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Climate and Environmental Physics

English title Climate and Environmental Physics
Applicant Stocker Thomas
Number 159563
Funding scheme Project funding (Div. I-III)
Research institution Klima- und Umweltphysik Physikalisches Institut Universität Bern
Institution of higher education University of Berne - BE
Main discipline Other disciplines of Physics
Start/End 01.04.2015 - 31.03.2017
Approved amount 2'400'000.00
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All Disciplines (5)

Discipline
Other disciplines of Physics
Hydrology, Limnology, Glaciology
Oceanography
Climatology. Atmospherical Chemistry, Aeronomy
Other disciplines of Environmental Sciences

Keywords (8)

polar ice cores; climate dynamics and modelling; paleoclimate; groundwater; stable isotopes in the environment; water cycle; greenhouse gases; radionuclides

Lay Summary (German)

Lead
Forschung in Klima- und Umweltphysik umfasst Beobachtungen, theoretische Modellbildung, und Modellsimulationen. Mit diesen Mitteln, die in diesem Projekt weiterentwickelt werden, wird das Verständnis der Klimaentwicklung der vergangenen 1'000'000 Jahre vertieft. Damit werden Abschätzungen künftiger Klimaänderungen, verursacht durch den vom Menschen verursachten Anstieg der Treihausgaskonzentrationen verbessert.
Lay summary
Klimaforschung ist von unmittelbarer gesellschaftlicher Bedeutung, da die Reaktionen des Erd-Systems auf die veränderte Zusammensetzung der Atmosphäre, besonders die Treibhausgase, verstanden werden müssen. Umfassende Klimaforschung ruht auf drei Pfeilern: Beobachtungen, theoretisches Verständnis durch Modellbildung, und Modellsimulationen.

In diesem kollaborativen Projekt kombinieren wir die drei Pfeiler, indem vergangene Klimaänderungen der letzten 800'000 Jahre rekonstruiert, Modelle entwickelt, und umfassende Simulationen ausgeführt werden. Im ersten Pfeiler bauen wir hoch-präzise analytische Methoden um Gaskonzentrationen, Isotopenverhältnisse und chemische Stoffe in polaren Eisbohrkernen zu messen. Von besonderem Interesse sind abrupte Klimaschwankungen, die in Messungen hoher zeitliche Auslösung gefunden werden, sowie die Abschätzung ihrer Auswirkungen und räumlichen Verteilung im Klimasystem. Daneben werden in diesem Projekt auch sehr geringe Konzentrationen natürlicher Radionuklide gemessen, um die Speicherung und Erneuerung von verschiedenen Grundwasserträgern weltweit zu quantifizieren.

Wir verwenden eine Hierarchie von Klimamodellen, die von Prozessmodellen, über Modelle reduzierter Komplexität, bis zu vollständigen Erd-System Modellen reicht. Der zweite Pfeiler der Forschung besteht aus der Entwicklung dieser Modelle und Elemente, die einzelne Klimasystemkomponenten darstellen. Schliesslich werden diese im dritten Pfeiler verwendet, um verschiedene Klimagrössen direkt zu simulieren. Mit denselben Modellen werden Auswirkungen von Klimaszenarien berechnet, um wahrscheinlichkeitsbasierte Abschätzungen globaler Veränderungen des Klimasystems zu erreichen.

Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 30.03.2015

Lay Summary (English)

Lead
Comprehensive climate and environmental research carried out in this project combines observations, theoretical understanding through model development, and model simulations. With this tool box, which combines high-precision analytical methods with model simulations, both further developed in this project, we aim to improve the understanding of the climate evolution of the past 1,000,000 years and the estimate of the response of the Earth System to the increase of anthropogenic greenhouse gases.
Lay summary

Climate research is of immediate relevance to society because we need to understand how the complex Earth System reacts to human-caused changes in the composition of the atmosphere, in particular greenhouse gases. Comprehensive climate research rests on three pillars: Observation, theoretical understanding and model development, and climate model simulations.

