A cave record of 13,000 winters

A new record extracted from a stalagmite in Oregon reveals significant natural winter climate variability in western North America over the past 13,000 years. The team, lead by Dr. Vasile Ersek (Department of Earth Sciences and Oxford Climate Research Network coordinator) published the results in the latest issue of Nature Communications, and showed that in recent prehistory the region has seen rapid shifts between dry and warm and wet and cold periods. The findings hint at the importance of processes similar to the Pacific Decadal Oscillation in controlling the regional climate, but also highlight the influence of the tropical Pacific on the western North American climate.

This research was featured in the Oxford Science Blog, MSNBC, and Fox News.