Water resources assessment in arid data-scarce regions – multidisciplinary research in Egypt

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Dr. Mohamed Youssif

Arid regions are highly vulnerable with respect to environmental and particularly hydrological changes. Data scarcity for most of these areas (such as Egypt and the most of Middle East) is a great challenge for hydrogeological investigation at practical scales. Moreover, climate change will exacerbate groundwater-related problems by reduction in recharge rates in some areas, increased reliance on groundwater resources due to decrease in the reliability of surface-water sources, saltwater intrusion due to sea-level rise, and deterioration of groundwater quality by increased flushing of urban and agricultural wastes.

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Climate dynamics, biogeochemical cycles and ecosystem variability in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea

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Prof. Dr. Gerhard Schmiedl
University of Hamburg

The eastern Mediterranean Sea (EMS) responds sensitively to orbital and suborbital climate variability and related hydrological changes of the adjacent continents. Recurrent deposition of organic-rich sediment layers (sapropels) is caused by complex interactions between climatic and biogeochemical processes. Disentangling these influences is therefore important for Mediterranean palaeo-studies but also to understand climate links between the EMS and the African Monsoon system. Sapropels are diagnostic of anoxic deep-water phases, which have been attributed to deep-water stagnation, enhanced biological production, or both.

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The usefulness of long-term ecological data in understanding past biotic responses to climate and disturbances in Central Eastern Europe

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Dr. Angelica Feurdean Biodiversity and Climate Research Centre (BiK-F), Frankfurt/Main

Current ecological understanding has recognised that ecosystems are subject to ongoing processes of changing climate, disturbances, and many landscapes have been shaped by humans for millennia. Because the fossil data are able to record multiple generations of a species through time, they can be used as a surrogate for measurement of biotic responses to environmental and disturbance scenarios occurring at different temporal scales (10 to 103 years).

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The Motivation for the Seasonal Movement of Bison Hunters on the Northwestern Plains of North America

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Gerald Oetelaar

Prof. Gerald A. Oetelaar, Department of Archaeology, University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta, Canada

To western researchers, the structure of the grasslands ecosystem on the Northwestern Plains of North America is determined primarily by climate as modified locally by topography, drainage, and sediments. The seasonal availability of the different grasses determines the migratory behaviour of bison which, in turn, influences the movement of human populations. Bison ecology and behaviour also determine the patterns of human aggregation and dispersal. Long-term climatic fluctuations, as measured by effective moisture and temperature, influence the net primary productivity of the short grass plains and, by extension, the size of the bison population.

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Modelling African Quaternary Climate and Vegetation Change

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Prof. Martin Claussen
Max-Planck Institute for Meteorology, University of Hamburg, KlimaCampus Hamburg

Pronounced changes in African climate, deserts and tropical rain forest over the last glacial cycles presumably affected human’s way out of Africa. These changes were induced by large changes in ice masses, ocean circulation and monsoon dynamics which, in turn, were triggered by variations in the Earth orbit around the sun and subsequent alteration of meridional insolation gradients.

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