University of California, Riverside

Earth Sciences

Department of Earth Sciences

Abrupt Climate Change Course Materials


Date Wed, 9:10am


October 1

Abrupt climate change, what is meant, has it happened in the past, how it differs from non linear change


Alley et al 2005-Science-Abrupt Climate Change

Alley Dakos, et al. , 2008, Slowing down as an early warning signal for abrupt climate change, PNAS, 105, 14308-14312

Stocker, 2000, Past and future reorganizations of the climate system, Quaternary Science Reviews, 19, 301-319.

Dowdeswell and White, 1995, Greenland ice core records and rapid climate change. Philosophical Transactions: Physical Sciences and Engineering, Vol. 352, No. 1699,T The Arctic and Environmental Change, Published by: The Royal Society

Ramanathan 2008-PNAS


October 8

The variation of Earth’s climate through time, the time scale of variation, natural climate change and bifurcations in the system orbital forcing, tectonic changes, bifurcations and stable states

Cenozoic O18 record

Zachos et al., 2001, Trends, rhythms, and aberrations in global climate 65ma to present. Science, 292, 682-693.


Kennett and Stott, 1999, Abrupt deep sea warming, paleoceanogrpahic changes and benthic extinctions at the end of the Paleocene. Nature, 353, 225-229.

Alley and Clark, 1999, The deglaciation of the northern hemisphere; a global perspective. Annual Reviews of Earth and Planetary Science. 27, 149-182.

Kennedy and Mrofka, 2008, Snowball earth termination by the destabilization of equatorial methane clathrates. Nature, 453, 642-646.

October 15

Younger Dryas, and Dansgaard Oeschger cycles

Younger Dryas:

Alley et a., 1993, Abrupt increase in Greenland snow accumulation at the end of the Younger Dryas event. Nature, 362; 527-560

Antarctica (antiphase):

Bender et al., 1994, Climate correlations between Greenland and Antarctica over the last 100,000 years. Nature, 372, 663-666.

Dansgaard Oeschger cycles

Dansgard et al., 1993, Nature, 364, p. 218.

Bond Cycles:

Bond et al., 1993, Correlation between climate records for North Atlantic sediments and Greenland ice. Nature, 365, 143-147

Heinrich Events:

Bond and Lotti, 1995, Ice berg discharges into the North Atlantic on millennial time scales during the last deglaciation, Science, 267, 1005-1010.

October 22

Eemian/Holocene, the closest thing to the current interglacial

Barber et l., 1999, Forcing of the cold event of 8,200 years ago by catastrophic drainage of Laurentide lakes. Nature, 400, 344-346.

Bond et al., 1997, A pervasive millennial-scale cycles in North Atlantic Holocene and Glacial Climates. Science, 278, 1257-1266.

GRIP Team, 1993, Evidence for General Instability of Past Climate from a 250-kyr Ice-Core-Record, Nature 364, 218-220.

Taylor et al., 1997, The Holocene-Younger Dryas Transition Recorded at Summit, Greenland, Science v. 278, 825-830.

Steig, 1999, Paleoclimate: Perspectives. Mid-Holocene climate change, Science 286, 1485-1487.

October 29

NRC meeting

November 7

WMRS conference/field trip

November 12

Greenland Ice Sheet/West Antarctic ice sheet stability and the

rates of past sea level rise from the coral record

Thompson and Goldstein, 2005, Open system coral ages reveal persistent suborbital sea-level cycles. Science, 308, 401-404.

Neuman and Hearty, 1996, Rapid sealevel changes at the last interglacial (substage 5e) recorded in the Bahamanian islands. Geology 24, 775-778.

Rohling, et al., 2008, High rates of seal-level rise rise during the last interglacial period. Nature Geoscience, 1, 38-42.

Anders Carlson et al. Rapid early Holocene deglaciation of the Laurentide ice sheet. Nature Geoscience, 1, 620-624.

Joughlin et al., 2008, Seasonal speedup along the western flank of the Greenland ice sheet. Science, 320, p. 781-783.

Das et al., 2008, Fracture propagation to the base of the Greenland Ice sheet during Supraglacial lake drainage, Science, 320, 778-781.

