Work Package 2: Improving past climate records
Paleoclimate information is derived from the study of ice cores, stalagmites, soils and sediment accumulating in lakes and in the ocean. The organic and inorganic chemistry in the sediment, as well as the structure and fossil content, provide the necessary information for climate research. With this work package NESSC aims to increase the resolution and accuracy of these records, so we can narrow down the range of uncertainties in reconstruction of key past climate periods.
Carbon dioxide and climate change
Many previous studies suggest a strong connection between carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and climate change. For example, when 34 million years ago the atmospheric carbon dioxide values dropped to about three times the pre-industrial levels, the Antarctic ice sheet was suddenly and rapidly established. There are many more examples of strong connections between the atmospheric levels of carbon dioxide and major temperature fluctuations.
One of our main goals is to improve the reconstructions of atmospheric carbon dioxide levels beyond the temporal range of ice core records, which go back only 0.8 million years. Furthermore, we aim to improve temperature records, both in space and in time. Records of additional critical climate parameters such as hydrology, sea level and greenhouse gases are required to achieve this goal.
Contact person: prof. dr. Jaap Sinninghe Damsté