Multi-Proxy Reconstructions of Northeast Pacific Decadal Variability from trees and bivalves

Authors: Bryan Black*, University of Texas at Austin, Daniel Griffin, University of Minnesota
Topics: Earth Science, Global Change
Keywords: dendrochronology, sclerochronology, Pacific, reconstruction
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/12/2018
Start / End Time: 8:00 AM / 9:40 AM
Room: Grand Ballroom C, Astor, 2nd Floor
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


Decadal-scale climate variability in the Northeast Pacific Ocean profoundly influences fisheries production, forest growth, wildfire, drought, and snowpack in western North America. However, there remains considerable and long-standing uncertainly in its behavior prior to AD 1900 and the extent to which 20th century dynamics are atypical in a multi-centennial context. Here, we target the leading EOF of SST in the northeastern Pacific (ARCSST) as an index of Pacific Decadal Variability, which has been dynamically linked to sea level pressure and unlike the Pacific Decadal Oscillation Index, retains a linear warming trend. The ARCSST reconstruction is generated from a broad network of target-sensitive North American tree-ring data standardized using signal-free detrending to preserve lower frequency signals common to the original data. In a preliminary analysis, the mean of the approximately 50 chronologies that significantly (p < 0.01) correlate to the target variable explain 60% of the variance in cool-season ARCSST. Reconstruction skill is independently verified by three marine bivalve (Pacific geoduck; Panopea generosa) chronologies, the mean of which accounts for over 50% of the reconstruction variance over the common 1870-1900 interval. The nested reconstruction spans over 500 years and indicates that i) PDV is dominated by pentadecadal cycles, ii) century-long quiescent periods can occur, iii) 20th century regime shifts are typical, but iv) late 20th century warming is atypical in the longer-term context. Moreover, the reconstruction closely tracks paleofisheries datasets, particularly northern anchovy (Engraulis mordax) abundance inferred from scale deposition rates in the Santa Barbara Basin.

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