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AGU Fall Meeting 2021

New Orleans, United States
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The 2021 AGU Fall Meeting will be held in New Orleans, Louisiana, USA, from 13-17 December 2021.


Fall Meeting is the largest gathering of Earth and space scientists in the world. The Fall Meeting 2021 aims to bring a diverse and relevant set of topics to help move Earth and space science forward.

The theme is "Science is Society".


For the full schedule, please visit the website

Further information

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PAGES sessions

i. CoralHydro2k

CoralHydro2k, a project of the PAGES 2k Network,  will have two poster sessions.

a. Session PP55C-0684 - The CoralHydro2k Database: a global compilation of coral δ18O and Sr/Ca records for reconstructing tropical hydroclimate over the Common Era: 

Shallow-water corals provide annual to subannual -resolution climate reconstructions from normally data-scarce locations in the tropical to subtropical oceans, enabling us to extend the modern-day observational records back to the preindustrial era, contextualize anthropogenic climate change, and improve the skill of future climate projections. The majority of these coral-based reconstructions utilize oxygen isotope ratios (δ18O), a proxy that tracks the combined change in sea surface temperature (SST) and the oxygen isotopic composition of seawater (δ18Osw) and/or strontium-to-calcium ratios (Sr/Ca), which primarily track SST variability. Paired coral δ18O and Sr/Ca records can be combined to isolate δ18Osw variability, which like salinity reflects changes in the local hydrologic budget. Recently, the PAGES Ocean2k project used published coral records to reconstruct regional SST variability across the tropical oceans (Tierney et al., 2015, Abram et al., 2016). Building on this work, the PAGES CoralHydro2k team has compiled a more comprehensive, machine-readable, and metadata-rich network of paired coral δ18O and Sr/Ca records to help facilitate tropical hydroclimate reconstructions across recent centuries. The CoralHydro2k database currently contains 227 coral proxy records from 120 unique locations that are organized into seven tiers based on the availability of paired proxy data, temporal coverage, and record resolution. The metadata for the new database follows PACTs 1.0 recommendations (Khider et al., 2019), and the database is built using LiPD (McKay and Emile-Geay, 2016) with available R, MATLAB, and Python serializations. Here we describe the structure and spatiotemporal characteristics of this new database and outline a crowdsourced data-submission process to ensure active-curation of records and future updates to the database.
Tierney et al. (2015), Paleoceanography,
Abram et al. (2016), Nature,
Khider et al. (2019), Paleoceanography and Paleoclimatology,
McKay & Emile-Geay (2016), Climate of the Past,

b. PP15B-0915 - The CoralHydro2k Seawater δ18O Database: A Crowdsourced, FAIR-aligned Database of ‘Hidden’ Seawater Isotope Data:

Seawater oxygen isotope ratios (δ18Osw) provide powerful constraints on ocean circulation and ocean-atmosphere exchange processes. Observational δ18Osw data provide important information on the modern ocean and global water cycle and are an increasingly critical diagnostic tool for isotope-enabled climate models. They are also essential for the accurate calibration of δ18O-based hydrological reconstructions from paleo-oceanographic archives. A growing number of new δ18Osw datasets have been published during the last two decades, however, the lack of a centralized, actively-curated public data repository targeted to this data has limited their discovery and inclusion in new studies. Over the past year, the PAGES CoralHydro2k project has collected a number of these ‘hidden’ δ18Osw datasets to aid in our investigation of tropical hydroclimate variability and change using paired coral δ18O and Sr/Ca records. In recognition of the value of δ18Osw data to the broader ocean and climate science communities, we have collated these records into a new, machine-readable, and metadata-rich database consistent with FAIR data standards. Here, we present a summary of our crowdsourcing efforts and a description of the database to date. We welcome direct data submissions and/or recommendations for inclusion of published datasets via our online survey:

ii. C-PEAT
Session 138233: B51C - Carbon Cycling in Global Peatlands: 
Conveners: Alison Hoyt, Julie Loisel, Massimo Lupascu and Angela V Gallego-Sala

Peatland ecosystems play a fundamental role in the global carbon cycle and have the potential to sequester carbon over millennia. However, climate change, fire, drainage and deforestation are threatening their functioning as carbon sinks and altering the fluxes of carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4) and dissolved organic carbon from these ecosystems.

In this session, we invite the global peatland community to present their research on the carbon cycle in intact and degraded peatlands across latitudes. Studies from a wide range of global peatlands, including temperate, tropical and boreal peatlands are welcome. We encourage studies including but not limited to laboratory and field experiments, flux measurements, remote sensing, microbial ecology, paleoecological studies and process-based or large-scale modeling. Efforts to understand current dynamics as well as studies exploring the past, present and future peatland responses to climate and land use change are welcome.

iii. CVAS
Session 130744: NG51A - Climate Variability Across Scales and Climate States:

Conveners: Raphaël Hébert, Heather Andres, Mathieu Casado and Shaun Lovejoy

We welcome contributions that improve quantification, understanding, and prediction of climate variability in the past, present and future Earth system across space and timescales through case studies, idealized or realistic modeling, synthesis, and model-data comparison studies.

