Iso2k - A global synthesis of Common Era hydroclimate using water isotopes

iso2k logo

Iso2k timeline

 Phase 2

 Phase 3
 2015-17  2017  2018  2019  2020  2021



*Access a pdf presentation about Iso2k, from the January 2018 2k Teleconference, here*

Iso2k is a community-based effort within the next phase of the PAGES 2k Network, investigating decadal to centennial-scale variability, as well as possible secular trends, in hydroclimate over the past 2,000 years.

The PAGES Iso2k project is creating a global database of paleo-δ18O and δD records for the Common Era. Stable water isotopes detect regional-scale circulation patterns, making them excellent tracers of the water cycle’s response to changes in climate. The project will address the scientific questions using a database of water isotope proxy records to identify regional- and global-scale features in hydroclimate and atmospheric circulation during the past 2kyr. Comparisons between isotope-enabled climate model simulations of the Last Millennium and the Iso2k database will assist in assessing the stability of climate/isotope relationships and the climatic and circulation processes driving key patterns in the isotopic composition of environmental waters.

iso2k figure
Figure 1: Version 0.4 of the database with the number of records to date and their location over both time and space.

The database consists of stable isotopic records from a diversity of archives, such as glaciers, ground ice, speleothems, corals, sclerosponges, trees, lake and marine sediments, with a wide range of resolutions. The team agreed upon intentionally broad data selection criteria in order to include as many records as possible. For annually-banded records, the minimum record duration is 30 years. For non-annually-banded records, the minimum record duration is 200 years, with a minimum resolution of at least five data points within the past 2,000 years. Records must be published and data sets must be publicly available (i.e., in a public archive, in the publication itself, or promptly provided by the author when requested). Future versions of the Iso2k database will also screen and incorporate unpublished records contributed by the community.

Iso2k stands out from other databases, as group members include experts in every archive, rather than single archives alone. These experts enter extensive metadata about each individual record into the database.

The metadata template (1) creates a common language among different proxy archives to catalogue the defining characteristics of each record, and (2) provides the minimum amount of information needed to facilitate process-based data syntheses and comparisons with climate models.

The purpose of the metadata is to help the non-expert cull relevant climate data for topical analysis, as well as the expert to use Big Data approaches to test how archives record environmental conditions.

As a result, Iso2k has begun preparing publications of structure of the database, as well as a separate scientific publication of the initial findings. After these two publications, group members have already identified approximately 10 major studies using the Iso2k database that will be pursued over the next two years.


Paleoclimate archives

The Iso2k team includes experts from a range of paleoclimate archives that contain water isotopic proxy data:

- Marine sediments
- Lake sediments
- Corals
- Ice cores and ice wedges
- Groundwater
- Speleothems
- Tree rings

The Iso2k team also includes experts on isotope-enabled paleoclimate modeling, data assimilation, and data synthesis.


> Iso2k scientific goals

> Iso2k people


Learn more and participate

This group is open to anyone who is interested. To participate subscribe to the mailing list or contact the project coordinators.

Subscribe to the Iso2k mailing list here.

Subscribe to the 2k Network mailing list here.


Iso2k at the AGU Fall Meeting, December 2017

Below is the presentation schedule for the two Iso2k-related abstracts.

Presenting author: Bronwen Konecky
Abstract ID: 241573
Abstract Title: Global Synthesis of Common Era Hydroclimate using Water Isotope Proxies from Multiple Archives: First Results from the PAGES Iso2k Project
Final Paper Number: PP43D-03
Presentation Type: Oral
Session Date and Time: Thursday, 14 December 2017; 13:40 - 15:40
Presentation Length: 14:10 - 14:25
Session Number and Title: PP43D: Climate of the Common Era III
Location: New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center; 344-345

Presenting author: Jessica Conroy
Abstract ID: 255694
Abstract Title: Salinity information in coral δ18O records
Final Paper Number: PP53B-1130
Presentation Type: Poster
Session Date and Time: Friday, 15 December 2017; 13:40 - 18:00
Session Number and Title: PP53B: Water Isotope Systematics: Improving Modern and Paleoclimate Interpretations III Posters
Location: New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center; Poster Hall D-F