DRI / DIRECTORY / KEN TAYLOR
Ken Taylor Profile Photo
Dr. Ken Taylor
Research Professor Emeritus

Professional Interests

Dr. Taylor is a Research Professor with the Division of Hydrologic Sciences in the Desert Research Institute. Much of his work has focused on understanding the causes of climate change. He has been involved with ice core paleoclimate studies since 1981 and has worked on every United States deep ice coring project during that time. Taylor is the Chief Scientist for the NSF funded WAIS Divide ice coring program in Antarctica. As Chief Scientist he is responsible for understanding and advocating for the two dozen different science projects that are involved with this program. This involves coordinating research, logistics, and drilling organizations, and working with the National Science Foundation to assure the program produces the most science possible with the resources that are available. He has been a public spokesperson for issues related to rapid climate change with numerous contributions to national print, radio and television media.

Research Areas

  • Ice Core
  • Antarctica
  • Climate Change

Research Projects

Currently my research is focused on understanding the causes of climate change. However, I have also worked on many other hydrology topics.

I am the Chief Scientist for theWAIS Divide Ice Core projectwhich is studying paleoclimate and ice dynamics in West Antarctica. This NSF funded multi-year multi-institution project recovered a record of record of climate change and the concentrations of atmospheric gases that extends back 68,000 years. We are using this record to improve our understanding of why climate changes have occurred in the past and how climate will change in the future. I also make electrical measurements on ice cores to identify annual layers. By counting the annual layers we help determine the relationship between the depth of the ice and the age of the ice.

In 1999, I lead a project to train the staff of World Vision in Ghana how to use geophysical methods to locate favorable location for shallow water wells in rural areas. By using the methods we suggested World Vision was able to decrease the number of non-productive dry holes by 10 to 50%. In 2014 I continued this work by building a simplified transient electromagnetics instrument and training World Vision staff to use it. This should make their operations more efficient in the more challenging areas they are currently working in.

I led a project helping to determining why the water clarity at Lake Tahoe, a large mountain lake on the boarder of Nevada and California, is declining. This involved using an instrumented boat to determine the spatial and temporal distribution of turbidity, light attenuation and chlorophyll concentration in the lake. We also collected the particles responsible for the reduction of clarity and studied them with a Scanning Electron Microscope and Energy Depressive Spectrometry.We found strong link between urban development and lower near shore water quality. Mineral particles, not algae, are the primary cause of the reduced clarity. We also determined that existing regulations are inadequate to maintain the water clarity near the shore.

Keywords

climate, ice, ice core, Paleoclimate

 

