PACES II Programme

Topic 3: The earth system from a polar perspective - Data, modelling and synthesis


Recovery of the gravity corer in heavy weather conditions during RV POLARSTERN cruise ANT-XXVI/2 (Photo: Y. N. Kim, former PhD student AWI)

A robust finding from reconstructions of past climate and projections of future climate change is that the high-latitudes are most sensitive to climate forcing within the Earth system. The detection and understanding of trends, the mechanisms for polar amplification, and their role in modulating global climate are central themes in this topic. Enhanced knowledge of processes of past and present climate change is crucial to separate between natural and anthropogenic forcing, to explore the predictability of the polar climate system and to enhance the reliability of future climate projections. Our approach is to generate palaeo-climate data and scenarios obtained from a combination of ice, marine, lake, and permafrost archives in tandem with Earth system modelling and analysis, thus enabling an improved understanding of atmosphere-ocean-land-ice processes at regional and global scales. This relies on a sound expertise in the acquisition and interpretation of data and modelling.

Spokespersons for Topic 3:

Workpackage 1: Circumpolar climate variability and global teleconnections at seasonal to orbital time scales

We investigate the role of polar regions in past climates by generating a circumpolar synthesis of Quaternary multi-proxy records from land, ocean and ice combined with Earth system modelling.

Workpackage 2: Earth system on tectonic time scales: From greenhouse to icehouse world

We study the influence of geodynamic-tectonic processes on palaeo-environmental conditions and glacial evolution at high latitudes in the last 65 million years by data-based reconstructions in combination with modelling.

Workpackage 3: From process understanding to enabling climate prediction

Explore mechanisms, predictability and global influences of polar climate variability and change.