In a large collaborative effort we combine the three pillars. For the first pillar, we develop and apply high-precision methods to measure concentrations of gases and their isotopes, and chemical substances on polar ice cores. We focus on abrupt climate change found in high-resolution records, their effects on the various components of the climate system, and their regional expression. In addition we measure very low concentrations of some unique radio-isotopes to estimate groundwater storage and renewal in reservoirs around the world. An essential element is the development of climate models including biogeochemical components which are tested by modern observations. We employ a hierarchy of climate models ranging from process models, models of reduced complexity, to comprehensive climate models. Model development and testing constitutes the second pillar of this project. The third pillar is extensive model simulations of many paleoclimatic variables and a direct comparison of the results with the paleoclimatic records. In many cases we aim at simulating changes in the past which have not yet been measured in paleoclimatic archives. This involves simulations over complete ice age cycles, in particular before 800,000 years before the present. These same models are then used to project, in a probabilistic framework, anthropogenic climate change with the goal to learn more about the global responses and sensitivity of the climate system to this unprecedented perturbation.
Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 30.03.2015

Responsible applicant and co-applicants

Employees

Publications

Publication
Holocene peatland and ice-core data constraints on the timing and magnitude of CO 2 emissions from past land use
Stocker Benjamin David, Yu Zicheng, Massa Charly, Joos Fortunat (2017), Holocene peatland and ice-core data constraints on the timing and magnitude of CO 2 emissions from past land use, in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 114(7), 1492-1497.
A probabilistic assessment of calcium carbonate export and dissolution in the modern ocean
Battaglia Gianna, Steinacher Marco, Joos Fortunat (2016), A probabilistic assessment of calcium carbonate export and dissolution in the modern ocean, in Biogeosciences, 13(9), 2823-2848.
An ice sheet model of reduced complexity for paleoclimate studies
Neff Basil, Born Andreas, Stocker Thomas F. (2016), An ice sheet model of reduced complexity for paleoclimate studies, in Earth System Dynamics, 7(2), 397-418.
Boreal fire records in Northern Hemisphere ice cores: a review
Legrand Michel, McConnell Joseph, Fischer Hubertus, Wolff Eric W., Preunkert Susanne, Arienzo Monica, Chellman Nathan, Leuenberger Daiana, Maselli Olivia, Place Philip, Sigl Michael, Schüpbach Simon, Flannigan Mike (2016), Boreal fire records in Northern Hemisphere ice cores: a review, in Climate of the Past, 12(10), 2033-2059.
Comparative carbon cycle dynamics of the present and last interglacial
Brovkin Victor, Brücher Tim, Kleinen Thomas, Zaehle Sönke, Joos Fortunat, Roth Raphael, Spahni Renato, Schmitt Jochen, Fischer Hubertus, Leuenberger Markus, Stone Emma J., Ridgwell Andy, Chappellaz Jérôme, Kehrwald Natalie, Barbante Carlo, Blunier Thomas, Dahl Jensen Dorthe (2016), Comparative carbon cycle dynamics of the present and last interglacial, in Quaternary Science Reviews, 137, 15-32.
Consequences of twenty-first-century policy for multi-millennial climate and sea-level change
Clark Peter U., Shakun Jeremy D., Marcott Shaun A., Mix Alan C., Eby Michael, Kulp Scott, Levermann Anders, Milne Glenn A., Pfister Patrik L., Santer Benjamin D., Schrag Daniel P., Solomon Susan, Stocker Thomas F., Strauss Benjamin H., Weaver Andrew J., Winkelmann Ricarda, Archer David, Bard Edouard, Goldner Aaron, Lambeck Kurt, Pierrehumbert Raymond T., Plattner Gian-Kasper (2016), Consequences of twenty-first-century policy for multi-millennial climate and sea-level change, in Nature Climate Change, 6(4), 360-369.
Earth system commitments due to delayed mitigation
Pfister Patrik L, Stocker Thomas F (2016), Earth system commitments due to delayed mitigation, in Environmental Research Letters, 11(1), 014010-014010.