Publications
2017
McConnell, J. R., Burke, A., Dunbar, N. W., Köhler, P., Thomas, J. L., Arienzo, M. M., Chellman, N. J., Maselli, O. J., Sigl, M., Adkins, J. F., Baggenstos, D., Burkhart, J. F., Brook, E. J., Buizert, C., Cole-Dai, J., Fleet, L. G., Fudge, T. J., Knorr, G., Graf, H. F., Grieman, M. M., Iverson, N., McGwire, K. C., Mulvaney, R., Paris, G., Rhodes, R. H., Saltzman, E. S., Severinghaus, J. P., Steffensen, J. P., Taylor, K. C., Winckler, G. (2017). Synchronous volcanic eruptions and abrupt climate change ~17.7ka plausibly linked by stratospheric ozone depletion, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A., 114 (38), 10035-10040, 10.1073/pnas.1705595114
2016
Sigl, M., Fudge, T. J., Winstrup, M., Cole-Dai, J., Ferris, D., McConnell, J. R., Taylor, K. C., Welten, K. C., Woodruff, T. E., Adolphi, F., Bisiaux, M. M., Brook, E. J., Caffee, M. W., Dunbar, N. W., Edwards, R., Geng, L., Iverson, N., Koffman, B., Layman, L. R., Maselli, O. J., McGwire, K. C., Muscheler, R., Nishiizumi, K., Pasteris, D. R., Rhodes, R. H., Sowers, T. A. (2016). The WAIS Divide Deep Ice Core WD2014 Chronology – Part 2: Annual-Layer Counting (0-31-ka-BP), Clim. Past, 12, 769-786, 10.5194/cp-12-769-2016
2015
Sneed, S. B., Mayewski, P. S., Sayre, W. G., Handley, M. J., Kurbatov, A. K., Taylor, K. C., Wagenbach, P., Erhardt, T. (2015). New LA-ICP-MS cryocell and calibration technique for sub-millimeter analysis of ice cores, Journal of Glaciology, 61 (226), 233-242, 10.3189/2015JoG14J139
WAIS Divide Project Members, Taylor, K. C. (2015). Precise interhemispheric phasing of abrupt climate change during the last ice age, Nature, 520 (7549), 661-665, 10.1038/nature14401
Buizert, C., Cuffey, K. M., Severinghaus, J. P., Baggenstos, D., Fudge, T. J., Sigl, M., McConnell, J. R., Taylor, K. C. (2015). The WAIS-Divide deep ice core WD2014 chronology: 2. Methane synchronization (68-31 ka BP) and the gas age-ice age difference, Climate of the Past, 11, 153-173, 10.5194/cp-11-153-2015
Buizert, C., Cuffey, K. M., Severinghaus, J. P., Baggenstos, D., Fudge, T. J., Steig, E. J., Sowers, T. A., Brook, E. J., Rhodes, R. H., Cheng, H., Edwards, L. R., Sigl, M., McConnell, J. R., Taylor, K. C. (2015). The WAIS-Divide deep ice core WDC06A-9 chronology: ?age and methane synchronization (29.6-68 ka), Climate of the Past, 11, 153-173, 10.5194/cp-11-153-2015
WAIS-Divide Project Members, Buizert, C., Brook, E. J., McConnell, J. R., Taylor, K. C., McGwire, K. C. (2015). Precise interpolar phasing of abrupt climate change during the last ice age, Nature, 520 (7549), 661-665, 10.1038/nature14401
Sigl, M., Fudge, T. J., Winstrup, M., Cole-Dai, J., Ferris, D., McConnell, J. R., Taylor, K. C., Welten, K. C., Woodruff, T. E., Adolphi, F., Bisiaux, M. M. (2015). The WAIS Divide deep ice core WD2014 chronology-Part 2: Annual-layer counting (0-31 ka BP), Climate of the Past Discussions, 11, 3425-3474
2014
Fudge, T. J., Waddington, E. D., Conway, H., Ludin, J. M., Taylor, K. C. (2014). Interpolation methods for Antarctic ice-core timescales: application to Byrd, Siple Dome and Law Dome ice cores, Clim. Past Discuss, 10/64, 104-109, 10.5194/cpd-10-65-2014
Souney, J. M., Twickler, M. S., Hargreaves, G. M., Bencivengo, B. M., Kippenhan, M. J., Johnson, J. A., Cravens, E. C., Neff, P. D., Nunn, R. M., Orsi, A. J., Popp, T. J., Rhodes, J. F., Vaughn, B. H., Voigt, D. E., Wong, G. J., Taylor, K. C. (2014). Core handling and processing for the WAIS Divide ice-core project, Annals of Glaciology, 55 (68), doi: 10.3189/2014AoG68A008
