Tuesday Noon Balloon with Jerry McManus


Ocean circulation and abrupt climate change

Jerry McManus

Tuesday March 2nd
Room 417 Schermerhorn Hall


Summary: Interconnected ocean currents move water, salt, and heat around the Earth today, influencing the global climate. Paleoceanographic evidence suggests that this current system was different in the past, and that changes in its strength and configuration were associated with the dramatic climate changes of the ice ages. Yet other large climate influences, like the seasonal amount of sunlight, and atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations, often varied at the same time, making it hard to isolate the primary cause. We'll consider some new and existing "proxy" evidence from deep-sea sediments that shifting ocean currents did indeed seem to drive dramatic climate change, especially in and around the North Atlantic Ocean. Could it happen again?

Professor Jerry McManus is a member of department's Paleoclimate faculty. All of Jerry's formal academic degrees are from the department, but he spent more than a decade on the research staff at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution before coming "home" in 2008. Jerry's research focus is the sedimentary record of climate change and ocean circulation, including the processes affecting the creation and preservation of sedimentary archives, the relative influence of internal and external forcing on climatic stability, the role of ocean circulation in rapid climate change, and quantitative reconstruction of the rate and magnitude of past changes.

Future talks are scheduled for Tuesdays from 12:15-1:00pm in Room 417 Schermerhorn Hall.  Attendees are welcome to bring their lunch.

All are welcome to attend!