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Abrupt climate change during the last deglaciation: linking records from Greenland to central Europe.

Project Description

Project Rationale:
The last deglaciation (16,000 – 11,000 years ago) was Earth’s most recent massive climate change but its dynamics are not adequately understood. Multiple warming and cooling episodes occurred during northern hemisphere deglaciation, but records of these events at sufficiently high resolution to track their development have hitherto been largely confined to continental Europe and Greenland. The annually resolved Greenland ice-core records show that several major climatic shifts of the last deglaciation occurred on timescales of decades with some abrupt warmings occurring in 1-3 years [1]. This project aims to understand the origins and mechanisms of transmission of these climate shifts by determining their degree of synchroneity and identifying potential leads and lags. New cores from Windermere in the Lake District contain the highest resolution deglacial record from Britain and Ireland and provide the opportunity to fill in a missing link in the deglacial history of the northern hemisphere [2]. Laminated sediments provide up to annual resolution and pilot studies demonstrate evidence for many of the climatic features recorded in Greenland. Specifically, the interval of the Windermere Interstadial (Bølling-Allerød or GI-1) shows evidence for initial abrupt warming and multiple internal climate oscillations and study of this forms the basis of the project.

Funding Notes

You can apply for fully-funded studentships (stipend and fees) from INSPIRE if you:
Are a UK or EU national.
Have no restrictions on how long you can stay in the UK.
Have been 'ordinarily resident' in the UK for 3 years prior to the start of the project.

Please click View Website for more information on eligibilty and how to apply


References (3 or fewer)
[1] Steffensen, J.P. et al. 2008. High-resolution Greenland ice core data show abrupt climate change happens in a few years. Science 321: 680-684.
[2] Avery, R.A., Kemp, A.E.S. et al., 2019. A new varve sequence from Windermere, UK, records rapid ice retreat prior to the onset of the Lateglacial Interstadial (GI-1). Quaternary Science Reviews (in press).
[3] Brooks, S. and Langdon, P.G. 2014. Summer temperature gradients in northwest Europe during the Lateglacial to early Holocene transition (15-8 ka BP) inferred from chironomid assemblages. Quaternary International 341: 80-90.

How good is research at University of Southampton in Earth Systems and Environmental Sciences?

FTE Category A staff submitted: 68.62

Research output data provided by the Research Excellence Framework (REF)

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