Evolution of the stable carbon isotope composition of atmospheric CO2 over the last glacial cycle
Eggleston S., Schmitt J., Bereiter B., Schneider R., Fischer H. (2016), Evolution of the stable carbon isotope composition of atmospheric CO2 over the last glacial cycle, in Paleoceanography, 31(3), 434-452.
How warm was Greenland during the last interglacial period?
Landais Amaelle, Masson-Delmotte Valérie, Capron Emilie, Langebroek Petra M., Bakker Pepijn, Stone Emma J., Merz Niklaus, Raible Christoph C., Fischer Hubertus, Orsi Anaïs, Prié Frédéric, Vinther Bo, Dahl-Jensen Dorthe (2016), How warm was Greenland during the last interglacial period?, in Climate of the Past, 12(9), 1933-1948.
Implications of the Paris agreement for the ocean
Magnan Alexandre K., Colombier Michel, Billé Raphaël, Joos Fortunat, Hoegh-Guldberg Ove, Pörtner Hans-Otto, Waisman Henri, Spencer Thomas, Gattuso Jean-Pierre (2016), Implications of the Paris agreement for the ocean, in Nature Climate Change, 6(8), 732-735.
Intensification of tropical Pacific biological productivity due to volcanic eruptions
Chikamoto Megumi O., Timmermann Axel, Yoshimori Masakazu, Lehner Flavio, Laurian Audine, Abe-Ouchi Ayako, Mouchet Anne, Joos Fortunat, Raible Christoph C., Cobb Kim M. (2016), Intensification of tropical Pacific biological productivity due to volcanic eruptions, in Geophysical Research Letters, 43(3), 1184-1192.
Objective climatology of cyclones in the Mediterranean region: a consensus view among methods with different system identification and tracking criteria
Lionello Piero, Trigo Isabel F., Gil Victoria, Liberato Margarida L. R., Nissen Katrin M., Pinto Joaquim G., Raible Christoph C., Reale Marco, Tanzarella Annalisa, Trigo Ricardo M., Ulbrich Sven, Ulbrich Uwe (2016), Objective climatology of cyclones in the Mediterranean region: a consensus view among methods with different system identification and tracking criteria, in Tellus A: Dynamic Meteorology and Oceanography, 68(1), 29391-29391.
Past and future evolution of Abies alba forests in Europe - comparison of a dynamic vegetation model with palaeo data and observations
Ruosch Melanie, Spahni Renato, Joos Fortunat, Henne Paul D., van der Knaap Willem O., Tinner Willy (2016), Past and future evolution of Abies alba forests in Europe - comparison of a dynamic vegetation model with palaeo data and observations, in Global Change Biology, 22(2), 727-740.
Response of the AMOC to reduced solar radiation; the modulating role of atmospheric chemistry
Muthers Stefan, Raible Christoph C., Rozanov Eugene, Stocker Thomas F. (2016), Response of the AMOC to reduced solar radiation; the modulating role of atmospheric chemistry, in Earth System Dynamics, 7(4), 877-892.
Simulating oxygen isotope ratios in tree ring cellulose using a dynamic global vegetation model
Keel Sonja G., Joos Fortunat, Spahni Renato, Saurer Matthias, Weigt Rosemarie B., Klesse Stefan (2016), Simulating oxygen isotope ratios in tree ring cellulose using a dynamic global vegetation model, in Biogeosciences, 13(13), 3869-3886.
The 1430s: a cold period of extraordinary internal climate variability during the early Spörer Minimum with social and economic impacts in north-western and central Europe
Camenisch Chantal, Keller Kathrin M., Salvisberg Melanie, Amann Benjamin, Bauch Martin, Blumer Sandro, Brázdil Rudolf, Brönnimann Stefan, Büntgen Ulf, Campbell Bruce M. S., Fernández-Donado Laura, Fleitmann Dominik, Glaser Rüdiger, González-Rouco Fidel, Grosjean Martin, Hoffmann Richard C., Huhtamaa Heli, Joos Fortunat, Kiss Andrea, Kotyza Oldřich, Lehner Flavio, Luterbacher Jürg, Maughan Nicolas, Neukom Raphael, et al. (2016), The 1430s: a cold period of extraordinary internal climate variability during the early Spörer Minimum with social and economic impacts in north-western and central Europe, in Climate of the Past, 12(11), 2107-2126.
The global methane budget 2000–2012
Saunois Marielle, Bousquet Philippe, Poulter Ben, Peregon Anna, Ciais Philippe, Canadell Josep G., Dlugokencky Edward J., Etiope Giuseppe, Bastviken David, Houweling Sander, Janssens-Maenhout Greet, Tubiello Francesco N., Castaldi Simona, Jackson Robert B., Alexe Mihai, Arora Vivek K., Beerling David J., Bergamaschi Peter, Blake Donald R., Brailsford Gordon, Brovkin Victor, Bruhwiler Lori, Crevoisier Cyril, Crill Patrick, et al. (2016), The global methane budget 2000–2012, in Earth System Science Data, 8(2), 697-751.
