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Principal Investigators: Birgit Schneider (Institute of Geosciences, Kiel University), Ralph Schneider (Institute of Geosciences, Kiel University)

Project Scientists: Yiming Wang (Institute of Geosciences, Kiel University), Vyacheslav Khon (Institute of Geosciences, Kiel University)



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Top: Distribution of modern monsoon regions in Asia, Africa and Australia (from Wang et al. 2005).

Bottom: Precipitation minus evaporation anomalies (mm/day) as simulated with the Kiel climate Model (KCM); yellow and blue areas show drier and wetter conditions during the mid‐Holocene compared to preindustrial (Khon et al. 2010)

The aim of the project is to compare the Holocene and Eemian atmospheric hydrological cycle by combining paleo proxy reconstructions with climate model simulations. As the Eemian climate was probably by 1 to 2°C warmer than that of the Holocene (Leduc et al. 2010, Kukla et al. 2002), an intensified hydrological cycle can be expected. However, paleo proxy data do not clearly indicate such wetter conditions, whereas climate model results support more intense monsoon systems under warmer Eemian climate (Kutzbach et al. 2008, Braconnot et al. 2008). In the proposed study existing and new paleorecords of monsoonal precipitation stemming from marine sediments off Africa, India, and China will be compiled into a comprehensive data set together with existing proxy records from terrestrial archives. Climate model simulations using a state-of-the-art coupled atmosphere ocean general circulation model (AOGCM) will be used for comparison with the paleodata records and for the analysis of spatial as well as temporal variability patterns in the atmospheric hydrological cycle. We will focus on three key regions (Gulf of Guinea, Bay of Bengal and South China Sea), where marine paleodata allow insights into the continental paleohydrology by isotope studies on land plant lipid material and for river runoff via salinity variations. Furthermore we aim, with the help of the climate model, to better separate and statistically analyse marine and terrestrial hydrological effects at the respective core locations and in the catchment areas of the respective rivers.


Paleohydrological reconstructions (e.g. precipitation/evaporation balance and vegetation changes); transient AOGC model simulations of the Eemian (130-115 Kyr BP) and Holocene (10-0 kyr BP)


Marine sediments off Africa, India, and China



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