Scientific Colloquium
March 16, 2016, 3:30 p.m., Building 3 Auditorium

"What Can a Greenland Ice Core Tell us about Climate over the Last 4000 Years?"

An ice core taken from southern Greenland has been used to infer several interesting aspects of the climate system over the last four millennia. Data from the ice core is claimed to have annual resolution over its span. This allows us to extract a high resolution frequency spectrum of the proxy for temperature in the data. We address three issues: 1) Is the so-called Multi-decadal Atlantic evident in the long term data? 2) Is there any evidence of the eleven-year sunspot cycle? 3) How steady is the El Nino cycle over this period? The latter data are so strong that one can infer that the claim of annual resolution is correct at least for this kind of inference.

About the Speaker:

North received a PhD in theoretical physics from the University of Wisconsin in 1966. After a two-year postdoc at Penn, he taught at the University of Missouri-St. Louis (including a year-long sabbatical at NCAR) until 1978, when he came to GSFC where he was a research scientist in the Laboratory for Atmospheres until 1986. While at GSFC North was the co-proposer (with Tom Wilheit) and the first study scientist of the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission. North’s main role in the TRMM project was in the statistical studies that were necessary for establishing the feasibility of the mission. In 1986 North moved to Texas A&M as University Distinguished Professor of Atmospheric Sciences, where he continues until now. He served as Department Head from 1995-2003. He has published about 150 papers and is a Fellow of the American Meteorological Society, American Geophysical Union and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He received the Jule Charney Award for Research from the AMS in 2008. He continues to work on simple climate models (book forthcoming) and the statistics of climatological fields (book forthcoming).

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