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Reconstruction of atmosphere-ocean circulation patterns for geological time slices by self-consistent coupled model simulations.

Principal Investigators: Prof. Dr. Maik Thomas, Dr. Katja Matthes

ThomasMatthesThe goal of this project is to reconstruct three-dimensional atmospheric and oceanic circulation patterns with self-consistent global coupled atmosphere-ocean model simulations for selected geological time scales. The results will be regionalized for the South Atlantic. Studying the development of the South Atlantic, its rifted margins and sedimentary onshore and offshore basins will provide important insights into the processes involved for creation of ocean basins, the role of sedimentary basins for the carbon cycle, as well as changes in ocean currents and their climatic effects. Key tectonic events such as the opening of the South Atlantic or the Drake passage and their significant effect on climate will be studied in order to investigate processes in the coupled atmosphere-hydrosphere system. This project will provide important detailed information on atmosphere-ocean circulation patterns, such as atmospheric temperature, wind and pressure fields, heat, momentum and fresh water fluxes, wind stress, and, in particular, 3-dimensional oceanic current and temperature distributions to other SAMPLE projects studying the structural evolution of the margins on a lithosphere scale, or sedimentary features in the Argentine basin, or the generation, migration, and leakage of hydrocarbon resources. It will also deliver detailed contributions to climate relevant processes in the atmosphere-hydrosphere system and help to minimize discrepancies in observational and modelling studies, such as the paradox that the midto-high latitude continental interiors and the poles in the Eocene were much warmer than today, while tropical sea surface temperatures were apparently near-modern.