The Power of Cooperation in International Paleoclimate Science: Examples from the PAGES 2k Network and the Ocean2k Working Group
Tuesday, 15 December 2015
Poster Hall (Moscone South)
The Past Global Changes (PAGES) project of IGBP and Future Earth supports research to understand the Earth’s past environment to improve future climate predictions and inform strategies for sustainability. Within this framework, the PAGES 2k Network was established to provide a focus on the past 2000 years, a period that encompasses Medieval Climate Anomaly warming, Little Ice Age cooling, and recent anthropogenically-forced climate change. The results of these studies are used for testing earth system models, and for understanding decadal- to centennial-scale variability, which is needed for long-term planning. International coordination and cooperation among the nine regional Working Groups that make up the 2k Network has been critical to the success of PAGES 2k. The collaborative approach is moving toward scientific achievements across the regional groups, including: (i) the development of a community-driven open-access proxy climate database; (ii) integration of multi-resolution proxy records; (iii) development of multivariate climate reconstructions; and (iv) a leap forward in the spatial resolution of paleoclimate reconstructions. The last addition to the 2k Network, the Ocean2k Working Group has further innovated the collaborative approach by: (1) creating an open, receptive environment to discuss ideas exclusively in the virtual space; (2) employing an array of real-time collaborative software tools to enable communication, group document writing, and data analysis; (3) consolidating executive leadership teams to oversee project development and manage grassroots-style volunteer pools; and (4) embracing the value-added role that international and interdisciplinary science can play in advancing paleoclimate hypotheses critical to understanding future change. Ongoing efforts for the PAGES 2k Network are focused on developing new standards for data quality control and archiving. These tasks will provide the foundation for new and continuing “trans-regional” 2k projects which address paleoclimate science that transcend regional boundaries. The PAGES 2k Network encourages participation by all investigators interested in this community-wide project.