This session aims to provide a forum on:

 - Characterization of climate dynamics using a variety of techniques (scaling and multifractal techniques and models, recurrence plots, variance analyses).
- Relationship between mean state changes, and higher-order moments of relevant climate variables, including extreme-event occurrence and predictability.
- Role of the ocean, atmosphere, cryosphere and land-surface processes in fostering long-term climate variability through linear – or nonlinear – feedbacks and mechanisms.
- Attribution of climate variability to internal and/or forced dynamics, including natural and anthropogenic forcing changes.
- Synchronization and pacing of glacial cycles through dynamical interaction of external forcing and internal variability.
- Characterization of the probabilities of extremes, including linkage between slow climate variability and extreme event recurrence.

Session 130821: PP51A
- Past Climate, Ice Sheet and Sea-Level Changes: How Much, How Fast?:
Conveners: Juliet Sefton, Anna Ruth W Halberstadt, Roger Creel and Alessio Rovere

Our current understanding of the response of ice sheets and sea level to climate forcing is incomplete. Future mass loss from the Antarctic Ice Sheet would have profound impacts on global coastlines, but large uncertainties remain regarding possible rates and mechanisms of rapid sea-level change. Projections of future land ice contribution to global sea level are directly informed by estimates of paleo-sea level and ice sheet retreat.

In this session, we invite contributions that present studies of past ice sheet and sea-level evolution, especially those that focus on episodes of rapid change. Of interest are studies that use geological proxies and/or modeling approaches to examine sea-level rise or sea-level fall. This session falls under the purview of PALSEA, a working group of the International Union for Quaternary Sciences (INQUA) and Past Global Changes (PAGES).

v. Integrative Activity - Thresholds and tipping points
Session 118397: PP35E
Tipping Points in the Earth System: different perspectives of all the relevant disciplines:
Conveners: Denis-Didier Rousseau, Niklas Boers, Helle Astrid Kjaer and Peter Ditelvsen

Several subsystems of the Earth may respond highly nonlinearly at critical levels of anthropogenic forcing. It is paramount to identify safe operating spaces for humanity and the planet in terms of critical forcing levels, in order to prevent harmful transitions to alternative, undesirable states of the Earth system. Mechanisms leading to such abrupt transitions are poorly understood, and further research is urgently needed.

Our session welcomes studies about subsystems that may exhibit abrupt transitions, and couplings between them, by focussing on paleoclimatic records and abrupt transitions therein. Particular interest is placed on empirical  or modeling basis to study abrupt climatic transitions that have occurred in past warm and cold climates, assessing interactions between different Tipping Elements and the ecological and societal impacts of past abrupt transitions, extending existing concepts of statistical Early Warning Signals in paleoclimatic proxy records, and testing whether models adequately represent the observed past tipping events.

This session is sponsored by the PAGES Integrative Activity "Thresholds, tipping points and multiple equilibria in the Earth System".

PAGES SSC Member sessions

Session 122723: GC55G - Mid-latitude air-sea interaction and inter-basin teleconnections under changing climate:
Conveners: Aixue Hu, Shoshiro Minobe and Bolan Gan

Air-sea interaction is an important driving mechanism for numerous weather and climate phenomena, such as extratropical and tropical cyclones, storm tracks, blockings, atmospheric circulation changes, IPV and AMV, etc. Teleconnections between different ocean basins through atmospheric and oceanic bridges on various timescales can magnify certain weather and climate events downstream. To better serve the broader community, a predictive understanding of these interactions and teleconnections ranging from seasonal to decadal timescales would greatly advance our capability of simulating and predicting these processes. It is also essential to find out whether these interactions and teleconnections in mid-latitudes would change under changing climate and how they would be affected by the internal climate mode variability.

In this session, we welcome abstracts studying the observed and model simulated mid-latitude air-sea interactions and the inter-basin teleconnections on multiple timescales and how the various external forcings, e.g., solar, volcano, anthropogenic forcing, would modulate these processes.

WCRP session

Session 124533: GC077 - Safe Landing Climates WCRP Lighthouse Activity: Avoiding Extreme Climate Risk:
Conveners: Steven C Sherwood, Bette L Otto-Bliesner, Benjamin M Sanderson and Victor Brovkin

We invite scientific contributions relevant to the new Lighthouse activity which explores the routes to climate-safe landing spaces for human and natural systems. We solicit presentations focusing on limits to adaptation; metrics for dangerous climate change; and climate-related global tail risks, or high-impact events that could have significant consequences for humanity but are currently uncertain or poorly modelled.

