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Climate Change and Earth-Ocean-Atmosphere Systems

False-colour view of the area surrounding the Jakobshavn Glacier on the western coast of Greenland.

We have developed a range of chemical, isotopic and sedimentary proxies of the critical parameters needed to describe past climatic states and the processes that force change. We are using them to explore the causes and consequences of rapid climate changes in the last glacial cycle. We have increased the links between workers on marine, ice-core and terrestrial records and promoted collaboration with the climate modelling community. We have expanded our research into climate and past ocean circulation and into bio-geochemistry using novel proxies. We have recently refurbished our isotope-geochemistry laboratories and facilities.

Current research includes:

  • Calibrations of astronomical forcing of climate change records in oceanic sediments.
  • Multi-proxy studies of abrupt climate change in the oceans.
  • Sedimentological and geochemical tracers of past deep-sea circulation vigour and sediment supply.
  • Use of foraminiferal metal chemistry and the stable isotopic composition of biogenic sediments in palaeochemical studies of ocean temperature and nutrient variations.
  • Processes and geochemical fluxes associated with earth-atmosphere interaction in chemical weathering.
  • Isotopic studies of siliceous and calcareous microfossils for palaeoproductivity and environmental variations.
  • Biogeochemical cycling of stable isotopes and elements in marine and terrestrial systems, with particular focus on the Carbon cycle.
  • The co-evolution of alluvial systems and land plants during the Palaeozoic.
  • The sedimentary record of the terrestrialization process.

We are also interested in supervising research students in the general fields of seawater and sediment geochemistry, particularly using isotope geochemistry to understand water and chemical budgets of the oceans, and in linking understanding of the chemistry of the modern rivers and oceans to weathering history and palaeoceanography. Studies of modern sedimentation also provide a link to understanding past ocean dynamics. 

We have well equipped laboratories with a multi-collector ICP mass-spectrometer, three solid-source and four gas-source mass spectrometers, atomic-emission spectrometer, ICP-MS, C-H-N analyzer, atomic absorption, Sedigraph, a coulter counter, magnetic susceptibility, X-radiography, cathodoluminescence. Thus, we offer topics which incorporate training in geochemical and sedimentological techniques, into research on major current problems in global change and global biogeochemical cycles.

Recent publications in this area.

People specializing in this area