Modeling paleo-dust as a climate indicator and comparison with loess and sediment proxies


Erik Schaffernicht is a PhD student in the project Palaeoclimate and Palaeoenvironmental Reconstructions Using a Computational Regional Environmental Modelling System (Project E6) of the CRC 806 Our Way to Europe of the University of Cologne.

His research has a supra regional focus and one of his goals is to link field campaign results of his CRC-colleagues with the outcome of climate model simulations. He intends to find common patterns in the data that lead to further insights on prehistorical human mobility.

Erik Schaffernicht

Erik Schaffernicht

Erik graduated in physics at the University of Potsdam and has written his diploma thesis at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK). In this final thesis, supervised by Stefan Rahmstorf, he investigated a decrease in current strength of the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (1965−1995 AD) based on proxy data, measurements of temperatures and ocean current strengths. For the past thousand years, this decrease is very likely a unique event and evidence has been found that melting ice sheets − related to Global Warming − have probably caused it.

Now, he contributes to the CRC by investigating palaeoclimatic conditions of Northern Africa, the Mediterranean, the Banat and Central Europe. He runs regional simulations to reconstruct the palaeoclimate using the Weather Research and Forecasting model (WRF). Therefore he compares results of numerical models for the Last Glacial Maximum and the Holocene with reanalysis data of 1970−2000 AD. Furthermore, a circulation weather type analysis will be applied on these periods to gain knowledge about the prevailing wind regimes. The doctoral candidate plans to downscale the input data in a statistically dynamical way so that he is able to post-process it on the High Performance Computing facilities of the University of Cologne.

Joining his background in proxy data and the expert knowledge from his colleagues of the CRC 806 Projects A, B, C, D and F of the CRC, Erik anticipates a interdisciplinary discussion on field campaign and simulation results. The interpretation of patterns and the robustness of conclusions are likely to be key elements to discuss.


Event Information:

Date, Time: 28/04/2014, 16:00 h – 16:30 h

Location: Room S12, Seminargebäude (Building 106), Universitätsstraße 37 , Cologne

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