Marcott, S., Bauska, T., Buizert, C., Steig, E., Rosen, J., Cuffey, K., Fudge, T., Severinghaus, J., Ahn, J., Kalk, M., McConnell, J. R., Sowers, T., Taylor, K. C., White, J., Brook, E. (2014). Centennial-scale changes in the global carbon cycle during the last deglaciation, Nature, 616-619, Nature Publishing Group, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited. All Rights Reserved, 10.1038/nature13799
2013
Fudge, T. J., Steig, E. J., Markle, B. R., Schoenemann, S. W., Ding, Q., Taylor, K. C., McConnell, J. R., Brook, E. J., Sowers, T., White, J. W., Alley, R. B., Cheng, H., Clow, G. D., Cole-Dai, J., Conway, H., Cuffey, K. M., Edwards, J. S., Edwards, R. L., Edwards, R., Fegyveresi, J. M., Ferris, D., Fitzpatrick, J. J., Johnson, J., Hargreaves, G., Lee, J. E., Maselli, O. J., Mason, W., McGwire, K. C., Mitchell, L. E., Mortensen, N., Neff, P., Orsi, A. J. (2013). Onset of deglacial warming in West Antarctica driven by local orbital forcing, Nature, 500 (7463), 440-444, 10.1038/nature12376
Mayewski, P. M., Maasch, K. A., Dixon, D., Sneed, S. B., Oglesby, R., Korotkikh, E., Potocki, M., Grigholm, B., Kreutz, K., Kurbatov, A. V., Spaulding, N., Stager, J. C., Taylor, K. C., Steig, E. J., White, J., Bertler, N. A., Goodwin, I., Simões, J. C., Jaña, R., Kraus, S., Fastook, J. (2013). West Antarctica’s sensitivity to natural and human-forced climate change over the Holocene, Journal of Quaternary Science, 26 (1), 40-48
Steig, E. J., Ding, Q., White, J. W., Küttel, M., Rupper, S. B., Neumann, T. A., Neff, P. D., Gallant, A. J., Mayewski, P. A., Taylor, K. C., Hoffmann, G., Dixon, D. A., Schoenemann, S. W., Markle, B. R., Fudge, T. J., Schneider, D. P., Schauer, A. J., Teel, R. P., Vaughn, B. H., Burgener, L., Williams, J., Korotkikh, E. (2013). Recent Climate and Ice-Sheet Changes in West Antarctica Compared with the Past 2,000 Years, Nature Geoscience, 6, 372-275, 10.1038/ngeo1778
2012
Bisiaux, M. M., McConnell, J. R., Pasteris, D. R., Taylor, K. C., Edwards, R., Penner, J. E., Curran, M., Van Ommen, T., Smith, A., Neumann, T. (2012). Changes in black carbon deposition to Antarctica from two high-resolution ice core records, 1850-2000 AD, Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, 12 (9), 4107-4115
2011
Alley, R. B., Spencer, M. K., Taylor, K. C. (2011). Late-Holocene climate evolution at the WAIS Divide site, West Antarctica: bubble number-density estimates, Journal of Glaciology, 57, 629-638
Mitchell, L. E., Brook, E. J., Sowers, T., McConnell, J. R., Taylor, K. C. (2011). Multidecadal variability of atmospheric methane, 1000-1800 CE, ournal of Geophysical Research-Biogeosciences, 116 (G2), 10.1029/2010JG001441
2009
Severinghaus, J. P., Beaudette, R., Headly, M. A., Taylor, K. C., Brook, E. J. (2009). Oxygen-18 of O2 Records the Impact of Abrupt Climate Change on the Terrestrial Biosphere, Science, 324, 1431-1434
2008
Ahn, J., Headly, M. A., Wahlen, M., Brook, E. J., Mayewski, P. A., Taylor, K. C. (2008). CO2 diffusion in polar ice: Observations from naturally formed CO2 spikes in the Siple Dome (Antarctica) ice core, J. Glaciology, 54 (187), 685-695, 10.3189/002214308786570764
McGwire, K. C., Alley, R. B., Banta, J. R., Hargreaves, G. M., McConnell, J. R., Taylor, K. C. (2008). Dating annual layers of a shallow Antarctic Ice core with an optical scanner, Journal of Glaciology, 54, 831-838
Banta, J. R., McConnell, J. R., Frey, M. M., Taylor, K. C. (2008). Spatial and temporal variability in snow accumulation at WAIS Divide over recent centuries, Journal of Geophysical Research, 113, 10.1029/2008JD01235
