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Climate Change and Earth-Ocean-Atmosphere Systems

Climate Change and Earth-Ocean-Atmosphere Systems 

Academic Staff involved in this discipline:
Professor Mike Bickle, Dr Neil Davies, Professor David Hodell, Dr Alex Piotrowski, Dr Luke Skinner, Dr Edward T. Tipper, Dr Alexandra Turchyn and Professor Eric W. Wolff

PhD Students involved in this discipline:
Mr Gilad Antler, Mr Benjamin Birner, Miss Madeleine Bohlin, Mr Harold Bradbury, Miss Emma Cross, Mr Nick Evans, Miss Emma Freeman, Mr Fernando Gazquez Sanchez, Miss Julia Gottschalk, Miss Hazel Jenkins, Mr Jake Howe, Miss Rong Hu, Miss Joanna Kerr, Miss Sophie Lawrence, Miss Yuting Li, Mr Chin Yik Lin, Miss Alexandra Maskell, Mr Willaim McMahon, Miss Alex Morgan, Miss Jenny Roberts, Mr Peter Scott and Mr Thomas Williams.

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.

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International team head to Papua New Guinea to measure volcanic carbon degassing

Sep 01, 2016

An international team of scientists is traveling to the islands of Papua New Guinea this September to study degassing from active volcanoes in remote jungles there. Some of these volcanoes are among the most active on Earth, ejecting a significant proportion of global volcanic gases into the atmosphere.

Mistaken Point - Canada's 10th geological World Heritage Site

Aug 02, 2016

The ancient rugged coastline of Mistaken Point on Newfoundland’s Avalon Peninsula face the winds and waves of the Atlantic Ocean. It can be a difficult place to work, but nevertheless it has been a mecca for geologists for over several decades now.

An underestimated Kevan

Jul 21, 2016

Douglas Palmer on the Sedgwick Museum’s giant Pliosaurus cf. kevani in the latest edition of Geoscientist

Oesia – a new tube worm from deep Cambrian times

Jul 21, 2016

Collections up close, Sedgwick Museum of Earth Sciences

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