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  1. Abstract

    The upper and lower jaws of some wrasses (Eupercaria: Labridae) possess teeth that have been coalesced into a strong durable beak that they use to graze on hard coral skeletons, hard-shelled prey, and algae, allowing many of these species to function as important ecosystem engineers in their respective marine habitats. While the ecological impact of the beak is well understood, questions remain about its evolutionary history and the effects of this innovation on the downstream patterns of morphological evolution. Here we analyze 3D cranial shape data in a phylogenetic comparative framework and use paleoclimate modeling to reconstruct the evolution of the labrid beak across 205 species. We find that wrasses evolved beaks three times independently, once within odacines and twice within parrotfishes in the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans. We find an increase in the rate of shape evolution in the Scarus+Chlorurus+Hipposcarus (SCH) clade of parrotfishes likely driven by the evolution of the intramandibular joint. Paleoclimate modeling shows that the SCH clade of parrotfishes rapidly morphologically diversified during the middle Miocene. We hypothesize that possession of a beak in the SCH clade coupled with favorable environmental conditions allowed these species to rapidly morphologically diversify.

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  2. Abstract

    The Asian summer monsoon (ASM) is teleconnected to the El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO), but this relationship is nonstationary and has shifted significantly in recent decades. Characterizing the drivers of such shifts is crucial for improving ASM prediction and extreme event preparedness. Paleoclimate records indicate a link between ASM strength and solar activity on multidecadal‐to‐centennial timescales, but 20th‐century data are too short to test mechanisms. Here we evaluate how solar irradiance influences the ASM‐ENSO relationship using last‐millennium paleoclimate data assimilation reconstructions and model simulations. We find that high solar irradiance weakens the ENSO‐East Asian summer monsoon (EASM) correlation, but strengthens the ENSO‐South Asian summer monsoon (SASM) correlation. Solar irradiance likely influences the strength of the ENSO‐EASM and ENSO‐SASM teleconnections via changes in the Western Pacific Subtropical High and the amplitude of ENSO events, respectively. We suggest a need for considering solar activity in decadal ASM rainfall predictions under global warming scenarios.

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  3. Abstract

    The Mississippi River represents a major commercial waterway, and periods of anomalously low river levels disrupt riverine transport. These low-flow events occur periodically, with a recent event in the fall of 2022 slowing barge traffic and generating sharp increases in riverine transportation costs. Here we combine instrumental river gage observations from the lower Mississippi River with output from the Community Earth System Model v2 Large Ensemble (LENS2) to evaluate historical trends and future projections of Mississippi River low streamflow extremes, place the 2022 low-flow event in a broader temporal context, and assess the hydroclimatic mechanisms that mediate the occurrence of low-flows. We show that the severity and duration of low-flow events gradually decreased between 1950 and 1980 coincident with the establishment of artificial reservoirs. In the context of the last ∼70 years, the 2022 low-flow event was less severe in terms of stage or discharge minima than other low-flow events of the mid- and late-20th century. Model simulations from the LENS2 dataset show that, under a moderate-high emissions scenario (SSP3-7.0), the severity and duration of low-flow events is projected to decrease through to the end of the 21st century. Finally, we use the large sample size afforded by the LENS2 dataset to show that low-flow events on the Mississippi River are associated with cold tropical Pacific forcing (i.e. La Niña conditions), providing support for the hypothesis that the El Niño-Southern Oscillation plays a critical role in mediating Mississippi River discharge extremes. We anticipate that our findings describing the trends in and hydroclimatic mechanisms of Mississippi River low-flow occurrence will aid water resource managers to reduce the negative impacts of low water levels on riverine transport.

