Publications by authors named "Gregory T Pederson"

7 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Climate drivers of large magnitude snow avalanche years in the U.S. northern Rocky Mountains.

Sci Rep 2021 05 11;11(1):10032. Epub 2021 May 11.

U.S. Geological Survey Northern Rocky Mountain Science Center, 215 Mather Dr., West Glacier, MT, 59936, USA.

Large magnitude snow avalanches pose a hazard to humans and infrastructure worldwide. Analyzing the spatiotemporal behavior of avalanches and the contributory climate factors is important for understanding historical variability in climate-avalanche relationships as well as improving avalanche forecasting. We used established dendrochronological methods to develop a long-term (1867-2019) regional avalanche chronology for the Rocky Mountains of northwest Montana using tree-rings from 647 trees exhibiting 2134 avalanche-related growth disturbances. We then used principal component analysis and a generalized linear autoregressive moving average model to examine avalanche-climate relationships. Historically, large magnitude regional avalanche years were characterized by stormy winters with positive snowpack anomalies, with avalanche years over recent decades increasingly influenced by warmer temperatures and a shallow snowpack. The amount of snowpack across the region, represented by the first principal component, is shown to be directly related to avalanche probability. Coincident with warming and regional snowpack reductions, a decline ofโ€‰~โ€‰14% (~โ€‰2% per decade) in overall large magnitude avalanche probability is apparent through the period 1950-2017. As continued climate warming drives further regional snowpack reductions in the study region our results suggest a decreased probability of regional large magnitude avalanche frequency associated with winters characterized by large snowpacks and a potential increase in large magnitude events driven by warming temperatures and spring precipitation.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41598-021-89547-zDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8113570PMC
May 2021

Increased drought severity tracks warming in the United States' largest river basin.

Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 2020 05 11;117(21):11328-11336. Epub 2020 May 11.

Lone Pine Research, Bozeman, MT 59715.

Across the Upper Missouri River Basin, the recent drought of 2000 to 2010, known as the "turn-of-the-century drought," was likely more severe than any in the instrumental record including the Dust Bowl drought. However, until now, adequate proxy records needed to better understand this event with regard to long-term variability have been lacking. Here we examine 1,200 y of streamflow from a network of 17 new tree-ring-based reconstructions for gages across the upper Missouri basin and an independent reconstruction of warm-season regional temperature in order to place the recent drought in a long-term climate context. We find that temperature has increasingly influenced the severity of drought events by decreasing runoff efficiency in the basin since the late 20th century (1980s) onward. The occurrence of extreme heat, higher evapotranspiration, and associated low-flow conditions across the basin has increased substantially over the 20th and 21st centuries, and recent warming aligns with increasing drought severities that rival or exceed any estimated over the last 12 centuries. Future warming is anticipated to cause increasingly severe droughts by enhancing water deficits that could prove challenging for water management.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1916208117DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7260967PMC
May 2020

Reassessment of the Upper Fremont Glacier Ice-Core Chronologies by Synchronizing of Ice-Core-Water Isotopes to a Nearby Tree-Ring Chronology.

Environ Sci Technol 2017 04 4;51(8):4230-4238. Epub 2017 Apr 4.

Department of Earth System Science, University of California , Irvine, California 92697, United States.

The Upper Fremont Glacier (UFG), Wyoming, is one of the few continental glaciers in the contiguous United States known to preserve environmental and climate records spanning recent centuries. A pair of ice cores taken from UFG have been studied extensively to document changes in climate and industrial pollution (most notably, mid-19th century increases in mercury pollution). Fundamental to these studies is the chronology used to map ice-core depth to age. Here, we present a revised chronology for the UFG ice cores based on new measurements and using a novel dating approach of synchronizing continuous water isotope measurements to a nearby tree-ring chronology. While consistent with the few unambiguous age controls underpinning the previous UFG chronologies, the new interpretation suggests a very different time scale for the UFG cores with changes of up to 80 years. Mercury increases previously associated with the mid-19th century Gold Rush now coincide with early-20th century industrial emissions, aligning the UFG record with other North American mercury records from ice and lake sediment cores. Additionally, new UFG records of industrial pollutants parallel changes documented in ice cores from southern Greenland, further validating the new UFG chronologies while documenting the extent of late 19th and early 20th century pollution in remote North America.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acs.est.6b06574DOI Listing
April 2017

The Shifting Climate Portfolio of the Greater Yellowstone Area.

PLoS One 2015 16;10(12):e0145060. Epub 2015 Dec 16.

National Park Service, Intermountain Region Landscape Conservation and Climate Change Division, 2327 University Way, Suite 2, Bozeman, MT, 59715, United States of America.

