Environmental Science and Engineering Seminar

Wednesday February 25, 2015 4:00 PM

A millennial-scale stagnation of Southern Ocean circulation in a past warm climate

Speaker: Christopher Hayes, Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Location: South Mudd 365

New observations from Southern Ocean sediments reveal a spike in authigenic uranium 127,000 years ago, during a period of greater than present warmth. This proxy reflects decreased oxygenation of deep water and therefore a weakening of the Antarctic ocean circulation. Such a change in circulation may have significant implications for predicting how atmospheric CO2 will respond to future climate scenarios. In this talk, I'll review these new observations of the paleo-stagnation event and discuss some implicated causes and mechanisms including the bipolar seesaw and melting of the Antarctic Ice Sheet.

Series Environmental Science and Engineering Seminar

Contact: Kathy Young at 626-395-8732 katyoung@gps.caltech.edu