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SSF-Svalbard Science Forum

Shifting Climate States of the Polar Regions - coring campaign at Svalbard

Tildelt: kr 0,30 mill.

This cross-disciplinary proposal will collect and produce data on glacier variability throughout the last 10 000 years, a research effort that will be carried out at Svalbard. Alpine glaciers represent natural systems that are particular sensitive to clim ate change and the sites chosen for this purpose are also located in areas that are witnessing rapid ongoing change. Comparable datasets on glacier variability will provide new high-quality proxy-data on spatial, temporal, and scalar climate change throug h the Holocene. By doing so we will be able to construct accurate reconstructions of past shifts and trends in the major polar atmospheric circulation systems, as these are intimately linked to the physical activity of glaciers. This timely project will f or instance be able to assess the importance of the observed polar amplification in a historical context because the polar regions have already experienced two major warming periods during the current interglacial, one rapid and one slow. SHIFTS will prod uce a new type of datasets that will be of sufficient quality to test conflicting hypotheses about key dynamic interrelationships between bi-polar land and sea-ice fluctuations, and their potential impacts on regional climate variations. Glacial activity can be detected and quantified through sediment changes in distal glacier-fed lakes. The sediment-cores from each lake will be characterized by invoking multi-proxy analyses, including rock magnetic properties, physical properties and geochemical variatio ns. Age control of the sedimentary sequences will be provided by a suite of dating methods, integrating cosmogenic analyses, lichenometry, radiocarbon dating, tephra chronology, and geomagnetic palaeointensity. Finally, the interpretations of the multi-pr oxy data will be validated against recent climate data. The project is a direct outcome of the SFF Workshop "Geology of Svalbard". It will also contribute to the "Glaciers in Kongsfjorden" workshop outcome.


SSF-Svalbard Science Forum