Southern Ocean’s response to abrupt climate change
The ocean plays a critical role in Carbon Cycle feedbacks. Recent studies suggest that in the long term, physical, chemical, and biological processes in the ocean will play a larger role than the land in climate-carbon coupling. The nature and strength of carbon cycle feedbacks are poorly understood and only crudely represented in climate models. This project leverages evidence from abrupt climate change events that occured during the last ice age to improve predictions of the earth system response to human cause climate change. The Southern Ocean (SO) is a key region for natural air sea CO2 exchange and consequently a driver of the atmospheric CO2 levels both in modern times and in recent geological past. A little is known about how the SO responded to abrupt climate change events of the past. Work to reconstruct SO's CO2 exchange response to climate change is urgently needed to improve climate cycle feedbacks in climate models, and to anticipate future impacts on global climate, biological productivity, and fisheries.
Ocean biogeochemistry, Paleoclimatology, Ocean carbon cycle