Publications by authors named "Navjit Sagoo"

5 Publications

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Past climates inform our future.

Science 2020 11;370(6517)

Department of Oceanography, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX, USA.

As the world warms, there is a profound need to improve projections of climate change. Although the latest Earth system models offer an unprecedented number of features, fundamental uncertainties continue to cloud our view of the future. Past climates provide the only opportunity to observe how the Earth system responds to high carbon dioxide, underlining a fundamental role for paleoclimatology in constraining future climate change. Here, we review the relevancy of paleoclimate information for climate prediction and discuss the prospects for emerging methodologies to further insights gained from past climates. Advances in proxy methods and interpretations pave the way for the use of past climates for model evaluation-a practice that we argue should be widely adopted.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1126/science.aay3701DOI Listing
November 2020

Climatic shifts drove major contractions in avian latitudinal distributions throughout the Cenozoic.

Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 2019 06 10;116(26):12895-12900. Epub 2019 Jun 10.

Department of Earth Sciences, University of Cambridge, CB2 3EQ Cambridge, United Kingdom

Many higher level avian clades are restricted to Earth's lower latitudes, leading to historical biogeographic reconstructions favoring a Gondwanan origin of crown birds and numerous deep subclades. However, several such "tropical-restricted" clades (TRCs) are represented by stem-lineage fossils well outside the ranges of their closest living relatives, often on northern continents. To assess the drivers of these geographic disjunctions, we combined ecological niche modeling, paleoclimate models, and the early Cenozoic fossil record to examine the influence of climatic change on avian geographic distributions over the last ∼56 million years. By modeling the distribution of suitable habitable area through time, we illustrate that most Paleogene fossil-bearing localities would have been suitable for occupancy by extant TRC representatives when their stem-lineage fossils were deposited. Potentially suitable habitat for these TRCs is inferred to have become progressively restricted toward the tropics throughout the Cenozoic, culminating in relatively narrow circumtropical distributions in the present day. Our results are consistent with coarse-scale niche conservatism at the clade level and support a scenario whereby climate change over geological timescales has largely dictated the geographic distributions of many major avian clades. The distinctive modern bias toward high avian diversity at tropical latitudes for most hierarchical taxonomic levels may therefore represent a relatively recent phenomenon, overprinting a complex biogeographic history of dramatic geographic range shifts driven by Earth's changing climate, variable persistence, and intercontinental dispersal. Earth's current climatic trajectory portends a return to a megathermal state, which may dramatically influence the geographic distributions of many range-restricted extant clades.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1903866116DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6601418PMC
June 2019

Eocene greenhouse climate revealed by coupled clumped isotope-Mg/Ca thermometry.

Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 2018 02 22;115(6):1174-1179. Epub 2018 Jan 22.

Department of Geology & Geophysics, Yale University, New Haven, CT 06511.

Past greenhouse periods with elevated atmospheric CO were characterized by globally warmer sea-surface temperatures (SST). However, the extent to which the high latitudes warmed to a greater degree than the tropics (polar amplification) remains poorly constrained, in particular because there are only a few temperature reconstructions from the tropics. Consequently, the relationship between increased CO, the degree of tropical warming, and the resulting latitudinal SST gradient is not well known. Here, we present coupled clumped isotope (Δ)-Mg/Ca measurements of foraminifera from a set of globally distributed sites in the tropics and midlatitudes. Δ is insensitive to seawater chemistry and therefore provides a robust constraint on tropical SST. Crucially, coupling these data with Mg/Ca measurements allows the precise reconstruction of Mg/Ca throughout the Eocene, enabling the reinterpretation of all planktonic foraminifera Mg/Ca data. The combined dataset constrains the range in Eocene tropical SST to 30-36 °C (from sites in all basins). We compare these accurate tropical SST to deep-ocean temperatures, serving as a minimum constraint on high-latitude SST. This results in a robust conservative reconstruction of the early Eocene latitudinal gradient, which was reduced by at least 32 ± 10% compared with present day, demonstrating greater polar amplification than captured by most climate models.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1714744115DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5819407PMC
February 2018

The Early Eocene equable climate problem: can perturbations of climate model parameters identify possible solutions?

Philos Trans A Math Phys Eng Sci 2013 Oct 16;371(2001):20130123. Epub 2013 Sep 16.

School of Geographical Sciences, University of Bristol, , University Road, Bristol BS8 1SS, UK.

Geological data for the Early Eocene (56-47.8 Ma) indicate extensive global warming, with very warm temperatures at both poles. However, despite numerous attempts to simulate this warmth, there are remarkable data-model differences in the prediction of these polar surface temperatures, resulting in the so-called 'equable climate problem'. In this paper, for the first time an ensemble with a perturbed climate-sensitive model parameters approach has been applied to modelling the Early Eocene climate. We performed more than 100 simulations with perturbed physics parameters, and identified two simulations that have an optimal fit with the proxy data. We have simulated the warmth of the Early Eocene at 560 ppmv CO2, which is a much lower CO2 level than many other models. We investigate the changes in atmospheric circulation, cloud properties and ocean circulation that are common to these simulations and how they differ from the remaining simulations in order to understand what mechanisms contribute to the polar warming. The parameter set from one of the optimal Early Eocene simulations also produces a favourable fit for the last glacial maximum boundary climate and outperforms the control parameter set for the present day. Although this does not 'prove' that this model is correct, it is very encouraging that there is a parameter set that creates a climate model able to simulate well very different palaeoclimates and the present-day climate. Interestingly, to achieve the great warmth of the Early Eocene this version of the model does not have a strong future climate change Charney climate sensitivity. It produces a Charney climate sensitivity of 2.7(°)C, whereas the mean value of the 18 models in the IPCC Fourth Assessment Report (AR4) is 3.26(°)C±0.69(°)C. Thus, this value is within the range and below the mean of the models included in the AR4.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rsta.2013.0123DOI Listing
October 2013

Predominance of heavily calcified coccolithophores at low CaCO3 saturation during winter in the Bay of Biscay.

Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 2012 Jun 21;109(23):8845-9. Epub 2012 May 21.

Ocean and Earth Science, University of Southampton, National Oceanography Centre Southampton, Southampton SO14 3ZH, United Kingdom.

Coccolithophores are an important component of the Earth system, and, as calcifiers, their possible susceptibility to ocean acidification is of major concern. Laboratory studies at enhanced pCO(2) levels have produced divergent results without overall consensus. However, it has been predicted from these studies that, although calcification may not be depressed in all species, acidification will produce "a transition in dominance from more to less heavily calcified coccolithophores" [Ridgwell A, et al., (2009) Biogeosciences 6:2611-2623]. A recent observational study [Beaufort L, et al., (2011) Nature 476:80-83] also suggested that coccolithophores are less calcified in more acidic conditions. We present the results of a large observational study of coccolithophore morphology in the Bay of Biscay. Samples were collected once a month for over a year, along a 1,000-km-long transect. Our data clearly show that there is a pronounced seasonality in the morphotypes of Emiliania huxleyi, the most abundant coccolithophore species. Whereas pH and CaCO(3) saturation are lowest in winter, the E. huxleyi population shifts from <10% (summer) to >90% (winter) of the heavily calcified form. However, it is unlikely that the shifts in carbonate chemistry alone caused the morphotype shift. Our finding that the most heavily calcified morphotype dominates when conditions are most acidic is contrary to the earlier predictions and raises further questions about the fate of coccolithophores in a high-CO(2) world.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1117508109DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3384182PMC
June 2012