Average annual daily precipitation on Earth for the period from 1979 to 2015 CE. Graphics: Michael Deininger, Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz.
FR-18, a candle-shaped stalagmite, from Frasassi cave, Italy, that began to grow 18,000 years ago. Photo credits: Andrea Borsato
My research is focused on atmospheric dynamics and its interactions with the climate system, particularly with the ocean circulation, on seasonal to geologic time scales. Earth’s climate system is the promoter to balance the meridional temperature gradients between the tropical and polar regions. To achieve this the different components of the climate system, the atmospheric and ocean circulation, transport energy towards the poles. The atmospheric circulation is furthermore responsible for the distribution of water that results in the heterogeneous pattern of precipitation – and temperature – over the continents and oceans. Therefore, the variability of the atmospheric circulation and its drivers are crucial parameters of Earth’s climate system.
To resolve past changes of the atmospheric circulation and to unveil the underlying mechanisms and forcing I primarily work with speleothems. Speleothems are inorganic carbonate deposits growing in caves. Speleothems form from cave waters, and their proxies allow to recover information on climatological, hydrological and environmental variations from above the cave that in turn allow to infer changes of the atmospheric circulation – and of Earth’s climate system.
My primary focus is to investigate Holocene (the last 10,000 years) and late Quaternary (the last 600,000 years) climate and environmental dynamics in Europe by using state-of-the-art statistical methods (PC-PCA method) and by generating precisely dated high-resolution speleothem proxy time series. These analyses include also investigations if Holocene climate dynamics co-varied with cultural developments in Europe during the Holocene.
Job opportunities: there are open bachelor and master positions.
- Mediterranean Climate Change during the Holocene (with Andrea Borsato, Silvia Frisia, Marco Vattano, Norbert Frank and Frank McDermott)
- Late Quaternary Climate and Environmental Dynamics in Europe, Swabian Alp, Germany (with Wolfgang Ufrecht)
- Inter-hemispheric Palaeoclimate Dynamics during the Holocene (with Frank McDermott, Francisco Cruz and Manfred Mudelsee)
- The South American Monsoon System during the Quaternary (with Francisco Cruz)
- European Climate Change and Cultural Developments during the Holocene (with Jörg Lippold, Frank McDermott, Manfred Mudelsee and Jörg Pross)
- The Quest for Old Speleothems (with Jon Woodhead, Frank McDermott, Jan Fietzke and Francisco Cruz)
- Extra-tropical Modes of the Atmospheric Circulation (with Frank McDermott)
- Meridional Temperature Gradients and Climate (with Frank McDermott)
Method and Proxy Development
- Statistical Methods in Palaeoclimatology (with Manfred Mudelsee)
- Proxy System Modelling (with Andy Baker and Pauline Treble)