NESSC days 2018

The 2018 NESSC days will be held on the 14th and 15th of March at NH hotel Koningshof Veldhoven. The 14th of March is exclusively a NESSC day, while on the 15th of March NESSC will have two sessions during the first day of NAC.

Please note: that the NESSC day and the social dinner during the day are free of charge – however accommodation is at your own expense. Please note that NAC charges a registration fee (with option for 1 or 2 days attendance).

The Prelimliniary progam:

Wednesday 14 March
10h10: Coffee and registration
10h10-10h30: Welcome – general updates NESSC
10h30-11h15: Keynote – dr. Bette Otto-Bliesner: Insights into the Climate Evolution Since the Last Glacial Maximum: A Melding of Paleoclimate Modeling and Data
11h15-12h15: Presentations 1 – 4x 15 min presentations

11h15-11h30 Gabriella Weiss – Compound-specific hydrogen isotope measurements on alkenones as a paleosalinity indicator

11h30-11h45 Nadine SmitAerobic methane oxidation in soils as revealed by lipid biomarkers at terrestrial methane seeps in southern Sicily, Italy

11h45-12h Julia KurthGeneration of lipid biomarkers for anaerobic methane oxidizers and analysis of a novel microbial methane production pathway

12h-12h15 Lianna PoghosyanComparative genome analyses of two distinct comammox Nitrospira from the terrestrial subsurface

12h15-13h15: Lunch

13h15-14h15: SIAB meeting with PhD students and Postdocs
14h15-14h35: NESSC outreach/PhD Network
14h35-15h20: Keynote – Professor Michel Crucifix: A brief history of ice ages.
15h20-15h40: Coffee Break
15h40-17h10: Presentation 2 – 6 x 15 min presentations

15h40-15h55 Bregje vd Bolt – Climate Reddening Promotes the Chance of Critical Transitions

15h55-16h10 Els Weinans – Sytem slowness as a predictor of instabilities 

16h10-16h25 André Jüling – Energetics of the Southern Ocean Mode

16h25-16h40 Matthias KudererThe effect of bioturbation on organic matter degradation

16h40-16h55 Ove MeiselComparison of pore water δ13-DOC from a Siberian bedfast-ice and floating-ice lake and its implications for future greenhouse gas emissions

16h55-17h10 Margot CramwinckelDisentangling the roles of changing climate and oceanography during the Middle Eocene Climatic Optimum in the southwest Pacific Ocean
17h15: Poster Presentations and Social Drinks
19h-21h: NESSC dinner

Thursday 15 March

Two NESSC sessions of 1 hour each (4 x 15 min presentations)

NESSC session 1; 11h30-12h30

11h30-11h45 Leo Van KampenhoutRegional grid refinement in an ESM: application to Greenland

11h45-12h Anne van der MeerCarbonate clumped isotope thermometry: recent developments and application in Plio-Pleistocene climate reconstructions

12h-12h15 Carolien van der WeijstTracing late Pliocene Atlantic thermohaline circulation using paired δ13C-δ18O of benthic foraminifera

12h15-12h30 Nina PapadomanolakiControls on marine organic carbon burial and its impact on the global carbon cycle during the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum

NESSC session 2; 15h-16h

15h-15h15 Esmee GeerkenCalcite precipitation rate in foraminiferal calcite and the impact on element incorporation

15h15-15h30 Caitlyn WitkowskipCO2 reconstructions of the Miocene using stable isotopic compositions of algal biomarkers

15h30-15h45 Joshua DeanMethane feedbacks to the global carbon cycle in a warming climate – combining microbial and geochemical perspectives.

15h45-16h Robin v/d Ploeg – A multiproxy sea surface temperature reconstruction of the MECO

Information on our two keynote speakers:

Dr. Bette Otto-Bliesner and professor Michel Crucific have joined the NESSC Scientific International Advisory Board in 2017, replacing Professor Peter Cox and dr. Valerie Masson-Delmotte.

Dr. Otto-Bliesner is a Senior Scientist in the Paleo and Polar Climate Section of the Climate and Global Dynamics Laboratory of the National Center for Atmospheric Research. Her career has spanned synoptic meteorology, climate diagnostics, and climate change modeling, and has included teaching, research and community service. Her early research focused on the development of a climate model of intermediate complexity, which she used to understand the modern climate system and past climate change.


Paleoclimate modeling has progressed from its early days of idealized time slices for particular geologic periods using atmosphere-only models to simulations that can explore the transient evolution of the climate system, especially the time-evolving nature of the atmosphere, ocean, sea ice, and land surface and their interactions, over many millennia. These transient simulations have been made possible by the increase in computing power, the development and coupling of new model components, and the availability of improved chronologies of changes in the important forcings and responses.

The mechanisms and feedbacks responsible for explaining the temporal nature of the records – leads and lags, abrupt changes – are now better understood by the combined analysis from paleoclimate modeling and data together, progress which neither can make alone. The data provides us with the ‘what’ and ‘when’, while modeling provides us a tool to test the ‘why’. In this talk, I will provide insights into some of the questions surrounding the last 21,000 years. What forcings contributed to the abrupt Bølling-Allerød warming in Greenland? Why did the African Humid Period start synchronously and rapidly over much of Africa just after 15,000 years ago? Was the Last Glacial Maximum ENSO stronger or weaker than present? By continuing to explore the unanswered puzzles of paleoclimate, together, our community provides a firmer basis for understanding the future trajectory for our Earth.

Professor Michel Crucifix has been working on climate dynamics and palaeoclimates since 1998, and specialized in modelling the dynamics of the climate system, with a focus on the ice ages phenomenon. He leads the theoretical climate and paleoclimate research group and teaches Meteorology, Physics and dynamics of atmosphere and Ocean dynamics, numerical methods in physics, physical geography, and advanced methods of climate modelling.


45 years ago James Lovelock proposed that Gaia hypothesis. While the very concept of Gaia has evolved and partly ambiguous, the overarching idea which has persisted since Lovelocks’ original articles  is that life all over the Earth is tightly coupled with its environment and constitutes a system whose global dynamics deserve scrutiny. According to Lovelock, this system has acquired stability, and this stability has preserved life throughout crises and changes in the external environment.

The lecture introduces the subject with a historical overview of the Gaia theory, along with summary of the Earth’s climate history since the apparition of life. We then cast Gaia in terms of dynamical systems language. We will focus on the case of ice ages and use it to apply the fairly standard concepts of stability and resilience. In the second part of the lecture, we will venture a bit more boldly into the concept of function such as defined by Robert Rosen, and speculate freely about the function of ice ages.