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Scientific questions

We propose to develop a better understanding of ENSO forcing using paleoclimate archives from "home" regions such as the Indonesian archipelago and the central and eastern equatorial Pacific. In addition, the CRP will examine teleconnected far-field responses to ENSO forcing in the Indian Ocean and extratropical Pacific. By doing so, the group will address questions such as:

  • Have the frequency, intensity, and duration of ENSO warm and cool phases varied during historical timescales as well as through the last 20,000 years? Can these changes be linked to observed variability in the background or mean climate state?
  • What are the dominant expressions of ENSO in the Indo-Pacific region outside the ENSO heartland?
  • Over what timescales are the teleconnections stable?
  • Can we develop a process-based or empirical understanding of teleconnection stability that will permit greater predictability of changes in far-field ENSO impacts?
  • How can an improved understanding of the biology of corals and biomineralization contribute to a better calibration and greater utility of environmental tracers in this paleo-archive?
  • How can new knowledge regarding nuclear techniques/methodologies and recent advances in analytical capabilities be brought to bear on developing ENSO and related climate time series of relevance to the CRP?