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Klima- und Umweltphysik: Isotope im Erdklimasystem (icoCEP)

English title Climate and Environmental Physics: Isotopes in Earth System Science (isoCEP)
Applicant Leuenberger Markus
Number 172550
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 Climatology. Atmospherical Chemistry, Aeronomy
Start/End 01.04.2017 - 31.03.2021
Approved amount 1'000'000.00
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All Disciplines (4)

Discipline
Climatology. Atmospherical Chemistry, Aeronomy
Other disciplines of Physics
Other disciplines of Environmental Sciences
Other disciplines of Engineering Sciences

Keywords (11)

Isotope; Emanation; Stable Isotope; Cosmogenic production; Dating; Underground production; Low level counting; Tracing environmental processes; Climate reconstruction; Hydrology; Atmosphere

Lay Summary (German)

Lead
Neu- und Weiterentwicklung von Isotopenmethoden und deren Anwendung an Archiven wie Baumringe, Eis, Luft und Grundwasser.
Lay summary
Wissenschaftliche Untersuchungen mittels Isotopen-Zusammensetzungen haben über die letzten Jahrzehnte deutlich zugenommen. Dies ist insbesondere auf die Entwicklung von gekoppelten Systemen der Probenaufbereitung und der Probendetektion zurückzuführen. Im Rahmen dieses Projekts werden wir Isotopenmessungen an Baumringfunden der letzten 10‘000 Jahre für Kohlenstoff, Sauerstoff und Wasserstoff durchführen. Dies erlaubt uns Variationen der Klimageschichte über die letzten 10'000 Jahre im Alpinen Raum zu rekonstruieren. Der Fokus liegt dabei auf Zeitintervallen die einen hohen beziehungsweise geringen Stress auf die untersuchten Baumarten ausweisen. Die simultane Bestimmung der Konzentration und Isotopie von Treibhausgasen (CO2, CH4, N2O) ermöglicht die Differenzierung zwischen natürlichen und von Menschen verursachten Emissionen. Im Weiteren werden die Produktions- und Freisetzungsmechanismen von Argon Isotopen im Untergrund untersucht. Dies wird eine zuverlässigere Datierung von Grundwässern mit Verweilzeiten von 100-1000 Jahre ermöglichen.
Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 15.05.2017

Responsible applicant and co-applicants

Employees

Project partner

Associated projects

Number Title Start Funding scheme
144255 Alpine Jahrringisotopen Zeitreihen im Holozän 01.05.2013 Project funding (Div. I-III)
170726 IsoConCair: Charakterisierung der Konzentrations- und Isotopenzusammensetzung der Hauptluftkomponenten 01.12.2016 R'EQUIP
148992 ICOS-CH: Integrated Carbon Observation System in Switzerland 01.07.2013 Research Infrastructure
148994 ICOS-Zusatz an den Unterhalt und Betrieb der Hochalpinen Forschungsstation Jungfraujoch, 2013-2016 01.12.2013 Research Infrastructure
159563 Climate and Environmental Physics 01.04.2015 Project funding (Div. I-III)
173691 ICOS-CH Phase 2 01.07.2017 Research Infrastructure

Abstract

Isotope studies have considerably increased over the last decades mainly due to the development of online preparation systems and new detector methods such as laser based instruments. Yet, for many applications mass spectrometric isotope ratio measurements are still state-of-the-art. Recent analytical developments in our groups allow a more detailed quantification of past temperature variations based on climate proxies and characterization of biogeochemical cycles. The goal of the project isotopes in Earth System Science (isoCEP) is to extend these new analytical tools and to apply them to four paleo archives, namely ice cores, tree rings, ground water and speleothems as well as to direct atmospheric air samples in order to enhance the process understanding of the Earth’s Climate System. This includes (i) quantification of temperature variations based on air nitrogen and argon isotopes (d15N and d40Ar) extracted from polar ice focussing on the Holocene period; (ii) quantification of water stable isotopes (d17O, d18O, d17O, dD) of speleothem fluid inclusions and build-up of an expertise of clumped isotope applications related to the above mentioned archives and on biogeochemical processes, i.e. photosynthesis/respiration, fossil fuel oxidation etc.; (iii) measurements of triple isotopes (d13C, d18O and dD) to complete the Holocene records of tree ring finds from forelands of retreating alpine glaciers; (iv) quantification of direct atmospheric air composition and (v) quantification of subsurface production rates of argon isotopes in order to enhance the robustness of argon isotope interpretations related to groundwater dating and reconstructions of recharge conditions in the past. We will address two main objectives by investigations of these five different research topics. First, we aim to improve the robustness of Holocene temperature reconstructions and to better understand their spatial differences and gradients. Therefore, we will perform measurements from four paleo archives polar ice cores, groundwater aquifers, mid-latitude tree rings and low-mid latitude speleothems that exhibit the necessary spatial and vertical coverage. Second, since the understanding of biogeochemical processes is the key to correctly read and interpret past variations of climate proxy data, we will deepen this understanding by process specific experiments including clumped besides conventional isotope ratio measurements complemented by gas concentration analyses. This also includes linking past variations with present-day measurements and comparisons with in-house model results. These five different research topics and associated data streams allow us to capture - though still incompletely - the complexity of the Earth’s Climate Systems. In collaboration with our partners and colleagues from the Climate and Environmental Physics Division and with regard to their proposed work submitted in parallel to this proposal, we optimize the outcome from both, the experimental and model, perspectives.
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