Recent studies suggest that modulation of the thermohaline circulation has occurred in the past and is one of the principal factors driving high amplitude climate change in Europe with rapid changes occurring on decadal time scales. It is important to understand whether the thermohaline circulation is stable in its present mode of operation, what internal and external forcing that are required to maintain or change it, and what impacts such changes might have.
The main objectives of this proposal are to:
. Investigate the stability and variability of the thermohaline circulation during different forcing regimes.
. Study the interactions between the Fennoscandian ice sheet and thermohaline circulation changes in the Norwegian Sea during the last and penultimate glaciations.
New marine sediment cores from high-sedimentation rate areas of the Voring Plateau will enable studies in unprecedented detail of rapid transitions and the rate of change and true variability of selected intervals.