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Research Staff

Dr Paola Moffa Sanchez

PhD title - Ocean change in the North Atlantic over the last two millennia: a multiproxy approach.

Supervisors: Prof Ian R.Hall and Dr Stephen Barker.

The Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC) is the process by which warm salty surface subtropical waters reach the North Atlantic, cool and eventually sink to form the southward-flowing North Atlantic Deep Water. The AMOC is a key player in the Earth’s climate. Models and palaeoclimate data show that alterations in the AMOC’s strength and structure have led to abrupt climate changes in the past. The aim of this project is to produce a high-resolution palaeoceanographic reconstruction of the North Atlantic over the last 2000 years, using a suite of geochemical and sedimentological proxies. This interval includes the most recent excursion of natural abrupt climate changes colloquially referred to as the Little Ice Age and the Medieval Warm Period, the causes of which still remain controversial. It is essential to establish natural variability of the AMOC on shorter time-scales during the Late Holocene to enable an accurate future climate prediction under anthropogenic forcing.