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Late Holocene climate and sea ice variability in the southwestern Labrador Sea


CLIMICE aims to reconstruct late Holocene changes in sea ice variability and regional sea surface temperatures (SST) in the Labrador Sea area using high-resolution sediment records. Information of past natural variability in climate is essential for refining and validating future climate change models and improving predictions. The records will contribute to a better understanding of the role of Arctic sea ice export by the Labrador Current in influencing large-scale North Atlantic thermohaline and atmospheric circulation. The study area is climatologically crucial, since sea ice, ice bergs and associated melt water entrained by the Labrador Current directly affect the mid-latitude main core of the Gulf Stream warm water transport route towards the north. The sediments will be analysed using a highly innovative biological and chemical multi-proxy approach based on 1) study of fossil diatom assemblages and diversity, focusing on ice diatoms, and diatom-inferred reconstruction models for sea surface temperatures, and 2) IP25, a recently established chemical tracer for sea ice algae. The study will further include sediment alkenone data, a well-established chemical proxy for SST, and (fossil) diatom oxygen isotope data, the latter implying an experimental approach for SST reconstruction still having many uncertainties. Paleoceanographic data from dinoflagellate and foraminifera studies of the same sediment cores will also be available. Thus, this study provides a unique possibility to compare results from IP25 and oxygen isotope analyses with well-established climate proxies from the same sediment cores. Due to the (partly) innovative and experimental character of the work, realisation of the project is only feasible by collaboration of several laboratories based in Denmark, France, Germany Norway and U.K. The applicant herself will notably work mainly with the first methods (1 & 2), whereas the other data will be generated by collaborating partners.

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Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland
Oster Voldgade 10
1350 Kobenhavn K
Activity type
EU contribution
€ 284 055,15
Administrative Contact
Nette Rasmussen (Ms.)