Our main goal is to advance the understanding of paleoclimate over the Americas to the point where it can inform policy and decision-making about the risks of climate change from a paleoperspective and place future projections within a broad historical context.

 This PIRE CREATE Project brings together five research institutions from the US, Brazil and Argentina to investigate the characteristics and causes of climate extremes during the last one thousand years over North and South America by merging new tree ring chronologies and speleothem records.


Intellectual Merit:

The scientific objectives of the PIRE CREATE Project are:

1.     Document the sensitivity of the South American monsoon to external forcing;

2.     Create a new reconstruction of the El Nino - Southern Oscillation and the Interdecadal Pacific Oscillation;

3.     Identify past extreme events and analyze their causes and societal response;

4.     Merge tree-ring and speleothem records over tropical South America into a new blended product that serves as the basis for a spatiotemporal climate reconstruction over tropical South America;

5.     Reduce the uncertainty of future projections by constraining past model performance with observed variability from proxies.


Broader Impacts:

This PIRE will prepare a globally competent, interdisciplinary trained, scientific workforce via:

1) Immersion of undergraduate and graduate students in research activities including data collection in the field, analysis of lab observations and models, and dissemination of data.

2) Strengthening of cultural literacy / enrichment of students, postdocs and faculty through collaboration with PIRE colleagues, visiting early-career fellowships and international online courses.

3) Enhancement of the global competence of undergraduate and graduate students with a semester abroad at partner institutions facilitated through the PIRE Offices of International Education, mentorship via an international committee and graduate research.

4) Experiential learning opportunities for undergraduate students through international summer schools and hands-on training.

5) Broader participation in STEM by hosting six PIRE Academies aimed at undergraduate students across SUNY and its 125,000 minority and 225,000 female students.

6) Translation of PIRE research into visualization tools to enhance understanding of complex paleoclimate data, model projections and impacts of climate change in the Americas.

7) Transformation of scientific findings into actionable planning options by hosting two international forums where PIRE results are discussed with government agencies and policy makers from North and South America.

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This research will enlarge our understanding of the underlying causes of past climate perturbations, many of which were associated with large societal impacts (famine/disease/warfare). This groundbreaking research will include new climate reconstructions, detection of climate extremes droughts/wildfire/floods) and their societal responseMathias Vuille