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Program Activities (2003 and later)

This is a partial list of activities, mostly with external partners, designed to produce improved and expanded data sets needed to meet specific science objectives

Title: Paleoclimate Network v1.0
Relates to these initiatives: IPCC, CCSP, PAGES, NOAA mission to provide data for decision-making
External partners: Caspar Ammann (NCAR)
Paleo participants: E. Wahl, B. Bauer, M. Hartman, E. Gille, A. Shah, W. Gross, D. Anderson
Begin date: 2008
End date: Ongoing
Description: The activity builds a systematic data structure for paleoclimate reconstructions. This structure is designed to allow machine-reading access to last 2000-year reconstructions, in both ASCII and netCDF file structures, with consistent meta data content across all records. Version 1.0 includes reconstructions of time series for global, hemispheric, and regional surface temperature. Version 1.1 will include spatially-explicit reconstructions of surface temperature. Later versions will include precipitation, drought, and pressure fields, and will dovetail with the development of analytical tools for examination of paleoclimate data, with an emphasis on characterizing and reducing uncertainty.

Title: Paleoclimate Reconstruction Challenge
Relates to these initiatives: NOAA/OAR/CPO, PAGES-CLIVAR
External partners: Caspar Ammann (NCAR), Nick Graham (Scripps, HRC), Roseanne D'Arrigo (LDEO), Thorsten Kiefer (PAGES)
Paleo participants: E. Wahl, D. Anderson, W. Gross, E.Gille
Begin date: 2008
End date: 2011
Description: The activity addresses concerns in climate reconstruction over the past 2000 years regarding selection of specific proxy networks, the potential inability of included proxies to resolve information at all time scales, and the capability of the reconstruction algorithms themselves. Individual reconstruction groups will be provided a small set of realistic pseudo-proxy series and calibration "instrumental data" drawn from coupled AOGCM output, and will be asked to reconstruct the simulated climate evolution. By comparing these reconstructions with the full, "true" model climates, each group can assess their performance in great detail. A key objective of this project will be to document how much of the true climate can be described with the combined set of reconstruction results, to determine which aspects of the overall or regional climate are captured well, and whether important elements are being missed. The "Challenge" will improve the exchange among the paleoclimate reconstruction groups and provide a platform for enhanced interaction with the associated disciplines in Climate Modeling and Statistics, with particular focus on developing more formal assessment and quantification of uncertainty and regional climate understanding. The results of the Challenge will support and steer the community to develop strategies for improving the reconstruction methods so that past climate variations can be better understood. NOAA-Paleoclimate is playing a key role in terms of data access and conceptual input, and will also participate in the climate reconstructions themselves.

Title: SynTrace Data Archive
Relates to these initiatives: SynTrace Project funded by DOE and NSF
External partners: J. Lynch-Stieglitz, Z. Liu
Paleo participants: C. Morrill
Begin date: 2008
End date: Ongoing
Description: SynTrace (Synthesizing the Transient Evolution of the Climate System) is a project to model and reconstruct climate during the last deglaciation. We will request, organize, and quality-control a group of paleo data sets that will be used by SynTrace participants and others to summarize climate evolution since the last glacial period and to compare with model output.

Title: Database of Arctic climate variability for the past 2,000 years
Relates to these initiatives: CCSP Research activities
External partners: K. Hughen, M. Duvall, P. Huybers
Paleo participants: W. Gross, B.Bauer, J. Keltner
Begin date: 2003
End date: Ongoing
Description: This is an NSF-funded project to synthesize existing paleoclimate records of Arctic climate variability for the past 2,000 years, and analyze the data to understand processes and trends. The project will produce 140 new time series of annually to decadally-resolved climate and environmental variability.

Title: Archive of data cited in IPCC Paleoclimatology chapter
Relates to these initiatives: IPCC
External partners: J. Overpeck, E. Jansen
Paleo participants: C. Woodhouse, D. Anderson
Begin date: 2005
End date: 2008
Description: This project provided an electronic archive of the data cited in the Paleoclimate chapter of the 2007 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Assessment Report.

Title: Development of a Blended Living Gridded Network of Drought Reconstructions of North America
Relates to these initiatives: National Integrated Drought Information System (NIDIS)
External partners: E. Cook, R. R. Heim, R. S. Vose
Paleo participants: M. Eakin, C. Woodhouse, D. Anderson
Begin date: 2004
End date: Ongoing
Description: Develop high-resolution (0.5°) blended living North American drought reconstruction grids of Palmer Drought Severity Indices (PDSI) and Standardized Precipitation Indices (SPI) that can be continuously updated as new instrumental data become available and therefore used for operational drought assessment.

Title: Tree Ring Quality Control Project
Relates to these initiatives: NOAA Applied Research Center
External partners: J. Lucas, Henry Adams (University of Colorado)
Paleo participants: C. Woodhouse, B. Bauer, M. Hartman
Begin date: April 2004
End date: August 2005
Description: This project completed the quality control assessment on all tree-ring measurements files in the International Tree-Ring Data Bank. Quality control reports are all available online, along with interpretative information for the reports. In addition, standards for assessing the quality of contributed tree-ring data have been set to provide guidance to database managers.

Title: Improved Access to fire history data
Relates to these initiatives: CCSP, NOAA Applied Research Center
External partners: Elaine Sutherland (USDA) and Henri Grissino-Mayer (UTK), Peter Brown (RMTRR), Greg Goldberg (FRAMES)
Paleo participants: C. Woodhouse, M. Hartman, W. Gross
Begin date: 2005
End date: Ongoing
Description:The activity builds on previous work that generated a paleofire database (International Multiproxy Paleofire Database, IMPD). The IMPD is currently a research database, and the goal of this project will be to provide user-friendly, web-based tools for the analysis and display of fire scar data, that will enable non-specialists to examine and analyze the IMPD fire scar data.

Title: Archive of abrupt climate change data
Relates to these initiatives: CCSP Synthesis and Assessment Report
External partners: T. Cronin (USGS)
Paleo participants: D. Anderson, C. Morrill
Begin date: 2005
End date: Ongoing
Description: This project will expand the archive of paleoclimate data, providing data to be cited in the upcoming CCSP Synthesis and Assessment report on abrupt climate change.

Title: Reconstructions of Streamflow from Tree Rings
Relates to these initiatives: CCSP, NOAA Applied Research Center
External partners: J. Lukas (CU), Robert S. Webb (NOAA-CDC), David Meko (UAZ), Stephen Gray (USGS), NOAA Western Water Assessment RISA, Denver Water, Northern Colorado Water Conservation District, Colorado Office of the State Engineer, US Bureau of Reclamation
Paleo participants: C. Woodhouse
Begin date: 2002
End date: 2008
Description: This project encompassed a set of efforts to reconstruction records of past hydrology for streamflow gages of interest to water resource managers at the local, state and Federal level. The TreeFlow web site currently contains reconstructions, gage, and meta data for 22 gages on the S. Platte, Arkansas, Rio Grande, and Colorado Rivers. Data for 10 additional gages in the Green, Colorado, Gunnison, and San Juan River basins will soon be added. The web site includes a tutorial for the methods used to reconstruct streamflow from tree-ring data.
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