Transient Earth system responses to cumulative carbon dioxide emissions: linearities, uncertainties, and probabilities in an observation-constrained model ensemble
Steinacher M., Joos F. (2016), Transient Earth system responses to cumulative carbon dioxide emissions: linearities, uncertainties, and probabilities in an observation-constrained model ensemble, in Biogeosciences, 13(4), 1071-1103.
Transport of salt and freshwater in the Atlantic Subpolar Gyre
Gerber C., Vaikmäe R., Aeschbach W., Babre A., Jiang W., Leuenberger M., Lu Z.-T., Mokrik R., Müller P., Raidla V., Saks T., Waber H. N., Weissbach T., Zappala J. C., Purtschert R. (2016), Transport of salt and freshwater in the Atlantic Subpolar Gyre, in Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, 205, 187-210.
Warm Greenland during the last interglacial: the role of regional changes in sea ice cover
Merz Niklaus, Born Andreas, Raible Christoph C., Stocker Thomas F. (2016), Warm Greenland during the last interglacial: the role of regional changes in sea ice cover, in Climate of the Past, 12(10), 2011-2031.
An updated synthesis of the observed and projected impacts of climate change on the chemical, physical and biological processes in the oceans
Howes Ella L., Joos Fortunat, Eakin C. Mark, Gattuso Jean-Pierre (2015), An updated synthesis of the observed and projected impacts of climate change on the chemical, physical and biological processes in the oceans, in Frontiers in Marine Science, 2, 1-27.
Chemical compositions of solid particles present in the Greenland NEEM ice core over the last 110,000 years
Oyabu Ikumi, Iizuka Yoshinori, Fischer Hubertus, Schüpbach Simon, Gfeller Gideon, Svensson Anders, Fukui Manabu, Steffensen Jørgen Peder, Hansson Margareta (2015), Chemical compositions of solid particles present in the Greenland NEEM ice core over the last 110,000 years, in Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres, 120(18), 9789-9813.
Chlorine isotope composition in chlorofluorocarbons CFC-11, CFC-12 and CFC-113 in firn, stratospheric and tropospheric air
Allin S. J., Laube J. C., Witrant E., Kaiser J., McKenna E., Dennis P., Mulvaney R., Capron E., Martinerie P., Roeckmann T., Blunier T., Schwander J., Fraser P. J., Langenfelds R. L., Sturges W. T. (2015), Chlorine isotope composition in chlorofluorocarbons CFC-11, CFC-12 and CFC-113 in firn, stratospheric and tropospheric air, in Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, 15(12), 6867-6877.
Climatic and insolation control on the high-resolution total air content in the NGRIP ice core
Eicher O., Baumgartner M., Schilt A., Schmitt J., Schwander J., Stocker T. F., Fischer H. (2015), Climatic and insolation control on the high-resolution total air content in the NGRIP ice core, in Climate of the Past Discussions, 11(6), 5509-5548.
Continental-scale temperature variability in PMIP3 simulations and PAGES 2k regional temperature reconstructions over the past millennium
(2015), Continental-scale temperature variability in PMIP3 simulations and PAGES 2k regional temperature reconstructions over the past millennium, in Climate of the Past, 11, 1673-1699.
Estimation and calibration of the water isotope differential diffusion length in ice core records
van der Wel G., Fischer H., Oerter H., Meyer H., Meijer H. A. J. (2015), Estimation and calibration of the water isotope differential diffusion length in ice core records, in The Cryosphere, 9(4), 1601-1616.
European high-impact weather caused by the downstream response to the extratropical transition of North Atlantic Hurricane Katia (2011)
Grams Christian M., Blumer Sandro R. (2015), European high-impact weather caused by the downstream response to the extratropical transition of North Atlantic Hurricane Katia (2011), in Geophysical Research Letters, 42(20), 8738-8748.
Fire in ice: two millennia of boreal forest fire history from the Greenland NEEM ice core
