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A paleoclimatologist's view of historical climate data
 

A paleoclimatologist's view of historical climate data

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Graphics prepared for an October 23 workshop on historical climate data in Canada.

Graphics prepared for an October 23 workshop on historical climate data in Canada.

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    A paleoclimatologist's view of historical climate data A paleoclimatologist's view of historical climate data Presentation Transcript

    • Historical climate data from the perspective of physical paleoclimatology
    • paleoclimatology the study of the Earth’s climate prior to the period of instrumental measurements
    • “ Jack's a paleoclimatologist, and I have ABSOLUTELY NO IDEA what he's up to. The Day After Tomorrow, 2004
    • PHYSICAL PALEOCLIMATOLGY
    • PHYSICAL PALEOCLIMATOLGY
    • PHYSICAL PALEOCLIMATOLGY
    • Prairie tree-ring network
    • Photograph by Greg Brooks
    • paleoclimatology ʻphysicalʼ ʻsocialʼ paleoclimatology paleoclimatology
    • STRE STRENGTHS of historical climate records
    • CUR CURRENT practices
    • DON why we DON’T USE these data
    • FIX ways we might FIX that
    • STRE STRENGTHS of historical climate records
    • keeping track of TIME is a major challenge
    • radiocarbon dating ±50yr ±500yr
    • tree-ring dating down to the exact YEAR
    • YEAR?
    • “About 2 P.M. the ice in the Red River at length broke up in an awful rush; carrying away cattle, houses, trees and everything else that came in its way The Red River Journal, May 5 1826
    • “About 2 P.M. the ice in the Red River at length broke up in an awful rush; carrying away cattle, houses, trees and everything else that came in its way The Red River Journal, May 5 1826
    • Very High Resolution 26
    • St. George and Rannie (2003)
    • Early to mid- April, 1826 Redrawn from Stahle (1990)
    • CUR CURRENT practices
    • ✔ ?
    • EXAMPLE Testing proxy-climate relationships
    • 755 m3/s 847 m3/s 809 m3/s 770 m3/s 823 m3/s 787 m3/s 901 m3/s 3
    • “ Trees are not thermometers or raingauges. KEITH BRIFFA AND COLLEAUGES
    • 3 2 1 tree-ring 0 index -1 ‘warm’ summers -2 -3 20 40 60 80 100 120 140 precipitation (mm)
    • 3 ‘cold’ summers 2 1 tree-ring 0 index -1 ‘warm’ summers -2 -3 20 40 60 80 100 120 140 precipitation (mm)
    • Evidence for unusually wet 19th century summers in the eastern Prairies and northwestern Ontario Bill Rannie Prairie Perspectives, 2006
    • 1824 Tree-rings say: cool and wet 38
    • 1824 Tree-rings say: Archives say: cool and wet The Winnipeg River was “exceptionally high” and “amazingly high” at Pinewa, Manitoba. 38
    • 1832 Tree-rings say: cool and wet 39
    • 1832 Tree-rings say: Archives say: cool and wet Torrential rain and dangerously high water at Rainy Lake 39
    • second OPINION
    • EXAMPLE Corroborating rare events
    • Photograph by Greg Brooks
    • 44
    • Flood damaged Normal growth Photograph by Suzana Radivojevic 45
    • St. George and Rannie (2003)
    • A survey of hydroclimate, flooding and runoff in the Red River Basin prior to 1870 Bill Rannie Geological Survey of Canada Open FIle 4087
    • “The forts now stand like a castle of romance in the midst of an ocean of deep contending currents, the water extending for at least a mile behind them, and they are thereby only approachable by boats and canoes. FRANCIS HERON HUDSONʼS BAY COMPANY
    • 350 years of Red River floods St. George and Nielsen (2003), The Holocene
    • ✔ ?
    • DON why we DON’T USE these data
