Holocene winter climate variability in mid-latitude western North America

Vasile Ersek, Peter U Clark, Alan C. Mix, Hai Cheng, R. Lawrence Edwards

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    27 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Water resources in western North America depend on winter precipitation, yet our knowledge of its sensitivity to climate change remains limited. Similarly, understanding the potential for future loss of winter snow pack requires a longer perspective on natural climate variability. Here we use stable isotopes from a speleothem in southwestern Oregon to reconstruct winter climate change for much of the past 13,000 years. We find that on millennial time scales there were abrupt transitions between warm-dry and cold-wet regimes. Temperature and precipitation changes on multi-decadal to century timescales are consistent with ocean-atmosphere interactions that arise from mechanisms similar to the Pacific Decadal Oscillation. Extreme cold-wet and warm-dry events that punctuated the Holocene appear to be sensitive to solar forcing, possibly through the influence of the equatorial Pacific on the winter storm tracks reaching the US Pacific Northwest region.
    LanguageEnglish
    Pages1219
    JournalNature Communications
    Volume3
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Nov 2012

    Fingerprint

    Holocene
    winter
    climate
    timescale
    climate change
    Pacific Decadal Oscillation
    storm track
    speleothem
    stable isotope
    snow
    water resource
    North America
    atmosphere
    ocean
    temperature
    cold
    loss

    Cite this

    Ersek, Vasile ; Clark, Peter U ; Mix, Alan C. ; Cheng, Hai ; Edwards, R. Lawrence. / Holocene winter climate variability in mid-latitude western North America. In: Nature Communications. 2012 ; Vol. 3. pp. 1219.
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    Holocene winter climate variability in mid-latitude western North America. / Ersek, Vasile; Clark, Peter U; Mix, Alan C.; Cheng, Hai; Edwards, R. Lawrence.

    In: Nature Communications, Vol. 3, 11.2012, p. 1219.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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