Zennaro P., Kehrwald N., McConnell J. R., Schüpbach S., Maselli O. J., Marlon J., Vallelonga P., Leuenberger D., Zangrando R., Spolaor A., Borrotti M., Barbaro E., Gambaro A., Barbante C. (2015), Fire in ice: two millennia of boreal forest fire history from the Greenland NEEM ice core, in Climate of the Past, 10(5), 1905-1924.
From local perception to global perspective
Lehner Flavio, Stocker Thomas F. (2015), From local perception to global perspective, in Nature Climate Change, 5(8), 731-734.
Geochemical and Microbiological Studies of Nitrous Oxide Variations within the New NEEM Greenland Ice Core during the Last Glacial Period
Miteva Vanya, Sowers Todd, Schüpbach Simon, Fischer Hubertus, Brenchley Jean (2015), Geochemical and Microbiological Studies of Nitrous Oxide Variations within the New NEEM Greenland Ice Core during the Last Glacial Period, in Geomicrobiology Journal, 33(8), 647-660.
Millennial changes in North American wildfire and soil activity over the last glacial cycle
Fischer Hubertus, Schüpbach Simon, Gfeller Gideon, Bigler Matthias, Röthlisberger Regine, Erhardt Tobias, Stocker Thomas F., Mulvaney Robert, Wolff Eric W. (2015), Millennial changes in North American wildfire and soil activity over the last glacial cycle, in Nature Geoscience, 8(9), 723-727.
Modern solar maximum forced late twentieth century Greenland cooling
Kobashi T., Box J. E., Vinther B. M., Goto-Azuma K., Blunier T., White J. W. C., Nakaegawa T., Andresen C. S. (2015), Modern solar maximum forced late twentieth century Greenland cooling, in Geophysical Research Letters, 42(14), 5992-5999.
Quantifying differences in land use emission estimates implied by definition discrepancies
Stocker B. D., Joos F. (2015), Quantifying differences in land use emission estimates implied by definition discrepancies, in Earth System Dynamics, 6(2), 731-744.
Reconciling reconstructed and simulated features of the winter Pacific/North American pattern in the early 19th century
Zanchettin D., Bothe O., Lehner F., Ortega P., Raible C. C., Swingedouw D. (2015), Reconciling reconstructed and simulated features of the winter Pacific/North American pattern in the early 19th century, in Climate of the Past, 11(6), 939-958.
Retrieving the paleoclimatic signal from the deeper part of the EPICA Dome C ice core
Tison J.-L., de Angelis M., Littot G., Wolff E., Fischer H., Hansson M., Bigler M., Udisti R., Wegner A., Jouzel J., Stenni B., Johnsen S., Masson-Delmotte V., Landais A., Lipenkov V., Loulergue L., Barnola J.-M., Petit J.-R., Delmonte B., Dreyfus G., Dahl-Jensen D., Durand G., Bereiter B., Schilt A., et al. (2015), Retrieving the paleoclimatic signal from the deeper part of the EPICA Dome C ice core, in The Cryosphere, 9(4), 1633-1648.
The role of seasonality of mineral dust concentration and size on glacial/interglacial dust changes in the EPICA Dronning Maud Land ice core
Wegner Anna, Fischer Hubertus, Delmonte Barbara, Petit Jean-Robert, Erhardt Tobias, Ruth Urs, Svensson Anders, Vinther Bo, Miller Heinrich (2015), The role of seasonality of mineral dust concentration and size on glacial/interglacial dust changes in the EPICA Dronning Maud Land ice core, in Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres, 120(19), 9916-9931.
Timing and climate forcing of volcanic eruptions for the past 2,500 years
Sigl M., Winstrup M., McConnell J. R., Welten K. C., Plunkett G., Ludlow F., Büntgen U., Caffee M., Chellman N., Dahl-Jensen D., Fischer H., Kipfstuhl S., Kostick C., Maselli O. J., Mekhaldi F., Mulvaney R., Muscheler R., Pasteris D. R., Pilcher J. R., Salzer M., Schüpbach S., Steffensen J. P., Vinther B. M., Woodruff T. E. (2015), Timing and climate forcing of volcanic eruptions for the past 2,500 years, in Nature, 523(7562), 543-549.
WETCHIMP-WSL: intercomparison of wetland methane emissions models over West Siberia
Bohn T. J., Melton J. R., Ito A., Kleinen T., Spahni R., Stocker B. D., Zhang B., Zhu X., Schroeder R., Glagolev M. V., Maksyutov S., Brovkin V., Chen G., Denisov S. N., Eliseev A. V., Gallego-Sala A., McDonald K. C., Rawlins M.A., Riley W. J., Subin Z. M., Tian H., Zhuang Q., Kaplan J. O. (2015), WETCHIMP-WSL: intercomparison of wetland methane emissions models over West Siberia, in Biogeosciences, 12(11), 3321-3349.