    • May 3 The river rose six feet last night perpendicularly, several tents are now pitched upon the most elevated spots: terror is strongly depicted on every countenance… 755 m3/s A vast deal of property is now depositing on and about the Mission Premises preparatory to the desertion of houses should the waters continue to increase (David Jones Journal). May 5 847 m3/s All the arable land is now under water and where according to the season of the year, the plough ought to be at work, the waves roll by the agitation of a piercing north–wind… On a point of the river above us, four horses and a barn were swept off by the force of the ice and the ruins floated past us to–day on the surface thereof…The force of [the ice] is inconceivable; the loftiest elm trees are 809 m3/s carried away like the most inconsiderable things (David Jones Journal). May 5 About 2 P.M. the ice in the Red River at length broke up in an awful rush; carrying away cattle, houses, trees and everything else that came in its way – The river 770 m3/s overflowed its banks every where, and carried the ice with great velocity to a greater distance from its course, than had ever been before seen by the oldest inhabitants (Red River Journal). May 8 823 m3/s All the Company’s men and boats continue day and night in snatching up from watery graves, such of the settlers as were unable to escape from their houses, from the roofs of which, several of them were taken up by our people. Thus repeatedly have the Company been the means of saving the lives of this ill fated people this ill fated year (Red River Journal). May 14 Our people were again forced to remove their camp still higher up the Assiniboine, to the vicinity of Sturgeon Creek. The water rise so rapidly that the property was considered to be no longer safe in the forts, consequently, our 787 m3/s 901 m3/s people and most of the boats, with the help of some of the settlers, commenced removing the Company’s property, with all dispatch, up the Assiniboine to our encampment there (Red River Journal). May 16 3 The whole face of the country, both below and above our encampment is covered with water, and in this windy weather, looks like an immense lake in a storm (Red
    • WORLD D ATA C E N T E R f o r PA L E O C L I M AT O L O G Y
    • HISTORICAL DATA AT NOAA 1 ALPS PRECIPITATION High-resolution temperature and precipitation variations and their seasonal extremes since 1500 are presented for the 2 MANILA GALLEON VOYAGES Historical accounts of the voyages of the Manila galleons derived from the Archivo General de Indias (General Archive of European Alps. the Indies, Seville, Spain) are used to infer past changes in the atmospheric circulation of the tropical Pacific Ocean. 3 CHINESE TEMPERATURE Phenological cold/warm events recorded in Chinese historical documents are used to reconstruct, at 10-30 years' resolution, 4 HISTORIC EL NIÑOS El Niño events of moderate, strong and very strong intensities, their confidence ratings and information sources. winter half-year (October to April) temperatures for the past 2000 years in the central region of eastern China. 5 BURGUNDY GRAPE HARVESTS French records of grape-harvest dates in Burgundy were used to reconstruct spring-summer temperatures from 1370 to 2003 6 LILAC PHENOLOGY The NOAA Paleoclimatology Program distributes archives of North American phenology data - first leaf and first bloom dates using a process-based phenology model developed for the for lilac shrubs (Syringa chinensis and Syringa vulgaris). Pinot Noir grape.
    • Is there any Canadian historical data archived at the WCD?
    • Is there any Canadian historical data archived at the WCD? not a byte
    • FIX ways we might FIX that
    • what’s the best target?
    • ‘Civil War’ droughts
    • “ The 1856 to 1865 period... stands out as a widespread and severe drought ... centered on the Great Plains region... HERWEIGER ET AL. THE HOLOCENE 2006
    • La Niña (1989)
    • ENSO and winter ppt Correlation between CTI and winter precipitation (● = significant at p = 0.05)
    • 67
    • “The winter had been unusually severe, having begun earlier and continued later than usual. The snows averaged three feet deep, and in the woods, from four to five feet. Alexander Ross, commenting on the 1825-26 winter
    • WORLD D ATA C E N T E R f o r PA L E O C L I M AT O L O G Y
    • web.mac.com/scottstgeorge