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AGU Fall Meeting – Poster Session – PP43A: Paleoclimate Variability in the Indo-Pacific Region III Posters

December 15, 2016 @ 1:40 pm - 6:00 pm

Abstract PP43A – 2309: Testing the Millennial-Scale Holocene Solar-Climate Connection in the Indo-Pacific Warm Pool

Deborah Khider, Julien Emile-Geay, Nicholas McKay, Charles S. Jackson, Cody Rouston

The existence of 1000 and 2500-year periodicities found in reconstructions of total solar irradiance (TSI) and a number of Holocene climate records has led to the hypothesis of a causal relationship. However, attributing Holocene millennial-scale variability to solar forcing requires a mechanism by which small changes in total irradiance can influence a global climate response. One possible amplifier within the climate system is the ocean. If this is the case, then we need to know more about where and how this may be occurring. On the other hand, the similarity in spectral peaks could be merely coincidental, and this should be made apparent by a lack of coherence in how that power and phasing are distributed in time and space.

The plausibility of the solar forcing hypothesis is assessed through a Bayesian model of the age uncertainties affecting marine sedimentary records that is propagated through spectral analysis of the climate and forcing signals at key frequencies. Preliminary work on Mg/Ca and alkenone records from the Indo-Pacific Warm Pool suggests that despite large uncertainties in the location of the spectral peaks within each individual record arising from age model uncertainty, sea surface variability on timescales of 1025±36 years and 2427±133 years (±standard error of the mean of the median periodicity in each record) are present in at least 95% and 70% of the ensemble spectra, respectively. However, we find a long phase delay between the peak in forcing and the maximum response in at least one of the records, challenging the solar forcing hypothesis and requiring further investigation between low- and high-latitude signals.

Remarkably, all records suggest a periodicity near 1470±85 years, reminiscent of the cycles characteristic of Marine Isotope Stage 3; these cycles are absent from existing records of TSI, further questioning the millennial solar-climate connection.

[Poster in PDF format]



December 15, 2016
1:40 pm - 6:00 pm
Event Category:


American Geophysical Union


Moscone South
San Francisco, CA United States + Google Map