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Content archived on 2024-05-15

Sea level, temperature and ocean circulation, past and future : a european network


The changes in mean atmospheric temperature and sea level predicted for the coming decades need to be viewed within the context of an anthropogenically perturbed natural system. However, there is not yet a proper understanding of the natural feedback mechanisms between ocean circulation, temperature change and sea level that form the basis for this system. As such, our ability to predict how the earth's climate will change over this century and over longer time-scales is severely hampered. STOPFEN will aggressively address this problem by developing more precise techniques and exploring new archives of inter-glacial climate change in close collaboration with climate modelers. The research will include an improvement in the dating precision of the records in corals, speleothems and marine sediments. In addition, available proxies will be refined and new geochemical tools will be developed in order to achieve a more realistic reconstruction of the above climate change parameters. Both steps are enabled by latest developments in organic and inorganic mass spectrometry, such as for example multi-collector ICPMS. The integration of these more precise proxy records will lead to a major step forward in the understanding of the temporal and thus causal relationships between changes in ice- volume, atmospheric temperature and ocean circulation. Phase relationships between the proxy records from different areas on Earth will also enable one to differentiate northern and southern hemisphere controls of major climatic changes in the past such as glacial-interglacial transitions. These data will serve as the basis for modeling past climate more realistically and lead to much improved predictive modeling. The modeling results are important for a precise understanding of the feedback mechanisms of man-made environmental change and future economic planning particularly in Europe, where predicted global climate change will have severe consequences. STOPFEN bring


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University of Cambridge
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Downing Street
CB2 3EQ Cambridge
United Kingdom

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Participants (6)