This meeting will be held virtually via Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory Zoom. Please contact the seminar organizer with your full name to be cleared from the waiting room.
Paleoecology methods in ice cores to reconstruct past environments
Glaciers preserve microfossils over millennia. Recent analytical advances allow extraction of these microfossils from ice archives in enough numbers to achieve continuous records of environmental dynamics in the past and to address ecological questions. We use optical analyses of pollen and spores as a proxy for vegetation composition and land use, microscopic charcoal to infer fire activity and soot (or SCP =spheroidal carbonaceous particles) to reconstruct fossil fuel burning from ice cores.
The study covers major biomes with large-scale environmental reconstructions around the world with glacier sites in the Alps, the Altai, the Andes, and Greenland. The microfossil records are based on excellent chronologies, particularly over the most recent 200 years, the period that experienced important climatic changes and an increasing globalization of economies. First, I will discuss the potential of ice palynology with case studies, and then present the combined records to derive implications regarding global biomass burning and fossil fuel pollution history. Finally, I will provide a brief outlook on the black carbon research from Southern hemisphere lake sediments we conducted at DRI in the past few months.