Royal Society University Research Fellow

Department of Geography and Environmental Sciences
Northumbria University
Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 8ST, UK
Email: thomas.bauska<at>

Research Overview

The overarching goal of my research is to use the climate and carbon cycle variability of the past to inform projections of the future. I reconstruct past changes in the carbon cycle by measuring the concentration and isotopic composition of greenhouse gases trapped in polar ice cores. More recently, I have been working on developing new methods for measuring the isotopes of water in hydrated minerals and fluid inclusions to understand past changes in the hydrological cycle.

Royal Society University Research Fellow, Northumbria University, Newcastle, UK (2019-present)

Postdoc, Department of Earth Sciences, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK (2015-2018)

Postdoc, CEOAS, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR, USA (2014-2015)             

Ph.D., Geology with minor in Oceanography, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR, USA (2013)                 

B.S., Geophysical Sciences with honors, University of Chicago, Chicago, IL, USA (2007)


Current Projects

Royal Society University Research Fellowship (2018-2023):  Probing the deepest ice cores for new modes of carbon cycle variability with a novel, ultra-high-resolution CO2 method (PI: Bauska with~£650,000 to Northumbria University)

Royal Society Research Fellows’ Enhancement Award (2018-2021): Augmenting ice core records with continuous histories of CO2, CH4 and N2O (PI: Bauska with £200,000 to Northumbria University)


Evans, N. P., Bauska, T. K., Gázquez-Sánchez, F., Brenner, M., Curtis, J. H., and Hodell, D. A., (2018). Quantification of drought during the collapse of the classic Maya civilization. Science, 361 (6401), 498-501. DOI: 10.1126/science.aas9871

Bauska, T. K., Brook, E. J., Marcott, S. A., Baggenstos, D., Shackleton, S., Severinghaus, J. P., & Petrenko, V. V. (2018). Controls on millennial‐scale atmospheric CO2 variability during the last glacial period.  Geophysical Research Letters, 45.

Gázquez, F., Morellón, M., Bauska, T., Herwartz, D., Surma, J., Moreno, A., Staubwasser, M., Valero-Garcés, B., Delgado-Huertas, A., and Hodell, D.A. (2018). Triple oxygen and hydrogen isotopes of gypsum hydration water for quantitative paleo-humidity reconstruction. Earth and Planetary Science Letters 481, 177-188.

Bauska, T.K., Walters, G., Gázquez, F., Hodell, D.A. (2017). On-line Differential Thermal Isotope Analysis of Hydration Water in Minerals by Cavity Ring-down Laser Spectroscopy.  Analytical Chemistry, 2018, 90 (1), 752–759 DOI: 10.1021/acs.analchem.7b03136

Petrenko, V.V., Smith, A.M., Schaefer, H., Riedel, K., Brook, E., Baggenstos, D., Harth, C., Hua, Q., Buizert, C., Schilt, A., Fain, X., Mitchell, L., Bauska, T., Orsi, A., Weiss, R.F., Severinghaus, J.P. (2017). Minimal geological methane emissions during the Younger Dryas–Preboreal abrupt warming event. Nature 548, 443–446.

Baggenstos, D., Bauska, T.K., Severinghaus, J.P., Lee, J.E., Schaefer, H., Buizert, C., Brook, E.J., Shackleton, S., and Petrenko, V.V. (2017). Atmospheric gas records from Taylor Glacier, Antarctica, reveal ancient ice with ages spanning the entire last glacial cycle. Climate of the Past 13, 943–958.

Bauska, T.K., Baggenstos, D., Brook, E.J., Mix, A.C., Marcott, S.A., Petrenko, V.V., Schaefer, H., Severinghaus, J.P., and Lee, J.E. (2016). Carbon isotopes characterize rapid changes in atmospheric carbon dioxide during the last deglaciation. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, doi: 10.1073/pnas.1513868113

Petrenko, V.V., Severinghaus, J.P., Schaefer, H., Smith, A.M., Kuhl, T., Baggenstos, D., Hua, Q., Brook, E.J., Rose, P., Kulin, R., Bauska, T.K., et al. (2016). Measurements of 14C in ancient ice from Taylor Glacier, Antarctica constrain in situ cosmogenic 14CH4 and 14CO production rates. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, 177, 62-77.

WAIS Divide Project Members (lead author: Christo Buizert) (2015). Precise interpolar phasing of abrupt climate change during the last ice age. Nature, 520, 661–665.

Bauska, T.K., Joos, F., Mix, A.C., Roth, R., Ahn, J., and Brook, E.J. (2015). Links between atmospheric carbon dioxide, the land carbon reservoir and climate over the past millennium. Nature Geoscience, 8, 383–387.

Schilt, A., Brook, E.J., Bauska, T.K., Baggenstos, D., Fischer, H., Joos, F., Petrenko, V.V., Schaefer, H., Schmitt, J., Severinghaus, J.P., et al. (2014). Isotopic constraints on marine and terrestrial N2O emissions during the last deglaciation. Nature, 516, 234–237.

Marcott, S.A., Bauska, T.K., Buizert, C., Steig, E.J., Rosen, J.L., Cuffey, K.M., Fudge, T., Severinghaus, J.P., Ahn, J., Kalk, M.L., et al. (2014). Centennial-scale changes in the global carbon cycle during the last deglaciation. Nature, 514, 616–619

Bauska, T.K., Brook, E., Mix, A., and Ross, A. (2014). High-precision dual-inlet IRMS measurements of the stable isotopes of CO2 and the N2O / CO2 ratio from polar ice core samples. Atmospheric Measurement Techniques, 7, 3825–3837.