Natural climate variability — extending the Americas Pole-Equator-Pole palaeoclimate transect through the Antarctic Peninsula to the Pole (PEP) is a component project of the Climate and Chemistry: forcings, feedbacks and phasings in the Earth System (CACHE) research programme, part of the British Antarctic Survey research strategy Global Science in an Antarctic Context (GSAC) 2005–2009
Natural climate variability – extending the Americas palaeoclimate transect through the Antarctic peninsula to the pole (CACHE-PEP)
Project leader: Dr Dominic Hodgson
To determine how the climate of the Antarctic Peninsula during the Holocene (last 10,000 years) is related to global scale patterns and trends, in order to understand the significance of current environmental changes in the region
- To determine the response, during the Holocene (last 10,000 years) and glacial-Holocene transition, along a latitudinal transect from the Antarctic Peninsula to the Americas?
- To understand how previous warm periods in Antarctica have been related to global climate
- To determine where, along a transect from Antarctica through the Americas, the climate influence of Antarctica gives way to one more reminiscent of the northern hemisphere
If we are to trust models used to predict future climate change, we need to be assured that they can reproduce the spatial and temporal pattern of natural climate variability. IGBP-PAGES recognised this by setting up the PEP (Pole-Equator-Pole) traverses, which aim to determine the climate, especially throughout the Holocene, along continental transects. However, the PEPs end in mid-latitudes in the southern hemisphere, and have not been integrated with the records available from the Antarctic continent. The Antarctic Peninsula (AP) bridges that gap. CACHE-PEP will seek to place the (mainly) Holocene variability of AP and Antarctic climate in the context of global variability, as a contribution to understanding the significance of recent changes. It will do this by explicitly extending the PEP-I (Americas) transect through the AP.
What we will do
- Produce the first complete Holocene ice core climate record truly from the AP, through a bedrock drilling project at James Ross Island (JRI-in collaboration with LGGE in Grenoble)
- Produce new lake sediment climate records from the AP to tie in with JRI and Berkner Island ice cores; new marine records of sea ice extent, sea surface temperatures, and other oceanographic variables from the northern and southern limits of the AP part of the transect
- Integrate the AP record into the PEP1 transect, linking it to the Antarctic continent
- A rigorous chronological and statistical assessment of the position of AP climate change vis-à-vis global Holocene climate change, in order to understand the main drivers