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  Information - CL023 Decadal to millennial marine records of ice sheet decay

Event Information
In recent years there has been intense research interest in the feedback relations between the North Atlantic meridional overturning circulation and freshwater inputs from surrounding glacial sources. Abrupt changes in the thermohaline circulation (THC) and/or rapid changes in sea ice distribution have been highlighted as the most plausible causes for rapid shifts in North Atlantic climates during the last glacial, notably the millennial-scale ‘Heinrich’ (H) events and Dansgaard-Oeschger (D-O) oscillations. The large ice sheets that surrounded the northern North Atlantic acted as major sinks for freshwater that, once released, interfered with thermohaline overturning thereby affecting the rate and amount of heat transports to high northern latitudes. However, despite intensive research into H layers and D-O ice-rafted detritus (IRD) cycles in the North Atlantic, there is still no clear consensus on the underlying mechanisms that caused these cyclic phenomena. Understanding the forcing and climatic feedbacks that propel these millennial-scale cycles is crucial for the development of predictive climate models.

The key scientific rationale behind this session is to provide a focus for the discussion on the forcing and response sequences involved in natural variability of the ocean-ice-climate system. We encourage contributions reporting high-resolution marine records containing evidence for both ice sheet decay (IRD, meltwater signals) and hydrographic change (surface ocean temperature and salinity, 18O, planktonic foram assemblages; vertical water column structure, inter-species 18O gradients; deep water ventilation and flow intensity, benthic 13C, sortable silt). Though much recent work has focused on the North Atlantic, we encourage contributions on the ocean-ice-climate system from any part of the global ocean. We also particularly seek to establish closer links between the glacial/sedimentological and paleoceanographic communities, so welcome contributions on modern environments and processes in addition to paleostudies.

Preliminary List of Solicited Speakers
Details to follow shortly

Marine Studies Group of the Geological Society of London

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