Research group "marine climate research"

Paleoclimate modeling

Research fociImagebild Modellsimulation

In our group, we investigate climate and its variability, and interconnections with the marine carbon and nutrient cycles on time scales spanning from geological times into the future. Our current focus is on

  • the spatio-temporal evolution of temperature and precipitation
  • changes in marine biogeochemistry and climate-biogeochemistry feedbacks during the last glacial cycle
  • the evolution of oxygen minimum zones in the tropical ocean during the Holocene
  • future ocean acidification

Our investigations are based on global, prognostic, numerical climate and biogeochemistry models. The forcing includes natural (orbital parameters, past greenhouse gas concentrations, and land-sea distribution), and anthropogenic components (future greenhouse gas concentrations). This forcing causes changes of the individual components of the climate system (atmosphere, ocean, marine biogeochemistry). Positive feedbacks between the components of the climate system and the marine biogeochemistry potentially result in drastic regional and even global climate change.

To test the robustness of our model simulations, results from our models are inter-compared with other model results and paleo proxy records in the framework of international model intercomparison projects (e.g., the Paleo Model Intercomparison Project; PMIP). Such tests are also performed with regard to simulations of future climate change, that enable us to make quantitative estimates of the future ocean, its living resources, and the magnitude of ocean acidification - but also of continental droughts and flooding events.

Our staff members