Abstract

Using previously compiled tree-ring chronologies from the Gulf of Alaska (GOA), this project adds tree-ring series to the present chronologies in an effort to extend a history of surface air temperature throughout the GOA. A 1897-year chronology spanning from 114 CE to 2010 CE was used to create a 1710-year mean February through August surface air temperature reconstruction spanning from 300 CE to 2010 CE. Results display long period cooling likely associated with Milankovich forcing that is recognized in other high latitude proxy temperature records and consistent with glacial records from the region. Warm intervals rivaling contemporary warming (1850 – 2010 CE) are evident. These include the Medieval Warm Period (MWP) from 900 CE to 1000 CE and unidentified warm intervals from 350 CE to 450 CE and 600 CE to 650 CE. Cooling after 700 CE precedes a strong glacial expansion from 1200 CE to 1850 CE known as the Little Ice Age (LIA). Overall, the GOA reconstruction is more similar to recent multi-proxy reconstructions for western continental North America than for the higher latitude Arctic records reflecting climate variability unique to the North Pacific sector, which have included the GOA tree-ring temperature records in the past.

Advisor

Wiles, Greg

Department

Geology

Disciplines

Geology | Other Earth Sciences

Publication Date

2015

Degree Granted

Bachelor of Arts

Document Type

Senior Independent Study Thesis

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© Copyright 2015 Wilson Nelson