McGwire, K. C., Hargreaves, G. M., Alley, R. B., Popp, T. J., Reusch, D. B., Spencer, M. K., Taylor, K. C. (2008). An integrated system for optical imaging of ice cores, Cold Regions Science and Technology, 53 (2), 216-228
2006
Taylor, K. C. (2006). History of Ice Core Science, A 2800 word invited article published in the Encyclopedia of Quaternary Science
Taylor, K. C. (2006). Ice Core Conductivity Studies, A 3,100 word invited article published in the Encyclopedia of Quaternary Science
2005
Waddington, E. D., Conway, H., Steig, E. J., Alley, R. B., Brook, E. J., Taylor, K. C., White, J. W. (2005). Decoding the dipstick: Thickness of Siple Dome, West Antarctica, at the Last Glacial Maximum, Geology, 4, 33, 281-284, ISI:000228127100011
2004
Taylor, K. C., Alley, R. B. (2004). Two-dimensional electrical stratigraphy of the Siple Dome (Antarctica) ice core, Journal of Glaciology, 50, 169, 231-235
2003
Taylor, K. C., Susfalk, R. B., Shanafield, M., Schladow, G. (2003). Near Shore Clarity at Lake Tahoe: Status and Causes of Reduction, DRI Report No. 41193
2002
Taylor, K. C. (2002). Investigation of Near Shore Turbidity at Lake Tahoe, DRI Report No. 41179
1999
Taylor, K. C., Minor, T. B., Chesley, M. M., Matanawi, K. (1999). Cost Effectiveness of Well Site Selection Methods in a Fractured Aquifer, Groundwater, 37 (2), 271-274
1997
Taylor, K. C., Englin, J., Minor, T. B. (1997). Use of Advanced Methods to Select Favorable Locations for Water Wells in Ghana: A Final Project Report, DRI Report No. 41159
1996
Taylor, K. C., Chesley, M., Matanawi, K., Minor, T. B. (1996). Selection of Favorable Sites for Shallow Water Wells in Ghana, 30, DRI Report No. 41152
1990
Taylor, K. C., Hess, J. W., Wheatcraft, S. (1990). Final Report Evaluation of Selected Borehole Geophysical Methods for Hazardous Waste Site Investigations & Monitoring, DRI Report No. 41129
1986
Wheatcraft, S., Taylor, K. C., Hess, J. W., Morris, T. (1986). Borehole Sensing Methods for Ground-Water Investigations at Hazardous Waste Sites, 69, DRI Report No. 41099
1984
Wheatcraft, S., Taylor, K. C., Haggard, J. (1984). An Investigation of Electrical Properties of Porous Media, 109, DRI Report No. 41098
Conference Proceedings
2015
Sigl, M., McConnell, J. R., Winstrup, M., Fudge, T., Cole-Dai, J., Ferris, D., Taylor, K. C., Buizert, C., Rhodes, R., McGwire, K. C., Welten, K., Woodruff, T., Dunbar, N., Iverson, N., Maselli, O. J., Pasteris, D. R., Muscheler, R. (2015). WD2014: A new reference chronology for ice cores from Antarctica?, Geophysical Research Abstracts, 17 (EGU2015-2782-1), EGU General Assembly 2015: Vienna, Austria, April 12, 2015-April 17, 2015
2014
Buizert, C., Baggenstos, D., Brook, E., Cuffey, K. M., Fudge, T. J., Markle, B. R., McConnell, J. R., Rhodes, R., Severinghaus, J. P., Sowers, T. A., Steig, E. J., Taylor, K. C., WAIS-Divide Project Members (2014). Precise interhemispheric phasing of the bipolar seesaw during abrupt Dansgaard-Oeschger Events, AGU Fall Meeting: San Francisco, December 15, 2014-December 19, 2014, Abstract PP11E-05
McConnell, J. R., Dunbar, N. W., Köhler, P., Thomas, J. L., Chellman, N. J., Layman, L. R., Maselli, O. J., Pasteris, D. R., Sigl, M., Adkins, J. J., Baggenstos, D., Brook, E. J., Buizert, C., Burke, A., Cole-Dai, J., Fleet, L. G., Fudge, T. J., Knorr, G., Grieman, M., Marcott, S. A., McGwire, K. C., Mulvaney, R., Paris, G., Rhodes, R., Saltzman, E. S., Severinghaus, J. P., Steffensen, J. P., Taylor, K. C., Winckler, G. (2014). Accelerated deglaciation linked to volcanic eruptions 17.8k years ago, WAIS Divide Science Meeting: La Jolla, September 22, 2014-September 24, 2014
