Ocean Circulation and Climate Dynamics

Climate Variability at Northern High Latitudes

Over the past few decades, evidence has accumulated that the Arctic and sub-Arctic areas are undergoing significant and sweeping changes, including rapidly rising temperatures, shrinking sea-ice cover, destabilization of land-fast ice, increasing coastal erosion due to degradation of permafrost, sediment transport by sea ice, and sea-level rise. These changes are already directly manifested in shelf environments. If they continue, as predicted by climate models, they will have major implications for the global climate through changes in ocean circulation, circum-Arctic ecology, and human activities. Although the mechanisms amplifying or damping these potential changes are still not fully investigated, they are essential for understanding and modeling the entire system across disciplines over the next decades and to project their influence on global climate.    

Research at GEOMAR on high-latitude climate variability is concentrating both on the understanding of natural climatic changes in the Arctic and the northernmost North Atlantic occurring on timescales from millions of years to decades and on the ongoing environmental changes. We are focusing on the following scientific issues:

Long Term Paleoceanographic Evolution of the Arctic Ocean
Late Quaternary Variability of the Central Arctic Ocean

Modern and Past Environmental Changes in the North Siberian Shelf Region:

Holocene Variability of Heat Transport to the Arctic and the Sea Ice Cover
Environmental and Climate History Off North-East Greenland (ECHONEG)
Arctic Freshwater and Global Change
Arctic Seasonal Transport Dynamics
Calibration and reconstruction of Holocene variability of water mass properties

North Atlantic Ocean

Glacial-Interglacial Climate Trends of the Pleistocene

Iceland - Pleistocene upper ocean variability and Iceland-Faroer overflow dynamics

North-west Pacific Ocean
Geodynamic and Climate Interaction in the Kamtchatka Area