Application Deadline: 12 October 2012
Start Date: January 2013
Reconstructing variations in the timing and intensity of past climate perturbations in Northern Europe during the 'Little Ice Age' (LIA) or Younger Dryas (YD)
Supervisors: Dr. Brice Rea, Dr. Matteo Spagnolo, Dr. Ed Schofield, Prof. Kevin Edwards
Past episodes of climate change are key analogues for improved understanding and prediction of future scenarios. This project will focus on one of two crucial climate perturbations, either cooling during the LIA (ca AD 1200-1900) or during the YD (ca 12,900-11,700 BP). The former is important because it displays many similar characteristics to the YD, and can be analysed with unprecedented precision (e.g. through climatic proxies, including measured and anecdotal historic records). The latter is significant because the cooling was likely caused by a “sudden” input of freshwater into the North Atlantic, a scenario which may have implications for the near future due to increased runoff from the Greenland Ice Sheet. A broad range of proxy data, most of which is already available, will be used and some will be newly acquired for the purpose of this project. These data will then provide an ideal spatial and temporal framework combining fast response (climate and human) data (i.e. low signal-to-noise ratio), and slower response (glaciers) data (i.e. higher signal-to-noise ratio). This multidisciplinary study will improve our understanding of the temporal, spatial and magnitude response of the pan North Atlantic environments to past climate perturbations. Individuals who are highly motivated, with a desire and confidence to take control of their own research agenda from a background in earth, environmental, ocean or atmospheric sciences are particularly encouraged to apply.
For further details including how to apply please go to: