Ocean, climate and vegetation dynamics in the eastern equatorial Atlantic
  • Lecture Theatre 006, Babbage Building

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The School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences organises a regular series of research seminars throughout the academic year to which everyone is welcome to attend. Speakers - both external and internal to the University - will talk on topics related to all aspects of Earth Sciences.

Today's speaker is Rachael Lem from the University of Plymouth.
Global climate is expected to rise by 2–2.5°C by the middle of the 21st century, posing a significant threat to human populations and the natural environment. Tropical West Africa has been classified as a highly vulnerable region; naturally-driven multi-decadal droughts are predicted to become more frequent and intense 20 years ahead of the global average. Examination of past records of large scale climate change is critical in order to validate climate models and mitigate against future global warming. 

Geochemical, sedimentological, isotopic (δ18O and δ13C), trace element and palynological analyses were implemented on a 150,000 year old marine sediment core from the Ogooué River fan, offshore Gabon, in order to produce a high resolution reconstruction of palaeoclimate change. This work particularly aims to: explore the sensitivity of a small-scale river catchment in documenting glacial – interglacial hydrological variability; investigate polar control of the tropical Atlantic Ocean; and utilise West African vegetation biome changes in order to infer the drivers of past regional hydrological and climatic change.

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