Deep Ocean Temperature Reconstructions for the Early Eocene Climatic Optimum via Clumped Isotope Thermometry
My PhD project is titled “Deep Ocean Temperature Reconstructions for the Early Eocene Climatic Optimum via Clumped Isotope Thermometry” and is linked to the DOTpaleo project (Deep Ocean Temperatures in the Paleogene Greenhouse).
Past greenhouse climates can provide important background information for future climatic conditions given ongoing climate change. In particular, by better understanding the main processes influencing the climate system under such boundary conditions, we can improve future climate projections significantly. Thereby, reconstruction of deep ocean temperature is the key to access estimates of global mean temperature and for understanding past ocean circulation patterns.
The early Eocene includes the warmest interval of the last 66 million years. Deep ocean temperature reconstructions so far are mostly based on stable oxygen isotopes and Mg/Ca data. However, deep-time temperature reconstructions with these proxies are challenging as various factors potentially influence the results. Carbonate clumped isotope thermometry can add new important constraints as this proxy is independent of past ocean water chemistry.
During my PhD project, I will use carbonate clumped isotope thermometry to generate early Eocene Pacific and Atlantic deep ocean temperature records based on benthic foraminifera. My results will contribute to the DOTpaleo project, which aims to combine proxy records and climate model simulations to improve our understanding of greenhouse climates.