Biology & Paleo Environment Events

Current BPE seminar organizing committee: Daniel BishopThomas WeissJonathan Lambert

Time and Location: Mondays at 1 pm, Comer Seminar Room


Next seminar:

09/10/18: Kathleen Johnson, UC-Irvine

"Hydroclimatic variability in Mainland Southeast Asia since the Last Glacial Maximum"


The Asian Monsoon system is an important component of the global climate system that plays a major role in the transport of heat and moisture from the tropics to higher latitudes. Even small variations in the strength and timing of seasonal rainfall can have significant impacts on the billions of people living within the AM domain, yet climate model projections of future regional-scale hydrologic change still remain uncertain. Paleoclimate records from speleothems have substantially improved our understanding of the timing and mechanisms of past AM variability on orbital to decadal time-scales, but the impact of these variations on regional precipitation patterns remains unclear. This is due in part to the multitude of potential controls on speleothem oxygen isotope composition, but also to the sparse coverage of the paleoclimate record over certain regions, such as Mainland Southeast Asia (MSA). To address this, I will present new multi-proxy speleothem data from northern Laos spanning the last 38,000 years. We find that oxygen isotope variations are primarily driven by rainout upstream from our study site, whereas the carbon isotope, trace element, and crystal fabric records reflect local water balance. Our results confirm that rainfall in northern Laos decreased during previously identified last millennium drought events and during weak monsoon periods such as Heinrich Stadial 1. We also show that, consistent with paleoclimate model simulations, Southeast Asia experienced dry conditions during the early Holocene summer insolation maxima, despite the strong Asian Monsoon at that time, thus highlighting that Asian monsoon strength and regional precipitation do not always co-vary.


Fall 2018:

Date Speaker Title
Sep 10th Kathleen Johnson
Hydroclimatic variability in Mainland Southeast Asia since the Last Glacial Maximum
Sep 17th Isidora Echenique
Universidad Mayor
Sep 24th Winslow Hansen
Oct 1st Christopher Hein
Oct 8th Paul Falkowski
Oct 15th Tamara Pico
Oct 22nd Delia Oppo
Oct 29th Maren Voss
Nov 2nd Paolo Cherubini
Nov 5th   No seminar (Academic Holiday)
Nov 12th Rubén Delgado Manzanedo
Harvard Forest
Nov 19th Sarah Preheim
Nov 26th Christine Chen
Dec 3rd Mike Brown