“The Long-term History of the North American Monsoon in Leaf Wax Biomarkers and Model Simulations ”
By Dr. Tripti Bhattacharya
Postdoctoral Research Associate
Department of Geosciences at the University of Arizona
The North American Monsoon (NAM) is an integral feature of the southern Arizona landscape and hydrological regime. This circulation brings much-needed moisture during the peak of the summer and supports diverse Sonoran Desert ecosystems. Despite its importance to regional hydrology, the NAM’s sensitivity to past and future climate change is relatively unknown. In this talk, I will present new insights into the mechanisms that shape the NAM using climate models and paleoclimatic data stretching back to the Last Glacial Maximum (21,000 years before present). Data and models reveal that mid-latitude circulations modulate the strength of the NAM on glacial-interglacial timescales. These results have important implications for our understanding of NAM dynamics, its relationship with other monsoon systems, and its sensitivity to future climate change.