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  1. The causes underlying Holocene glacier fluctuations remain elusive, despite decades of research efforts. Cosmogenic nuclide dating has allowed systematic study and thus improved knowledge of glacier-climate dynamics during this time frame, in part by filling in geographical gaps in both hemispheres. Here we present a new comprehensive Holocene moraine chronology from Mt. San Lorenzo (47°S) in central Patagonia, Southern Hemisphere. Twenty-four new 10 Be ages, together with three published ages, indicate that the Río Tranquilo glacier approached its Holocene maximum position sometime, or possibly on multiple occasions, between 9,860 ± 180 and 6,730 ± 130 years. This event(s) was followed by a sequence of slightly smaller advances at 5,750 ± 220, 4,290 ± 100 (?), 3,490 ± 140, 1,440 ± 60, between 670 ± 20 and 430 ± 20, and at 390 ± 10 years ago. The Tranquilo record documents centennial to millennial-scale glacier advances throughout the Holocene, and is consistent with recent glacier chronologies from central and southern Patagonia. This pattern correlates well with that of multiple moraine-building events with slightly decreasing net extent, as is observed at other sites in the Southern Hemisphere (i.e., Patagonia, New Zealand and Antarctic Peninsula) throughout the early, middle and late Holocene. This is in stark contrast to the typical Holocene mountain glacier pattern in the Northern Hemisphere, as documented in the European Alps, Scandinavia and Canada, where small glaciers in the early-to-mid Holocene gave way to more-extensive glacier advances during the late Holocene, culminating in the Little Ice Age expansion. We posit that this past asymmetry between the Southern and Northern hemisphere glacier patterns is due to natural forcing that has been recently overwhelmed by anthropogenic greenhouse gas driven warming, which is causing interhemispherically synchronized glacier retreat unprecedented during the Holocene. 
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  2. South American (SA) societies are highly vulnerable to droughts and pluvials, but lack of long-term climate observations severely limits our understanding of the global processes driving climatic variability in the region. The number and quality of SA climate-sensitive tree ring chronologies have significantly increased in recent decades, now providing a robust network of 286 records for characterizing hydroclimate variability since 1400 CE. We combine this network with a self-calibrated Palmer Drought Severity Index (scPDSI) dataset to derive the South American Drought Atlas (SADA) over the continent south of 12°S. The gridded annual reconstruction of austral summer scPDSI is the most spatially complete estimate of SA hydroclimate to date, and well matches past historical dry/wet events. Relating the SADA to the Australia–New Zealand Drought Atlas, sea surface temperatures and atmospheric pressure fields, we determine that the El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO) and the Southern Annular Mode (SAM) are strongly associated with spatially extended droughts and pluvials over the SADA domain during the past several centuries. SADA also exhibits more extended severe droughts and extreme pluvials since the mid-20th century. Extensive droughts are consistent with the observed 20th-century trend toward positive SAM anomalies concomitant with the weakening of midlatitude Westerlies, while low-level moisture transport intensified by global warming has favored extreme rainfall across the subtropics. The SADA thus provides a long-term context for observed hydroclimatic changes and for 21st-century Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) projections that suggest SA will experience more frequent/severe droughts and rainfall events as a consequence of increasing greenhouse gas emissions. 
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  3. Abstract Aim

    We examined whether and how tree radial‐growth responses to climate have changed for the world's southernmost conifer species throughout its latitudinal distribution following rapid climate change in the second half of the 20th century.

    Location

    Temperate forests in southern South America.

    Methods

    New and existing tree‐ring radial growth chronologies representing the entire latitudinal range ofPilgerodendron uviferumwere grouped according to latitude and then examined for differences in growth trends and non‐stationarity in growth responses to a drought severity index (scPDSI) over the 1900–1993ADperiod and also before and after significant shifts in climate in the 1950s and 1970s.

    Results

    The radial‐growth response ofP. uviferumclimate was highly variable across its full latitudinal distribution. There was a long‐term and positive association between radial growth and higher moisture at the northern and southern edges of the distribution of this species and the opposite relationship for the core of its distribution, especially following the climatic shifts of the 1950s and 1970s. In addition, non‐stationarity in moisture‐radial growth relationships was observed in all three latitudinal groups (southern and northern edges and core) for all seasons during the 20th century.

    Main conclusions

    Climate shifts in southern South America in the 1950s and 1970s resulted in different responses in the mean radial growth ofP. uviferumat the southern and northern edges and at the core of its range. Dendroclimatic analyses document that during the first half of the 20th century climate‐growth relationships were relatively similar between the southern and northern range edges but diverged after the 1950s. Our findings imply that simulated projections of climate impacts on tree growth, and by implication on forest ecosystem productivity, derived from models of past climate‐growth relationships need to carefully consider different and non‐stationarity responses along the wide latitudinal distribution of this species.

     
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