Collaboration

Group / person Country
Types of collaboration
ETHZ, Institut für Atmosphärenphysik und Klima Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
Universität Heidelberg Germany (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
Alfred Wegener Institut (Bremerhaven) Germany (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
Potsdam Institut für Klimafolgenforschung (Potsdam) Germany (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
University of Venice Italy (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
University of Hawaii (Honolulu) United States of America (North America)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
Paul Scherrer Instiut, Villigen Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
EMPA, Dübendorf Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
Universität Bern, Chemisches Institut Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
Universität Bern, Geographisches Institut Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
LSCE (Saclay) France (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
National Centre for Atmospheric Research (Boulder) United States of America (North America)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
University of Bergen Norway (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
LGGE (Grenoble) France (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
University of Copenhagen Denmark (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication

Awards

Title Year
Dr. Honoris Causa ETH Zürich 2016
Foreign Honorary Member American Association of Arts and Sciences 2016
ISI Highly Cited Researcher 2016 2016
Foreign Member Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei 2015
ISI Highly Cited Researcher 2015

Associated projects

Number Title Start Funding scheme
147674 STALCLIM II - Multi-proxy climatic and environmental reconstructions from stalagmites from Switzerland, Turkey, Arabia and India 01.01.2014 Sinergia
136295 iTREE-Long-term variability of tree growth in a changing environment - identifying physiological mechanisms using stable C and O isotopes in tree rings. 01.04.2012 Sinergia
148992 ICOS-CH: Integrated Carbon Observation System in Switzerland 01.07.2013 Research Infrastructure
147659 Future and Past Solar Influence on the Terrestrial Climate II 01.01.2014 Sinergia
172550 Klima- und Umweltphysik: Isotope im Erdklimasystem (icoCEP) 01.04.2017 Project funding (Div. I-III)
172476 Climate and Environmental Physics: Modeling Global Biogeochemical Cycles in the Earth System (bgcCEP) 01.04.2017 Project funding (Div. I-III)
136273 CarboCount CH: Quantifying greenhouse gas fluxes and their sensitivity to climate variations: A case study in Central Europe and Switzerland 01.01.2012 Sinergia
172506 iCEP - Climate and Environmental Physics: Innovation in ice core science 01.04.2017 Project funding (Div. I-III)
144255 Alpine Jahrringisotopen Zeitreihen im Holozän 01.05.2013 Project funding (Div. I-III)
172476 Climate and Environmental Physics: Modeling Global Biogeochemical Cycles in the Earth System (bgcCEP) 01.04.2017 Project funding (Div. I-III)
147174 Climate and Environmental Physics 01.04.2013 Project funding (Div. I-III)
153042 Kohlenstoff- und Wasserkreislauf Forschung auf dem Jungfraujoch 01.04.2014 Project funding (Div. I-III)
172745 Climate and Environmental Physics: Pleistocene Earth System Evolution (pleistoCEP) 01.04.2017 Project funding (Div. I-III)
164190 EGRIP: The Swiss Contribution 01.04.2016 Research Infrastructure