Sigl, M., Cole‐Dai, J., Ferris, D., Fudge, T. J., McConnell, J. R., Welten, K., Winstrup, M., Woodruff, T. E., Brook, E. J., Buizert, C., Dunbar, N., Iverson, N., Koffman, B., Maselli, O. J., McGwire, K. C., Muscheler, R., Pasteris, D. R., Sowers, T. A., Taylor, K. C. (2014). The WAIS Divide deep ice core WD2014 chronology: 1. Annual layer counting (0-31 ka BP), WAIS Divide Science Meeting: La Jolla, September 22, 2014-September 24, 2014
Buizert, C., Cuffey, K. M., Severinghaus, J. P., Baggenstos, D., Fudge, T. J., Steig, E. J., Markle, B. R., Winstrup, M., Rhodes, R. H., Brook, E. J., Sowers, T. A., Clow, G. D., Cheng, H., Edwards, R. L., Sigl, M., McConnell, J. R., Taylor, K. C. (2014). The WAIS Divide deep ice core WD2014 chronology: 2. Methane synchronization (31-68 ka BP) and the gas age-ice age difference, WAIS Divide Science Meeting: La Jolla, September 22, 2014-September 24, 2014
2013
Fudge, T. J., Steig, E. J., Brook, E., Buizert, C., Conway, H., Ding, Q., Markle, B. R., McConnell, J. R., Schoenemann, S., Severinghaus, J., Sigl, M., Sowers, T., Taylor, K. C., Waddington, E. (2013). Abrupt climate change in West Antarctica and Greenland during the last deglacial warming, C33A-0658, AGU Fall Meeting: San Francisco, December 8, 2013-December 13, 2013
Buizert, C., Baggenstos, D., Brook, E., Cuffey, K., Fudge, T., Markle, B., McConnell, J. R., Rhodes, R., Severinghaus, J., Sowers, T., Steig, E., Taylor, K. C. (2013). Inter-Hemispheric Timing of the Thermal Bipolar Seesaw During Abrupt Dansgaard-Oeschger Events, WAIS Divide Science Meeting: La Jolla
Fudge, T., Taylor, K. C., Bay, R., Conway, H., Fitzpatrick, J., Kluskiewicz, D., McConnell, J. R., Voigt, D., Waddington, E. (2013). ECM of the Replicate Core: cm-scale depth registration and loss of signal below 3000 m, WAIS Divide Science Meeting: La Jolla
Steig, E., White, J., Fudge, T., Taylor, K. C., Markle, B., Schoenemann, S., Ding, Q., Brook, E., McConnell, J. R., Buizert, C. (2013). Sensitivity of West Antarctica to climate and ice sheet variability on multiple timescales, C21E-03, AGU Fall Meeting: San Francisco, December 9, 2013-December 13, 2013
2012
Fudge, T. J., Steig, E. J., Alley, R. B., Brook, E., Clow, G. D., Cole-Dai, J., Conway, H., Cuffey, K. M., Ferris, D., Markle, B. R., Sowers, T. A., Schoenemann, S. W., Waddington, E. D., White, J. C., Taylor, K. C., McConnell, J. R., Sigl, M. (2012). Deglacial Accumulation Rate and Temperature Change in Central West Antarctica, Eos Trans. AGU, Fall Meet. Suppl., Abstract GC24B-06: San Francisco
Fudge, T. J., Conway, H., Popp, T., Steig, E., Waddington, E., White, J., Taylor, K. C., McConnell, J. R., Sigl, M. (2012). Abrupt accumulation changes and electrical stratigraphy from WAIS Divide, Open Science Meeting: Giens, France
Fudge, T. J., Bay, R., Brook, E., Buizert, C., Clow, G., Cole-Dai, J., Conway, H., Cuffey, K., Dunbar, N., Ferris, D., McConnell, J. R., McGwire, K. C., Severinghaus, J., Rhodes, R., Sigl, M., Sowers, T., Steig, E., Taylor, K. C., Vaughn, B., Waddington, E., White, J. (2012). Annual resolution and small delta age: a high precision timescale from WAIS Divide, Open Science Meeting: Giens, France
2005
Bentley, C. R., Taylor, K. C., Shturmakov, A. J., Mason, W. P., Emmell, G. R., Lebar, D. A. (2005). Coring to the West Antarctic ice sheet bed with a new Deep Ice Sheet Coring (DISC) drill: San Francisco, CA
Taylor, K. C. (2005). Results from the West Antarctic Ice Sheet Project: Naples, Italy
Taylor, K. C. (2005). Computer Assisted Interpretation of Ice Core Annual Layers: Copenhagen, Denmark