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Research Spending & Results

Award Detail

Awardee:GEORGIA TECH RESEARCH CORPORATION
Doing Business As Name:Georgia Tech Research Corporation
PD/PI:
  • Kim M Cobb
  • (404) 894-3895
  • kcobb@eas.gatech.edu
Award Date:02/29/2008
Estimated Total Award Amount: $ 173,713
Funds Obligated to Date: $ 173,713
  • FY 2008=$173,713
Start Date:03/01/2008
End Date:02/28/2013
Transaction Type:Grant
Agency:NSF
Awarding Agency Code:4900
Funding Agency Code:4900
CFDA Number:47.050
Primary Program Source:040100 NSF RESEARCH & RELATED ACTIVIT
Award Title or Description:Collaborative Research: Fossil Coral Records of ENSO and Tropical Pacific Climate Through the Late Holocene
Federal Award ID Number:0752091
DUNS ID:097394084
Parent DUNS ID:097394084
Program:Marine Geology and Geophysics

Awardee Location

Street:Office of Sponsored Programs
City:Atlanta
State:GA
ZIP:30332-0420
County:Atlanta
Country:US
Awardee Cong. District:05

Primary Place of Performance

Organization Name:Georgia Tech Research Corporation
Street:Office of Sponsored Programs
City:Atlanta
State:GA
ZIP:30332-0420
County:Atlanta
Country:US
Cong. District:05

Abstract at Time of Award

One of the most pressing questions in the projection of future climate change is the issue of whether the variability of climate depends on the average state of the climate system. A large part of this question involves the behavior of the El Nino/Southern Oscillation phenomenon: for example, do El Nino events become stronger and more frequent as the climate warms? This project will address this question by developing a record of ENSO and tropical Pacific climate that spans the last 6,000 years - a period characterized by known changes in the seasonality of solar radiation. These reconstructions will test whether the ENSO system was forced by these solar radiation changes and if so, how and when changes occurred. To reconstruct ENSO behavior, the skeletal composition of ~12 fossil corals that were collected on the beaches of several of the Line Islands in the central tropical Pacific (Palmyra, Fanning and Christmas Islands) will be dated using U/Th techniques and analyzed with monthly resolution for their stable isotope and elemental composition. Previous research has shown that the skeletal chemistry of modern corals in this region captures a monthly-resolved record of ENSO with a fidelity that is on par with instrumental observations. Preliminary data suggest that the fossil coral geochemistry has not been altered, it is comparable to modern corals, and the ages of the fossil coral samples are characterized by a continuum of ages less than 6,000 years old. The broader impacts of this research will be invaluable to climate modelers seeking to improve the understanding and prediction of climate variability and the project will support graduate and undergraduate student training. This study also has socio-political impact that is related to the broader issues of climate change and global warming.

Publications Produced as a Result of this Research

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Cobb, K.M., N. Westphal, H. Sayani*, E. Di Lorenzo, C.D. Charles, H. Cheng, R.L. Edwards "Highly variable El Niño-Southern Oscillation throughout the Holocene" Science, v.xx, 2013, p.xx-xx. doi:10.1126/science.1228246 

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