Abstract

Earth System models, ranging from reduced-complexity to comprehensive, are developed and used to address questions of past and future climate change. Reduced-complexity models are coupled to dynamical carbon cycle modules, water mass tracers for paleoceanographic studies, and a dynamic vegetation model with peat and wetland processes for CH4 and N2O budgets. For the comprehensive model we will complete the development of a carbon isotope module for the land processes. In the coming funding period we will employ these models to investigate new paleoceanographic tracers (9Be, 10Be) and perform joint simulations with the entire water mass tracers over glacial-interglacial cycles before and after the Mid-Pleistocene Revolution, and through a series abrupt climate events typical of the last ice age. Simulations will include the noble gas tracers in the ocean and the results will be applied to emerging new ice core data from our division for whole-ocean temperature reconstructions. Fully coupled climate-carbon cycle model experiments address the question of climate-carbon sensitivity and transient carbon budgets in peat and wetland areas. They will also provide the basis for consistent interpretation of novel isotopic data from polar ice cores. Comprehensive models will also be used to investigate atmospheric dynamics and their role during the past millennium for specific climate periods. Finally, we will perform ensemble simulations for future climate change to investigate mitigation delay sensitivities of the climate system.Reconstructing past climate change will be based primarily on comprehensive measurements of greenhouse gas concentrations and air components, including most of their stable isotopes, and the palette of high-resolution chemical compounds in ice cores from Greenland and Antarctica. Interpretations of these measurements will be facilitated, where possible, with dedicated climate-carbon cycle models to constrain the history of exchange fluxes of carbon. In the coming two years we will close the low-resolution gap in CO2 measurements between 150 and 450,000 years. ?13CO2 measurements will focus on one entire glacial cycle and on milder interglacials before 450,000 years before present. The continuous flow analyses (CFA) will be used to unravel past atmospheric dynamics and modes of variability on the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets. The focus will lie on a high-resolution comparison of Eemian and Holocene records to gain further insight into the characteristic differences of these warm phases. This study will be enabled by simulations using a comprehensive climate model. A deep ice core drilling in the Neumayer Hinterland, Antarctica, is projected for the austral season 2015/16 in a German-Swiss cooperation. If successful we will obtain new ice which will provide unique access to Holocene greenhouse gas concentrations and Antarctic climate variability in high resolution.Isotope analyses is a state-of-the-art tool in environmental physics. They provide independent constraints of fluxes, permit the estimate of reservoir sizes, and the determination of age or renewal times of constituents. We utilize our unique palette of natural radio-nuclides (14C, 81Kr, 85Kr, 37Ar, 39Ar) to date groundwaters and to estimate underground production, both natural and anthropogenic. In the coming two years we will investigate the contamination of aquifers by the industrial use of salt on roads during winter time and the dynamics of arsenic pollution. Such studies require a reliable dating of the aquifer which is enabled by our radionuclide concentrations. Very old waters are dated using 81Kr, which requires a complex purification step prior to atom trap trace analysis. The very old waters also contain climate information through concentrations of noble gases. In the coming two years we strengthen the new collaborations with the ice core community to date very old ice from blue ice zones in Antarctica.Innovation of the experimental infrastructure will be continued. For the CFA device we are developing a new dust size sensor. This important quantity provides a wealth of information regarding atmospheric flow, precipitation origin and deposition history. Dust concentration and size will be determined by the classical Coulter Counter principle adjusted to the specific CFA setup. In the next two years we will complete our new ice drilling equipment for field testing in Greenland. The goal is to drill within a few days a thin hole down to bedrock using a small-diameter hydro-powered drill. Such a hole will provide rapid access to temperature and dust profile measurements and recovery of deep ice samples to aid site selection in the "Oldest Ice" project.
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