Grant: $335,000 - National Science Foundation - Jul. 30, 2009
100% voted satisfied - 0% voted not satisfied - 1 vote(s) cast
Award Description: Perhaps the most important unanswered question facing the climatologists, policy makers, and humanity at large is how will the anticipated global warming impact regional rainfall patterns? Our best tool for assessing how precipitation patterns in arid regions are likely to change in a warmer world is by using proxy validated global and regional climate models. Therefore it is imperative that new climate proxies that reflect local-regional precipitation variations over time and space be developed. The proposed research will demonstrate how 17O isotopic anomalies in soil nitrate can be used as a sensitive new proxy of mean annual precipitation in 36Cl dated Atacama Desert soils that are ~ 1,000,000 years old. This new proxy will be used to assess El Nino climate anomalies over the past million years at approximately 3,000 year resolution. This resolution if fine enough to capture climate change impacts arising from orbital precession and axial tilt, and at the same time lengthy enough to capture the last 5 orbital eccentricities (the full Milankovitch cyclcle), a feat few terrestrial proxies can capture. The proposed research links atmospheric chemistry to climatology and will provide real data to assess coupled chemical transport-meteorological models such as WRF-Chem, currently under development by NOAA, EPA and other NGOs. The research will highlight the new applications using 17O anomalies to a wider science community. The main outcome is a better understanding of how regional precipitation might change with the anticipated global warming in the coming decades.
Project Description: Researchers have begun planning for the initial field work detailed in the proposal ''A New Regional Paleo-Precipitation Proxy: Oxygen Isotopes in Desert Nitrate and have tentatively planned for three weeks in the field beginning December 28, 2009. They anticipate sampling the Baquedano paleosol as described in the proposal, collect samples from dust trap that were installed in 2007, and collect preliminary paleosol samples from 2-3 additional sites. Fan Wang, a Masters of Science student enrolled in the PhD program in the Department of Earth and Atmospheric sciences has begun doing control analysis (isotope geochemical) and is progressing well and will be able to immediately begin sample analysis upon the return from the field campaign. Depending on field conditions and efficiency, researchers may collect samples along the precipitation gradient as described in the original proposal.
Infrastructure Description: n/a
Jobs Summary: This grant allowed for the creation/retention of the following position: Assistant Professor of Earth & Atmospheric Science/Chemistry (42.90 Hours). (Total jobs reported: 0)
Project Status: Less Than 50% Completed
This award's data was last updated on Jul. 30, 2009. Help expand these official descriptions using the wiki below.