January 2012 Archives

Next week (Feb 1), we'll take brief tours of two labs on campus dedicated to paleoclimatology. We'll meet at the the Limnological Research Center (Civil Engingeering Bldg Room 672) at 9:30AM. After about an hour, we'll walk to the West Bank to visit the UMN Center for Dendrochronology.

To get ready for our visits, I'd like you to read two brief summary articles:

Dendroclimatology
Lake level studies in North America

ENSO exercise for next week

Next week, we'll dive into the study of ancient climates by viewing the behavior of the El Nino-Southern Oscillation through the lens of several natural climate archives.

I've included a set of four articles that describe separate attempts to use natural archives to understand how ENSO has behaved in the past. First, I'd like you all to skim over the entire set of articles (so we know what each other will be talking about).
Second, working in pairs, I'd like you to develop a brief explanation of your chosen proxy. When getting ready for class, I'd like to you consider the following questions. What is the physical (or chemical or biological) proxy used in your study? How do the authors suggest this proxy is related to ENSO (Focus on the chain of causation that links the tropical Pacific to your study)? Finally, what does your proxy suggest about the past behavior of ENSO?

I've also included links to the data used in each study, so if you want to run your own analysis or use tools that you're already familiar with, go for it.

Phillp, because you weren't able to join us today, I've put you down for a discussion of lake sediment records. Please shoot me an email if you'd like to chat about the assignment, or the course, before we meet next week.

And, just a reminder, we'll have this discussion at the beginning of next class (Jan 25) and please don't prepare PowerPoint or Keynote slides unless it's absolutely critical to your discussion.

Corals (Max, Will)
Cobb Nature 2003.pdf
link to data

Ice cores (Pete, Josh)
Thompson Science 1984.pdf
link to data

Tree rings (Eric, Ben)
Stahle B Am Meteorol Soc 1998.pdf
link to data

Lake sediments (Phillip)
Conroy NATURE GEOSCIENCE 2009.pdf
link to data

Before we meet for our first class on Wednesday (Jan 15), I'd like all of you to read two short articles that ask (essentially): what is paleoclimatology and what is it good for? Reading through these articles will help you decide whether or not this course matches your interest. They will also help us ensure that we'll have a good discussion on our first day.

Ray Bradley, A Holocene perspective on future climate change
Neville Nicholls, Why do we care about past climates?

Welcome to the blog for GEOG5426: Climate variations. In this class, we'll discuss how the field of paleoclimatology, which uses physical and cultural evidence to make inferences about climates of the past, can help us better understand how the Earth's climate system works.

This is a seminar class aimed at graduate students and advanced undergraduates. The class is scheduled to meet once a week on Wednesday mornings.

I'm an Assistant Professor in the Department of Geography, and this will be the second time I've taught this course. Before joining the U, I was a research scientist with the Geological Survey of Canada. Most of my research deals with topics in paleoclimatology, climate dynamics, natural hazards and climate impacts on renewable energy. If you want to learn more about my work, visit my personal website (umn.edu/~stgeorge).


Course syllabus
GEOG5426 syllabus.jpg

I'll bring hard copies of the syllabus to class next week, but if you want to get a sneak preview of the course content, you can download a PDF version here.

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This page is an archive of entries from January 2012 listed from newest to oldest.

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