Character of climate instability during warm periods: Investigations from Central Italy

Profile
Profile Display Name:

Carole Roberts

E-mail Address:

carole.roberts.14@ucl.ac.uk

Start Year

2018 (Cohort 5)

Research interests:

• Climate change
• Palaeoclimatology
• Limnology
• Palynology

Hobbies and interests:
PhD Project
PhD Title

Character of climate instability during warm periods: Investigations from Central Italy

Research Theme

Earth, Atmosphere and Ocean Processes

Primary Supervisor
Primary Institution

UCL

Secondary Supervisor
Secondary Institution

UCL

Abstract

In light of the unprecedented nature of anthropogenically-induced warming, quantitative palaeoclimate reconstructions of past interglacials offer a valuable insight into natural background conditions during periods of excess warmth. A prominent example is the Last Interglacial (129-116 thousand years ago), characterised by global mean temperature 1 ̊C above pre-industrial values, intense Arctic warming and global sea-level ~6-9 m above present.

Despite being previously considered as relatively stable, recent research has revealed a series of high-frequency climate oscillations of greater intensity than during the Holocene (last 11.7 thousand years) punctuating the Last Interglacial in the North Atlantic and southern Europe (Tzedakis et al., 2018). This has raised a series of questions regarding the geographical extent and intensity of abrupt events, as well as whether intervals warmer than present are inherently more climatically unstable.

A lack of precise, independent and robust chronological control has been the primary constraint limiting the identification of high-frequency climate variability within earlier interglacials. Applying a chronology using dated volcanic ash (tephra) layers, this project aims to employ pollen analysis to reconstruct terrestrial vegetation and assess the extent of climate instability during the Last Interglacial at Fucino Basin, Central Italy, compared to the Holocene.

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