Year of selection 2010
Institution University of Cambridge
Country United Kingdom
Paleoceanographic constraints on climate sensitivity What can we learn from the past? Foraminifera, small fossils preserved in marine sediments, register the characteristics of the water they lived in, such as temperature or sea level, providing records of climate variations in the past. Over the last 500,000 years, the Earth’s climate has witnessed strong glacial-interglacial changes. Some of the recent warm periods followed weak orbital changes, whether others hardly responded to strong forcing. Dr. Natalia Vazquez Riveiros tries to understand the reasons behind these differences. How does atmospheric CO2 amplify these changes? What is the role of oceanic circulation on different climate states? Her study aims to understand the mechanisms that have been at work during past climate periods, to improve estimates of Earth’s climate sensitivity and assess the capacity of climate models to predict global warming.
My research focuses on the study of marine sediment cores, to assess the impact of ocean chemistry and ocean circulation on long-term global climate change. My post-doctoral project investigates a set of contrasting warm climate periods in the recent geological past, each characterized by a different combination of insolation, greenhouse gas concentration and global temperature. I investigate how variations in these forcings are linked to changes in sea level, ocean circulation, and deep water temperature and chemistry. I ultimately aim to assess the variability of the Earth system climate sensitivity
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