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  4. Abstract

    The hydrologic cycle is a fundamental component of the climate system with critical societal and ecological relevance. Yet gaps persist in our understanding of water fluxes and their response to increased greenhouse gas forcing. The stable isotope ratios of oxygen and hydrogen in water provide a unique opportunity to evaluate hydrological processes and investigate their role in the variability of the climate system and its sensitivity to change. Water isotopes also form the basis of many paleoclimate proxies in a variety of archives, including ice cores, lake and marine sediments, corals, and speleothems. These records hold most of the available information about past hydrologic variability prior to instrumental observations. Water isotopes thus provide a ‘common currency’ that links paleoclimate archives to modern observations, allowing us to evaluate hydrologic processes and their effects on climate variability on a wide range of time and length scales. Building on previous literature summarizing advancements in water isotopic measurements and modeling and describe water isotopic applications for understanding hydrological processes, this topical review reflects on new insights about climate variability from isotopic studies. We highlight new work and opportunities to enhance our understanding and predictive skill and offer a set of recommendations to advance observational and model-based tools for climate research. Finally, we highlight opportunities to better constrain climate sensitivity and identify anthropogenically-driven hydrologic changes within the inherently noisy background of natural climate variability.

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  5. Abstract

    Large uncertainties exist in climate model projections of the Asian summer monsoon (ASM). The El Niño‐Southern Oscillation (ENSO) is an important modulator of the ASM, but the ENSO‐ASM teleconnection is not stationary. Furthermore, teleconnections between ENSO and the East Asian versus South Asian subcomponents of the ASM exhibit distinct characteristics. Therefore, understanding the variability of the ENSO‐ASM teleconnection is critical for anticipating future variations in ASM intensity. To this end, we here use paleoclimate records to extend temporal coverage beyond the instrumental era by millennia. Recently, data assimilation techniques have been applied for the last millennium, which facilitates physically consistent, globally gridded climate reconstructions informed by paleoclimate observations. We use these novel data assimilation products to investigate variations in the ENSO‐ASM relationship over the last 1,000 years. We find that correlations between ENSO and ASM indices are mostly negative in the last millennium, suggesting that strong ASM years are often associated with La Niña events. During periods of weak correlations between ENSO and the East Asian summer monsoon, we observe an El Niño‐like sea surface temperature (SST) pattern in the Pacific. Additionally, SST patterns associated with periods of weak correlations between ENSO and South Asian summer monsoon rainfall are not consistent among data assimilation products. This underscores the importance of developing more precipitation‐sensitive paleoclimate proxies in the Indian subcontinental realm over the last millennium. Our study serves as a baseline for future appraisals of paleoclimate assimilation products and an example of informing our understanding of decadal‐scale ENSO‐ASM teleconnection variability using paleoclimate data sets.

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  6. Abstract

    Observations show that the teleconnection between the El Niño‐Southern Oscillation (ENSO) and the Asian summer monsoon (ASM) is non‐stationary. However, the underlying mechanisms are poorly understood due to inadequate availability of reliable, long‐term observations. This study uses two state‐of‐the‐art data assimilation‐based reconstructions of last millennium climate to examine changes in the ENSO–ASM teleconnection; we investigate how modes of (multi‐)decadal climate variability (namely, the Pacific Decadal Oscillation, PDO, and the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation, AMO) modulate the ENSO–ASM relationship. Our analyses reveal that the PDO exerts a more pronounced impact on ASM variability than the AMO. By comparing different linear regression models, we find that including the PDO in addition to ENSO cycles can improve prediction of the ASM, especially for the Indian summer monsoon. In particular, dry (wet) anomalies caused by El Niño (La Niña) over India become enhanced during the positive (negative) PDO phases due to a compounding effect. However, composite differences in the ENSO–ASM relationship between positive and negative phases of the PDO and AMO are not statistically significant. A significant influence of the PDO/AMO on the ENSO–ASM relationship occurred only over a limited period within the last millennium. By leveraging the long‐term paleoclimate reconstructions, we document and interrogate the non‐stationary nature of the PDO and AMO in modulating the ENSO–ASM relationship.

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  7. Free, publicly-accessible full text available November 1, 2024
  8. Climate models and coral data provide insight into the response of the El Niño–Southern Oscillation to external forcing. 
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