Biology & Paleo Environment Events
For upcoming seminars, see our calendar here.
Our new seminar day and time: Mondays at 12 pm, Comer Seminar Room
Monday September 29 @ 12 pm, Comer Seminar Room: Dr. Natalie Burls, Postdoctoral Associate, Yale, "A cloud albedo control on ocean temperature gradients and implications for early Pliocene warmth". Host: Heather Ford
"A cloud albedo control on ocean temperature gradients and implications for early Pliocene warmth."
Available evidence suggests that during the early Pliocene (4-5Ma) the mean east-west sea surface temperature (SST) gradient in the equatorial Pacific Ocean was significantly smaller than today. The meridional SST gradients were also substantially weaker, implying an expanded ocean warm pool in low latitudes. Subsequent global cooling led to the establishment of the stronger, modern temperature gradients. Given our understanding of the physical processes that maintain the present-day cold tongue in the east, warm pool in the west and hence sharp temperature contrasts, determining the key factors that maintained early Pliocene climate still presents a challenge for climate theories and models. This study demonstrates how different cloud properties could provide a solution. Having conducted a range of hypothetical modified cloud albedo experiments, we arrive at our Pliocene-like simulation, which shows good agreement with proxy SST data from major equatorial and coastal upwelling regions, the tropical warm pool, mid and high latitudes, and available subsurface temperature data. As suggested by the observations, the simulated Pliocene-like climate sustains a robust ENSO despite the reduced mean east-west SST gradient. Our results demonstrate that cloud albedo changes may be a critical element of Pliocene climate and that simulating the meridional SST gradient correctly is central to replicating the geographical patterns of Pliocene warmth.
- SPECIAL SEMINAR: Wednesday August 27th @ 11:00 am, Comer Seminar Room, Dr. Fulvio Boatta, University of Palermo. Visiting scientist at LDEO. Host: Joaquim Goes
- Monday September 8, 12 pm: Dr. Chris Brierley, UCL. "Pliocene Tropical Dynamics." Host: Peter deMenocal.
- Monday September 15, 12 pm: Jessica Moerman, PhD Student at Georgia Tech, "Improving tropical paleoclimate interpretations by monitoring modern water isotopes". Host: Maureen Raymo
- Monday September 22, 12 pm: Sloan Coats, PhD Candidate LDEO
- Monday September 29, 12 pm: Dr. Natalie Burls, Postdoctoral Associate, Yale, "A cloud albedo control on ocean temperature gradients and implications for early Pliocene warmth". Host: Heather Ford
- Monday October 6, 12 pm: Carly Buchwald, WHOI. Host: Kim Popendorf
- Monday October 13, 12 pm: Dr. Liz Corbett, Postdoctoral Research Fellow, LDEO. Host: Dorothy Peteet
- Monday October 20, 12 pm: Dr. Tammo Reichgelt, University of Otago, New Zealand, "Seasonal climatic gradients of Early Miocene New Zealand". Host: Billy d'Andrea
- Monday October 27, 12 pm: Dr. Paola Moffa Sanchez, Rutgers University. Host: Billy d'Andrea
Additional talks can be seen on the