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Home arrow Phase II (2009 - 2011) arrow Project II-5 - CARIBCLIM
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Principal Investigators: Thomas Felis (University of Bremen), Augusto Mangini (HAW Heidelberg), Denis Scholz (University of Mainz), Gerrit Lohmann (AWI Bremerhaven)
Project Scientists: Claudia Fensterer (HAW Heidelberg), Cyril Giry (University of Bremen), Wei Wei (AWI Bremerhaven)



Top: Precipitation anomalies for 6 kyr BP relative to pre-industrial climate based on the COSMOS-aso model (annual mean conditions). Locations of the study areas (Bonaire, Cuba) are indicated. Bottom: Oxygen isotope records of Bonaire corals (monthly resolution) and of a Cuba stalagmite (near-decadal resolution; smoothed record is shown).

The project CaribClim identifies forcing mechanisms of seasonality and interannual to centennial climate variability in the Caribbean region during the Holocene, by analysing fossil corals from Bonaire and stalagmites from Cuba and Barbados, combined with climate model simulations. Based on oxygen isotope and Sr/Ca variations in corals, sub-seasonally resolved reconstructions of changes in both hydrologic balance and temperature at the sea surface will be generated for specific time intervals. Based on oxygen isotope variations in stalagmites, reconstructions of summer rainfall intensity in near-decadal resolution will be generated over several millennia. State-of-the-art climate models will be used to simulate Holocene climate evolution over several decades to millennia. Simulations of the hydrologic cycle (oxygen isotopes) and surface temperature will identify forcing mechanisms responsible for changes in seasonality and interannual to centennial climate observed in the marine and terrestrial archives, which will be accurately dated by the 230Th/U method. The approach will quantify the natural range of climate on these timescales, and will unravel the role of El Niño-Southern Oscillation, Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation, North Atlantic Oscillation and variations in insolation and Atlantic thermohaline circulation in the observed changes. This will contribute to successful predictions of future Caribbean climate.


Quantitative and semi-quantitative paleo-temperature and paleo-hydrology reconstructions (seasonality, interannual to centennial variability), U-series dating, coupled climate modelling (including oxygen isotopes)

Marine archive: annually-banded reef corals (Bonaire), terrestrial archive: cave stalagmites (Cuba)


Fensterer, C., D. Scholz, D. Hoffmann, C. Spötl, J.M. Pajón, A. Mangini (2012). Cuban stalagmite suggests relationship between Caribbean precipitation and the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation during the past 1.3 ka. The Holocene, doi:10.1177/0959683612449759.

Fensterer, C., D. Scholz, D. L. Hoffmann, C. Spötl, A. Schröder-Ritzrau, C. Horn, J.M. Pajón, A. Mangini, A. (accepted). Millennial - scale climate variability during the last 12.5 ka recorded in a Caribbean speleothem. Earth and Planetary Science Letters.

Giry, C., T. Felis, M. Kölling, W. Wei, G. Lohmann, S. Scheffers, S. (2012) Controls of Caribbean surface hydrology during the mid- to late Holocene: insights from monthly resolved coral records. Climate of the Past Discussions, 8, 3901-3948, doi:10.5194/cpd-8-3901-2012.

Giry, C., T. Felis, M. Kölling, D. Scholz, W. Wei, G. Lohmann, S. Scheffers (2012) Mid- to late Holocene changes in tropical Atlantic temperature seasonality and interannual to multidecadal variability documented in southern Caribbean corals. Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 331-332, 187-200.

Giry, C., T. Felis, M. Kölling, S. Scheffers (2010) Geochemistry and skeletal structure of Diploria strigosa, implications for coral-based climate reconstruction. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, 298, 378-387.

Wei, W., G. Lohmann (2012) Simulated Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation during the Holocene. Journal of Climate, 25, 6989-7002.

Wei, W., G. Lohmann, M. Dima (2012) Distinct modes of internal variability in the Global Meridional Overturning Circulation associated to the Southern Hemisphere westerly winds. Journal of Physical Oceanography, 42, 785–801.


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