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Chilean Lake sediments as archives for climate variability during the past 1000 years


"Currently much effort is put into answering the question: ‘Does the magnitude and rate of 20th Century climate change exceed natural variability over the last millennium? This is important since it provides information on the influence of e.g. anthropogenic forcing of climate, which is highly relevant for the general public and policy makers. However, climatic reconstructions of a sufficient quality and resolution are very scarce in the Southern Hemisphere. In addition, most climatic proxies are biased towards the warm growing season; reconstructions for the winter season are typically scarce. Recent studies have highlighted though that the amplitude and direction of climate change differs for each season. In addition, it is mostly the seasonal (or shorter) climatic events which have greater environmental and socio-economic impacts. Therefore there is a particularly strong need for data representing seasonally resolved temperature variability for the Southern Hemisphere. This project aims to develop high-resolution, quantitative reconstructions of summer and winter temperature variability in the Chilean Andes during the past 1000 years based on novel methods; chrysophyte stomatocyst analysis and scanning in-situ reflectance spectrometry. These records will be used to put recent climatic changes in a long-term context, study changes in seasonal contrasts/extremes and to study forcing factors in the greater study area by comparison to GCM ensemble runs. The basic costs of the CHILE1000 project are covered by a prestigious grant obtained by the applicant from the Swiss National Science Foundation (covering the applicant’s salary and a contribution to other project costs). The ERG grant will form an essential contribution to the applicant’s career since it allows carrying out all required fieldwork and analysis and will greatly enhance the applicant’s visibility and independence in a novel, promising field of research."

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Hochschulstrasse 6
3012 Bern

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Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Administrative Contact
Moehl Margret (Ms.)
EU contribution
€ 45 000