DFG-funded International Research Training Group „ArcTrain“ (Processes and impacts of climate change in the North Atlantic Ocean and the Canadian Arctic), a collaborative project between the University of Bremen, the Alfred Wegener Institute, and a consortium of eight Canadian universities. Subproject “Variability of Arctic sea ice, meltwater discharge and primary production through last glacial to Holocene times: A biomarker approach“
Sea ice is a critical component in the global climate system, contributing to changes in Earth’s albedo, biological processes (primary production), and deep-water formation, a driving mechanism of the global thermohaline circulation. In order to understand processes controlling recent dramatic reductions in sea ice cover in the polar regions, it is essential to determine these changes in sea ice occurrence and its natural variability in the past on time scales going back in time beyond the period of direct measurements and observations. In this context, this project will use organic-geochemical bulk parameters and specific biomarkers („IP25“, sterols, n-alkanes, alkenones, etc.) to reconstruct surface-water characteristics in the (sub-) polar North Atlantic (Fram Strait, Greenland Sea, Baffin Bay) and their changes through late Quaternary times. Of special interest will be the interrelationship between sea-ice cover, meltwater discharge, and primary productivity, as well as the Laurentide and Greenland ice-sheet history.