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Principal Investigators: Helge Arz (GFZ Potsdam), Matthias Prange (University of Bremen), Frank Lamy (AWI Bremerhaven)
Project Scientists: Vidya Varma (University of Bremen)




Overview map showing the approximate location of the envisaged working areas. The map additionally shows the general pattern of sea-level pressure (black lines), continental precipitation (color scale), and offshore sea surface temperatures (gray scale) around southern South America.

The climate of southern Chile is strongly influenced by the southern westerly wind belt. It therefore represents a key region to investigate Holocene changes in the intensity and latitudinal position of this important wind system, especially considering a possible role of the westerly winds in the global atmospheric CO2 budget as recently suggested. The main objective of this project is to use a multi-proxy approach based on sedimentological and novel organic proxies to reconstruct multidecadal-to-millennial-scale changes in temperature, vegetation, and humidity in southern Chile during the Holocene. These proxy results will be combined with transient climate model sensitivity experiments for different Holocene solar forcing scenarios in order to elucidate a potential forcing mechanism. Lake, fjord, and open ocean archives encompassing the center of the westerly winds will be investigated, with the advantage of not only establishing a link between these different environments, but also of covering a wide latitudinal range of high-resolution paleoenvironmental archives (33S-53S) in a region of strong climate gradients. Model experiments will be carried out with the comprehensive global Community Climate System Model (CCSM), version 3.0.


Quantitative paleo-temperature reconstructions, semi-quantitative paleo-hydrology reconstructions, coupled climate modelling

Marine records (off Chilean coast), Chilean lake records

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