Cenozoic Antarctic glaciation: An integrated atmosphere - Ocean - Ice Sheet Model Approach


Dr. Martin Butzin 
Helmholtz-Zentrum für Polar- und Meeresforschung

Professor Dr. Gerrit Lohmann 
Helmholtz-Zentrum für Polar- und Meeresforschung
Fachbereich Klimawissenschaften
Sektion Paläoklimadynamik


The widespread glaciation of Antarctica and the associated shift towards colder temperatures at the Eocene-Oligocene boundary (about 35 million years ago) represents one of the most fundamental reorganisations of global climate in the earth s history. During the same time, the opening of the Southern Ocean gateways, the Drake Passage and the Tasman Gateway, led to the formation of the Antarctic Circumpolar Current and hence to the isolation of the Antarctic continent. Apart from the oceanic regime, other global phenomena such as the declining atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration and the orbital configuration, contributed to the onset of a persistent Antarctic glaciation. With this project we address the impact of each of these processes on the formation of the Antarctic Ice Sheet. We put special emphasis on the ocean circulation, latent heat transport as well as on ice sheet dynamics in an integrated modelling approach. Shifts in atmospheric circulation, temperature changes, and snow accumulation over Antarctica and their forcing factors will be analysed in detail. The identification of thresholds for the Antarctic ice sheet development will yield novel views for palaeoclimatic records at the Eocene-Oligocene transition.


DFG-Verfahren: Infrastruktur-Schwerpunktprogramme

Be­tei­lig­te Per­so­nen: Dr. Klaus Grosfeld, Ph.D.Professor Dr. Philippe Huybrechts

Förderung von 2006 bis 2018