In a recent paper published in Reviews of Geophysics, UMass Distinguished Professor Raymond Bradley synthesized information from lake sediments, stalagmites, and offshore marine sediments to provide a comprehensive record of changes over the past ∼70,000 years. He and coauthor Henry Diaz describe how freshening of the subpolar North Atlantic led to a rapid reduction in the northward flux of heat by the ocean, subsequent reorganization of the atmospheric circulation, and, in turn, climate modifications in various parts of the world. Read the paper here.
Author Archives: Climate System Research Center
Julie Brigham-Grette pens opinion piece on the myraid issues concerning climate geoengineering
Writing in The Hill, Geosciences Professor Julie Brigham-Grette and Pam Pearson, director of the International Cryosphere Climate Initiative, describe the lure of geoengineering, and it’s potential pitfalls, as a potential solution to anthropogenic global warming. “The stark reality: There is no magic technological fix.” Read the OpEd, Don’t look up (north)
Study reveals that humans reached remote North Atlantic islands centuries earlier than thought
In a study published in Communications Earth & Environment, Ray Bradley and colleagues, including former CSRC postdoctoral researcher William D’Andrea at Columbia University, suggest that an unknown band of humans settled there around A.D. 500 — some 350 years before the Vikings, who until recently were thought to be the first human inhabitants. The study is supported by lake sediment samples containing signs that domestic sheep suddenly appeared around 500, well before the Viking occupation.
What caused the Little Ice Age? UMass research points to a transfer of warm water from the tropics to the Arctic
Francois Lapointe and Ray Bradley have published a study in Science Advances that reveals that the Little Ice Age, one of the coldest periods of the past 10,000 years, was triggered by the transfer of warm Atlantic Ocean water from the tropics. The warming occurred during a time of high solar activity and few volcanic eruptions. Read more in the UMass news release and journal article.
Fourth warmest autumn on record for Northeast U.S.
December 8, 2021
Climate System Research Center
Climate analysis for autumn and summer-autumn 2021.
Meteorological autumn (Sep-Nov) was the fourth warmest on record for the Northeast U.S. Maine, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island saw their third warmest autumn. A record warm October paced the autumn anomaly.
It was the third warmest autumn for the contiguous U.S.
Four of the five warmest autumns over the Northeast have occurred in the last 11 years (2011, 2015, 2021, 2016). The season is warming at a rate of 0.2 oF per decade since 1895.
For minimum temperature, the Northeast experienced the highest average on record for both autumn and the summer-autumn period (Jun-Nov). Minimum temperatures for summer-fall were record warm at most sites in New England, including Boston, Providence, Worcester, and a majority of locations in Maine and New Hampshire. This year Boston had its warmest summer on record, and its year-to-date average temperature is on pace to be warmest ever recorded.
Autumn was wetter than normal across most of the region. Massachusetts received 16.5 inches of rain, the most of any state in the Northeast. This is 3.5 inches above normal, making for the 12th wettest autumn on record.
Information accessed from the NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information and the Northeast Regional Climate Center. Period of record is 127 years since 1895.
Agricultural Runoff Contributes to Global Warming
In a new study in AGU Advances, Matthew Winnick describes how runoff laden with nitrogen from fertilizer is leading to increased nitrous oxide emissions in river systems. Read more in the UMass news release.
New research on Arctic Rivers
In a pair of new papers, Michael Rawlins and colleagues describe new numerical model simulations of dissolved organic carbon (DOC) loaded to rivers throughout the western Arctic and how flows of water and DOC are increasing in northwest Alaska. Read more in the UMass news release and the Journal of Geophysical Research-Biogeosciences and Environmental Research Letters journal articles.
UMass study: Coastal Northeast is warming faster than most other regions in the U.S.
In a paper recently published in Nature Climate Change, Ambarish Karmalkar, research assistant professor and investigator with UMass-Amherst’s Northeast Climate and Adaptation Science Center, described the accelerated warming and factors behind the trend. Read more in the UMass news release.
Raymond Bradley awarded $2.5 million grant to study climate and environmental history of Greenland’s northernmost region
CSRC Director Raymond Bradley will lead a team of researchers to Peary Land, Greenland’s northernmost region to document past changes in the climate and environment of the area. This project is supported by a $2.5 million grant from the National Science Foundation. Read more here.
Ph.D. candidate Ruthie Halberstadt awarded an NSF Post Doctoral Research Fellowship
Ph.D. candidate Ruthie Halberstadt has been awarded a highly competitive NSF Post Doctoral Research Fellowship: “High-resolution Nested Antarctic Ice Sheet Modeling to Reconcile Marine and Terrestrial Geologic Data”. Her research project includes ongoing collaborations with professors Rob DeConto, her advisor, and Greg Balco at UC Berkeley.