Knowledge of climatic variability at small spatial extents (< 50 km) is needed to assess vulnerabilities of biological reserves to climate change. We used empirical and modeled weather station data to test if climate change has increased the synchrony of surface air temperatures among 50 sites within the Greater Yellowstone Area (GYA) of the interior western United States. This important biological reserve is the largest protected area in the Lower 48 states and provides critical habitat for some of the world's most iconic wildlife. We focused our analyses on temporal shifts and shape changes in the annual distributions of seasonal minimum and maximum air temperatures among valley-bottom and higher elevation sites from 1948-2012. We documented consistent patterns of warming since 1948 at all 50 sites, with the most pronounced changes occurring during the Winter and Summer when minimum and maximum temperature distributions increased. These shifts indicate more hot temperatures and less cold temperatures would be expected across the GYA. Though the shifting statistical distributions indicate warming, little change in the shape of the temperature distributions across sites since 1948 suggest the GYA has maintained a diverse portfolio of temperatures within a year. Spatial heterogeneity in temperatures is likely maintained by the GYA's physiographic complexity and its large size, which encompasses multiple climate zones that respond differently to synoptic drivers. Having a diverse portfolio of temperatures may help biological reserves spread the extinction risk posed by climate change.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0145060PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4681470PMC
June 2016

Climate-induced changes in lake ecosystem structure inferred from coupled neo- and paleoecological approaches.

Ecology 2012 Oct;93(10):2155-64

Climate Change Institute, University of Maine, Orono, Maine 04469, USA.

Over the 20th century, surface water temperatures have increased in many lake ecosystems around the world, but long-term trends in the vertical thermal structure of lakes remain unclear, despite the strong control that thermal stratification exerts on the biological response of lakes to climate change. Here we used both neo- and paleoecological approaches to develop a fossil-based inference model for lake mixing depths and thereby refine understanding of lake thermal structure change. We focused on three common planktonic diatom taxa, the distributions of which previous research suggests might be affected by mixing depth. Comparative lake surveys and growth rate experiments revealed that these species respond to lake thermal structure when nitrogen is sufficient, with species optima ranging from shallower to deeper mixing depths. The diatom-based mixing depth model was applied to sedimentary diatom profiles extending back to 1750 AD in two lakes with moderate nitrate concentrations but differing climate settings. Thermal reconstructions were consistent with expected changes, with shallower mixing depths inferred for an alpine lake where treeline has advanced, and deeper mixing depths inferred for a boreal lake where wind strength has increased. The inference model developed here provides a new tool to expand and refine understanding of climate-induced changes in lake ecosystems.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1890/11-2218.1DOI Listing
October 2012

The unusual nature of recent snowpack declines in the North American cordillera.

Science 2011 Jul 9;333(6040):332-5. Epub 2011 Jun 9.

U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), Northern Rocky Mountain Science Center, 2327 University Way, Suite 2, Bozeman, MT 59715, USA.

In western North America, snowpack has declined in recent decades, and further losses are projected through the 21st century. Here, we evaluate the uniqueness of recent declines using snowpack reconstructions from 66 tree-ring chronologies in key runoff-generating areas of the Colorado, Columbia, and Missouri River drainages. Over the past millennium, late 20th century snowpack reductions are almost unprecedented in magnitude across the northern Rocky Mountains and in their north-south synchrony across the cordillera. Both the snowpack declines and their synchrony result from unparalleled springtime warming that is due to positive reinforcement of the anthropogenic warming by decadal variability. The increasing role of warming on large-scale snowpack variability and trends foreshadows fundamental impacts on streamflow and water supplies across the western United States.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1126/science.1201570DOI Listing
July 2011

Predicting patterns of mating and potential hybridization from pollinator behavior.

Am Nat 2002 May;159(5):438-50

Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of California, Irvine, California 92697, USA.

Hybridization in flowering plants is determined in part by the rate at which animal pollinators move between species and by the effectiveness of such movements in transferring pollen. Pollinator behavior can also influence hybrid fitness by determining receipt and export of pollen. We incorporated information on pollinator effectiveness and visitation behavior into a simulation model that predicts pollen transfer between Ipomopsis aggregata, Ipomopsis tenuituba, and hybrids. These predictions were compared with estimates of pollen transfer derived from movement of fluorescent dyes in experimental plant arrays. Interspecific pollen transfer was relatively uncommon in these arrays, whereas transfer between hybrids and the parental species was at least as common as conspecific transfer. Backcrossing was asymmetrical; I. aggregata flowers frequently received mixed loads of hybrid and conspecific pollen. The simulation suggests that these patterns of pollen transfer are largely explained by the visitation sequences of hummingbird and insect pollinators, with little contribution from mechanical isolation. Pollen receipt by hybrids exceeded that of both parental species in a year when pollinators preferred to visit F(1) and F(2) hybrids and was intermediate in another year when they preferred to visit I. aggregata. This suggests that natural variation in pollination may produce spatiotemporal variation in hybridization and hybrid fitness.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/339457DOI Listing
May 2002
-->