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UCL Home  /  Geography  /  News & Events  /  News  /  News Archive  /  January 2010  /  NERC award for major project on Holocene climate change in the North Pacific

NERC award for major project on Holocene climate change in the North Pacific

Viv Jones, with Steve Brooks of the Natural History Museum, to study global teleconnections in Kamchatka

NERC award for major project on Holocene climate change in the North Pacific

Dr Viv Jones, with Dr Steve Brooks of the Natural History Museum, has been awarded over £450,000 by NERC to quantify Holocene climate change in Kamchatka, using chironomids, diatoms and oxygen isotopes as climate proxies, and determine climate teleconnections with the North Pacific and North Atlantic regions.  The project will fund a PhD student, a part-time Post-doctoral Fellow (Dr Nadia Solovieva) at UCL, and a 3 year Fellowship for Dr Angela Self, who recently completed her PhD in UCL's Environmental Change Research Centre.

The global atmospheric and oceanic teleconnections driving Holocene climate change in the North Pacific, and Kamchatka in particular, are poorly understood because of a dearth of palaeoclimate records from the region. The project will provide decadal-resolution, well-dated Holocene palaeoclimate sequences from three sites in Kamchatka. Chironomid and diatom assemblages will be used as climate proxies to provide quantitative estimates of summer air temperature, continentality and duration of ice cover, and oxygen isotope analysis of chironomid chitin to determine the source of and trends in precipitation. The results will seek to determine the influence at our sites of westerlies from northern Eurasia, maritime influences from the North Pacific, and solar activity on climate trends at different times during the Holocene. They will also provide data to compare with model simulations of Holocene climate in the North Pacific.

Project partners include Prof. Keith Bennett, Queen’s University Belfast, who has provided lake sediment cores and will coordinate dating and pollen analysis; Dr Larisa Nazarova (Alfred-Wegener-Institute, Potsdam) whose Russian chironomid data will supplement UCL's training set; and Dr Oliver Heiri (Utrecht University) for his expertise on preparation protocols for oxygen isotope analysis of chironomid chitin.


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