De Vernal et al., 2008, Natural variability of Greenland climate, vegetation, and ice volume during the past million years, Science, 320, 1622-1625.

Alley, et al., 2005, Ice-sheet and Sea-level changes. Science, 310, 456-460.

November 19

Ocean circulation and the influence of ice sheets on climate

Broecker, 1995, Massive iceberg discharges as triggers for global climate change. Nature 372, 421-424.

Broecker, 1997, Thermohaline circulation, the Achilles heel of our climate system; will man made CO2 upset the current balance? Science, 278, 1582-1588.

Lehman and Keigwin, 1992, Sudden changes in North Atlantic circulation during the last deglaciation. Nature, 356 757-760.

Rahmsdorf, 2002, Ocean circulation and climate during the past 120,000 years, Nature, 419, 207-214.

Clark, Alley and Pollard, 1999, Northern hemisphere ice sheet influences on global climate change, Science, 286, 1104-1111

Federov et al., 2006, The Pliocene paradox (mechanisms for a permanent El Nino). Science, 312, 1485-1489.



Methane clathrates as the climate time bomb

Kemp et al., 2005, Astronomical pacing of methane release in the Early Jurassic Period, Nature, 437, 396-400.

Walter et al., 2006, Methane bubbling from Siberian thaw lakes as a positive feedback to climate warming. Nature, 443, 71-75.

Nisbet, 200?

Dickens et al., 1995, Dissociation of oceanic methane hydrate as a cause of the carbon isotope excursion at the end of the Paleocene. Paleoceanography, 10, 965.

E.G. Nisbet, (2002)
Have sudden large releases of methane from geological reservoirs occurred since the Last Glacial Maximum, and could such releases occur again? Phil. Trans. R. Soc. Lond. A 360, 581-607.

Kennett et al. 2001, Carbon isotopic evidence for methane hydrate instability during Quaternary interstadials. Sciecne, 288, 128-132.

MacDonald, 1990, Role of Methane Clathrates in Past and Future Climates, Climatic Change, 16, 247-281

Millo et al. 2005, Methane driven late Pleistocene D13C minima and overflow reversals in the southwestern Greenland Sea. Geology, 33, 873-877.

December 3

Civilizations and climate change, how much is too much?

17Death in Norse Greenland, Science 275, 924

Hodell et al., 1995

Gill, 2000,

Mesopotamia, Weiss et al., 1993

Weiss and Bradley, 2001, What drives societal collapse, Science, 291, 609-610.

December 4

Sierra and the North Atlantic record, lets compare what we have learned to what we have seen in September in the field.

Begin with a well constrained study.

Brunnier and Brook, 2001, Timing of millennial scale climate change in Antarctica and Greenland during the last Glacial period, Science, 291, 109-112.

Benson et al., Science 1996 Climatic and hydrologic Oscillations in the Owens Lake Basin and Adjacent Sierra Nevada, California, v. 274, p. 746-749

Benson, L. V., Lund, S. P., Burdett, J. W., Kashgarian, M., Rose, T. P., Smoot, J. P., and Schwartz, M., 1998; Correlation of late-Pleistocene lake-level oscillations in Mono Lake, California, with North Atlantic climate events; Quaternary Research, v. 49, p. 1-10

Benson, L. V., Lund, S. P., Burdett, J. W., Kashgarian, M., Rose, T. P., Smoot, J. P., and Schwartz, M., 1998; Correlation of late-Pleistocene lake-level oscillations in Mono Lake, California, with North Atlantic climate events; Quaternary Research, v. 49, p. 1-10

Phillips, F.M., Zreda, M.G., Bensen, L.V., Plummer, M.A., Elmore, D., and Sharma, P., 1996; Chronology for fluctuations in late Pleistocene Sierra Nevada glaciers; Science, v. 274, p. 749-751

Phillips, F.M., Zreda, M.G., Smith, S.S., Elmore, D., Kubik, W., and Sharma, P., 1990; Cosmogenic chlorine-36 chronology for glacial deposits at Bloody Canyon, eastern Sierra Nevada; Science, v. 274, p. 1529-1532


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