Research study the first to comprehensively account for the hydrological impact of lithium mining

In a new study published in the journal Earth’s Future, David Boutt, postdoctoral associate Brendan Moran and colleagues at the University of Alaska-Anchorage investigated two of the most important factors in determining whether lithium is obtained responsibly: the age and source of the water the lithium is found in. Additional detail of the study is detailed in the UMass news release and journal article.

New Study Links Sixth-century Droughts to the Rise of Islam

Ray Bradley and Stephen Burns are coauthors on a new paper published in the journal Science that links sixth century droughts in the ancient South Arabian kingdom of Himya with the rise of Islam. The research suggests, not surprisingly, that climate history is an important factor in the history of human civilization. Read more in the UMass news release and the journal article.

CSRC researchers investigate Mid-Pleistocene Transition, a dramatic shift in earth’s climate 1.2 million years ago

A team of researchers including Kurt Lindberg ’20, the paper’s first author and a graduate student at the University at Buffalo, and CSRC researchers Isla Castaneda, Will Daniels, and Julie Brigham-Grette have published a study in Climate of the Past that investigated a shift in climate called the Mid-Pleistocene Transition. For this they used specific biomarkers to estimate temperature and vegetation properties to reconstruct the past climate. Read more in the UMass news release.

Boyang Zhao and colleagues publish study linking drought and abandonment of Norse settlements in southern Greenland in the 15th century

Ph.D candidate Boyang Zhao along with Ray Bradley and colleagues have published a study in the journal Science Advances that finds that extended drought, on top of other factors, may have led to the abandonment of Norse settlements in southern Greenland in the early 15th century. The team used hydrogen isotopes in leaf wax remnants in lake sediments and other data to conclude that the climate became progressively drier during the Norse period. Read more in the UMass news release, the journal article, and associated piece in Science.

Anna Ruth Halberstadt leads study resolves a long-standing discrepancy in the geologic record

In a paper publish recently in the journal Geology, Ruthie Halberstadt and coauthors Rob DeConto and Douglas E. Kowalewski addressed a discrepancy between marine data from the Ross Sea and data collected in the McMurdo Dry Valleys. Ruthie completed this research as part of her P.h.D. in geosciences. Read more in the UMass news release and journal paper.

Ray Bradley publishes review article on past extreme tropical hydrological events

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.

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.