Examples include triggering of carbon release; ice shelf/sheet collapse and sea level rise; regime shift of ocean or atmosphere circulation and clouds; multiplicative effect of compound hazards; biome (e.g. Amazon) collapse; "Fireball Earth"; and dangerous extremes that exceed our ability to adapt. We are also interested in climate and carbon cycle feedbacks in the context of negative emissions and the reversibility of the anthropogenic perturbation, and in changes that threaten large scale water availability or habitability of coasts. This session focus is on occurrences or events that have global-scale consequences.

Invited talk: Ricarda Winkelmann, Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Reseach "Interacting tipping elements increase risk of climate domino effects under global warming".

Selected relevant sessions

Session 130397: PP43A - Climate of the Common Era:
Conveners: Sloan Coats, Bethany Coulthard, Elizabeth Jane Wallace and Hussein Sayani

This session highlights recent work on all aspects of the climate of the last 2000 years (the Common Era), using new proxy records, data syntheses, reconstruction methodologies, proxy system modeling, and paleoclimate model simulations. Contributions that combine several of the above areas or that utilize the latest generation of paleoclimate model simulations are particularly welcome. A focus of this year's session will be past climate extremes (floods, droughts, heat waves, etc.). New means of reconstructing climate extremes, as well as model-data comparisons that seek to understand their characteristics and drivers, are particularly encouraged.

Session 117493: PP34B - Refinement of paleo-proxies in the GEOTRACES era:
Conveners: Christopher T Hayes, Kazuyo Tachikawa, Kassandra Costa and Jesse R Farmer

Our knowledge of the past ocean relies upon measurable quantities in the sedimentary record that represent past conditions. The development of these proxies is driven by linking relationships between processes in the modern ocean and the transfer of signals into preserved archives, ranging from bulk sediment to species-specific fossils.

The international GEOTRACES program has been surveying the global ocean distribution of trace elements and isotopes, many of which have specific paleoceanographic applications, including protactinium-thorium ratios and neodymium isotopes. Furthermore, the advancements GEOTRACES has made in the understanding of micronutrient metals, redox sensitive metals and nutrient isotopic ratios also have significant implications for our understanding of past ocean circulation, biological productivity, particle fluxes and climate.

In this session we welcome abstracts focusing on either modern or past ocean systems that speak to the development, calibration, or modeling of proxies and/or any associated updates to our proxy-based understanding of ocean conditions.

Session 130520: PP42A - High-resolution sedimentary archives and the detection of abrupt environmental changes:
Conveners: Francois Lapointe, Celia Martin-Puertas, Tobias Schneider and Pierre Francus

Sedimentary records with high deposition rates are pivotal to reveal regional climatic and environmental changes across the Earth. Although rare, annually laminated sediments are exceptional archives: they, 1) offer the possibility to document Earth’s environmental changes at unprecedented temporal resolution; 2) provide the means to constrain the chronologies of other archives; 3) can record information about the resilience of past societies based on physical, and biogeochemical evidence. However, acquiring sub-decadal proxy-records from such sedimentary archives can be challenging.

We welcome participants whose research documents recent advances in the analyses of highly resolved sedimentary records to detect climatic and environmental changes, including the use of hyperspectral imaging techniques and other cutting-edge high-resolution techniques (e.g., µXRF, SEM, CT-Scan). Particularly encouraged are researchers who combine the different techniques with newest computational techniques (e.g., machine learning). Furthermore, this session provides a platform to discuss new high-resolution paleoclimate (e.g., temperature, precipitation, flood) and environmental reconstructions.

Town Hall Session: TH13E - LinkedEarth Community for Paleogeoscience: Updates and Future Directions:
Primary Contact: Deborah Khider, Moderators: Julien Emile-Geay, Nicholas McKay, Presenters: Julien Emile-Geay, Nicholas McKay

LinkedEarth is a community of paleoscientists working to develop standards and software to facilitate Big Data approaches to the paleosciences. LinkedEarth originated in 2016 through a grant from the National Science Foundation EarthCube program. The original goal of the project was to create a platform for the community curation of paleoclimate dataset and to centralize the discussion about standardization of these datasets. Since then, the community has grown towards using these standards to build automated tools for the analysis of these datasets and other data products.

In this Town Hall meeting, LinkedEarth leadership will update the community on recent progress and solicit feedback. We will emphasize how practicing geoscientists can incorporate LinkedEarth tools into their daily work. We will emphasize (1) the use of the Linked PaleoData (LiPD) format, including how to put datasets into this format; (2) software tools in R and Python; and (3) data products available to the community. The first part of the town hall will be dedicated to high-level presentations before a hands-on portion on one of the topics above. The last part will be dedicated to community discussion about future directions to best support paleogeoscience research.