An Earth System modelling approach will be used to investigate global change through Pliocene, and the implications for carbonate production of corals will be explored. A suite of palaeogeographic maps with a temporal resolution of ~1 million years (including the Holocene as a baseline) will provide the basis for a set of global climate model (HadCM3 and/or UKESM) simulations. Sensitivity studies to the palaeogeography, particularly in the region of the Coral Triangle, and orbit and CO2 will be carried out, in order to fully explore the uncertainties in the Pliocene climate.
Objectives of the project:
- To produce a Pliocene climate "Atlas", generated from output from a climate model, and evaluated using proxy climate data.
- To explore the sensitivity of this modelled climate to uncertainties in atmospheric CO2 and palaeogeography, and the envelope of orbital variability.
- To explore in detail the oceanography (in particular, its variability on multiple timescales from seasonal to orbital) of south-east Asia in the Pliocene.
- To study implications for carbonate production of corals.
It is expected that the model results will provide a fascinating insight into the global oceanographic state in the Pliocene, with an emphasis on the sensitivity of the system to the various drivers. Analysis will focus on modes of variability, such as ENSO, and its expression in the Coral Triangle. An expected result is a prediction of the time-varying magnitude and frequency of ENSO, and other modes, through the Pliocene.