Reconstructing an Interdecadal Pacific Oscillation Index

June 30, 2021

Reconstructing an Interdecadal Pacific Oscillation Index

Image
Stacy Porter
Description

Stacy Porter, a Postdoctoral Scholar with the Byrd Center's Ice Core Paleoclimatology group, recently published "Reconstructing an Interdecadal Pacific Oscillation Index from a Pacific Basin-Wide Collection of Ice Core Records."

Advanced
Text

Temperatures in the Pacific Ocean shift between warm and cold periods every few decades or so. Understanding what drives these shifts is crucial for predicting our future climate, but our current knowledge is limited due to short observational records which only capture a few of these warm and cold cycles. In this study, we used four ice core records from around the Pacific Basin, including from the tropics and the high latitudes, to determine the history of Pacific Ocean temperatures over the last 550 years. Our future work will explore how these long-term shifts in ocean temperatures influence shorter-term events such as an El Niño.

The drill site locations for the four ice cores used in this study are shown.
Composite of observed positive interdecadal Pacific oscillation (tripole IPO . 0.75; Henley 2015) anomalies (base period: 1981–2010) for sea surface temperature (shading) and sea level pressure (0.5-hPa contours; negative contours are dashed) from NCEP–NCAR (1996) re-analysis. The drill site locations for the four ice cores used in this study are shown.

Read the full article (PDF)


Learn More About Ice Cores

Stacy provides an overview for students of ice cores and how they allow scientists to understand conditions of Earth's atmosphere in the past. Toward the end of the video, she introduces students to three challenges in looking at ice core data collected from Western Greenland.

Explore Real Data from an Ice Core (through an Education and Outreach lesson for students).

Media

News Filters: