02/2017: Palaeoclimate (S. Caroline)

Place and Time: Abingdon, February 16, 2017  from 19:00 for 19:30

Barn Room, Crown and Thistle (18 Bridge St, Abingdon OX14 3HS)

TITLE: The Power of Karst Palaeoclimate

Climate change is one of the greatest modern challenges facing society on a global scale. The study of past climates (“palaeoclimatology”) is a critical field that looks beyond the short instrumental period of the last century to improve our knowledge of ocean-atmosphere dynamics and gain a better understanding of the magnitude and speed of change the climate system is capable of. Ultimately, records of hundreds of thousands of years of past climate help scientists to gauge confidence in the ability of state-of-the-art climate models to correctly predict future change in temperature, rainfall, sea level, etc.

In this talk I will introduce one archive that has taken centre stage in the palaeoclimate arena over the last decade: cave speleothems as recorders of past rainfall amounts. I will discuss methods scientists use to study these mineral deposits (how to determine the age of a stalagmite, how to extract climate information from layers of calcium carbonate), and some of the most astonishing conclusions that have been drawn from records across the globe. I will also share my experience of caving expeditions in the heart of Borneo, searching for ideal samples to reconstruct changes in tropical convection through the ice ages.

Speaker: Stacy Carolin

Stacy Carolin is a postdoctoral researcher in the Department of Earth Sciences at the University of Oxford. She specializes in paleoclimate and geochemistry. For more information on the speaker see https://www.earth.ox.ac.uk/people/stacy-carolin/.

 

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