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CRP El Niño member - Mr. Warren Beck

Mr. Warren Beck

University of Arizona
Tucson, USA


Scientific Background

I have worked with coral records of paleoclimate since 1990. Some of my earliest paleoclimate research was oriented towards establishment of a new paleothermometer proxy using coral Sr/Ca elemental ratios(1-2). This early work demonstrated that this proxy could be used to derive mean-monthly SST records with a sensitivity of circa 0.5 °C. This work also showed that this proxy could in principal be coupled with coral d18O to decouple the salinity and temperature components of this signal, and thereby also produce records sea surface salinity. Subsequently, I have applied these proxies to derivation of SST and Salinity records in the Pacific basin for both modern corals and corals recovered from paleo reefs to derive records of climate as far back as the Younger Dryas period (2-7).

Since 1994 I have been working to derive high resolution coral radiocarbon records from both the Pacific and Indian Ocean basins, as part of a program to understand the spatial patterns of uptake of the Bomb-Pulse radiocarbon spike by the oceans (6, 8, 9). Currently, I am working to project the Pacific coral radiocarbon records onto the WOCE and GEOSECS Pacific water measurements, in order to understand the evolution of these changes through time.

In the last 5 years I have also focused on generation of long records of climate variability based on speleothems, using U/Th derived chronologies (10). This work is wide ranging, including focus on stable isotopes, radiocarbon, and trace metals proxies of climate change.