Ocean Circulation and Climate Dynamics


Carbonate platform from the last Interglacial (125,000 Jahre before present) and surface ocean of the warm-water sphere, Isla Blanquilla (image: Thorsten Garlichs)
Reserach vessel Maria S. Merian off Mauretania, surface ocean under upwelling (image: Nereo Preto)

The warm-water sphere of the tropics and subtropics shape the face of the oceans. Thereby, an asymmetry is to be recognised: Warm pools with coral reefs are found on the west side, upwelling and oxygen minimum zones are confined to the eastern side. The heat and salt reservoir in the surface mixed layer of the tropical oceans is of great importance for weather and climate development. Subtropical boundary currents like Kuroshio, Gulf Stream and Leuwen Current facilitate the exchange with temperate latitudes. The tropics are in many scenarios about the effects of Global Warming as a relatively stable environment. Nevertheless, geological time series and biological climate archives reveal that environmental changes may happen in the tropics much more drastically and faster than expected. We explore and investigate paleoceanographic time series as documented in sediments and corals from the tropics to decipher the dynamics and the driving processes and to identify remote linkages which even affect the situation in Central Europe.

External control mechanisms of the Peruvian oxygen minimum zone during the past 18,000 years

OPOKA - Surface and Intermediate Water hydrography, planktonic and benthic biota in the Caribbean Sea – Climate, Biosphere and Geosphere Linkages

Atlantic Heat Pump - Dynamics of the W Atlantic Warmpool

Changing habitats of planktonic foraminifera in the Greenhouse World