell, Nathan D.; Rosenmeier, Michael F. ItemForest–savanna–morichal dynamics in relation to fire and human occupation in the southern Gran Sabana (SE Venezuela) during the last millennia(Elsevier, 2011-11) Montoya, Encarni; Rull, Valentí; Stansell, Nathan D.; Abbott, Mark B.; Nogué, Sandra; Bird, Broxton W.; Díaz, Wilmer A.The southern Gran Sabana (SE Venezuela) holds a particular type of neotropical savanna characterized by the local occurrence of morichales (Mauritia palm swamps), in a climate apparently more suitable for rain forests. We present a paleoecological analysis of the last millennia of Lake Chonita (4°39′N–61°0′W, 884 m elevation), based on biological and physico-chemical proxies. Savannas dominated the region during the last millennia, but a significant vegetation replacement occurred in recent times. The site was covered by a treeless savanna with nearby rainforests from 3640 to 2180 cal yr BP. Water levels were higher than today until about 2800 cal yr BP. Forests retreated since about 2180 cal yr BP onwards, likely influenced by a higher fire incidence that facilitated a dramatic expansion of morichales. The simultaneous appearance of charcoal particles and Mauritia pollen around 2000 cal yr BP supports the potential pyrophilous nature of this palm and the importance of fire for its recent expansion. The whole picture suggests human settlements similar to today – in which fire is an essential element – since around 2000 yr ago. Therefore, present-day southern Gran Sabana landscapes seem to have been the result of the synergy between biogeographical, climatic and anthropogenic factors, mostly fire. ItemInterhemispheric antiphasing of neotropical precipitation during the past millennium(National Academy of Sciences, 2022-04) Steinman, Byron A.; Stansell, Nathan D.; Mann, Michael E.; Cooke, Colin A.; Abbott, Mark B.; Vuille, Mathias; Bird, Broxton W.; Lachniet, Matthew S.; Fernandez, Alejandro; Earth Sciences, School of ScienceUncertainty about the influence of anthropogenic radiative forcing on the position and strength of convective rainfall in the Intertropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ) inhibits our ability to project future tropical hydroclimate change in a warmer world. Paleoclimatic and modeling data inform on the timescales and mechanisms of ITCZ variability; yet a comprehensive, long-term perspective remains elusive. Here, we quantify the evolution of neotropical hydroclimate over the preindustrial past millennium (850 to 1850 CE) using a synthesis of 48 paleo-records, accounting for uncertainties in paleo-archive age models. We show that an interhemispheric pattern of precipitation antiphasing occurred on multicentury timescales in response to changes in natural radiative forcing. The conventionally defined “Little Ice Age” (1450 to 1850 CE) was marked by a clear shift toward wetter conditions in the southern neotropics and a less distinct and spatiotemporally complex transition toward drier conditions in the northern neotropics. This pattern of hydroclimatic change is consistent with results from climate model simulations indicating that a relative cooling of the Northern Hemisphere caused a southward shift in the thermal equator across the Atlantic basin and a southerly displacement of the ITCZ in the tropical Americas, with volcanic forcing as the principal driver. These findings are at odds with proxy-based reconstructions of ITCZ behavior in the western Pacific basin, where changes in ITCZ width and intensity, rather than mean position, appear to have driven hydroclimate transitions over the last millennium. This reinforces the idea that ITCZ responses to external forcing are region specific, complicating projections of the tropical precipitation response to global warming. ItemOcean-atmosphere forcing of centennial hydroclimate variability in the Pacific Northwest(AGU, 2014-03-11) Steinman, Byron A.; Abbott, Mark B.; Mann, Michael E.; Ortiz, Joseph D.; Feng, Song; Pompeani, David P.; Stansell, Nathan D.; Anderson, Lesleigh; Finney, Bruce P.; Bird, Broxton W.; Earth Sciences, School of ScienceReconstructing centennial timescale hydroclimate variability during the late Holocene is critically important for understanding large-scale patterns of drought and their relationship with climate dynamics. We present sediment oxygen isotope records spanning the last two millennia from 10 lakes, as well as climate model simulations, indicating that the Little Ice Age was dry relative to the Medieval Climate Anomaly in much of the Pacific Northwest of North America. This pattern is consistent with observed associations between the El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO), the Northern Annular Mode, and drought as well as with proxy-based reconstructions of Pacific and Atlantic ocean-atmosphere variations over the past 1000 years. The large amplitude of centennial variability indicated by the lake data suggests that regional hydroclimate is characterized by longer-term shifts in ENSO-like dynamics and that an improved understanding of the centennial timescale relationship between external forcing and drought is necessary for projecting future hydroclimatic conditions in western North America.