Topic 8: Abrupt climate change derived from proxy data

(AWI, GEOMAR, GFZ, HZG, Universitäten Bremen, Heidelberg, Hamburg und Potsdam)

Which mechanisms, processes and regional climate patterns intensify abrupt climate changes during interglacials and at glacial-interglacial transitions? How different are these patterns compared to the last interglacial, the Eemian, when the average temperature was about 1-2°C higher than it is now?

For an improved estimation of future climate change researchers need information on time duration, rate, frequency and regional patterns of long and short term climate fluctuations.

A review into the earth's history forms the basis of understanding climate reaction and dynamics in comparison with changes in external forcing and internal feedback processes.

Topic 8 aims at identifying and explaining regional and temporal patterns of climate variability between the Pacific and Atlantic region as well as between lower and higher latitudes. The time span of the investigations encompasses the last 140.000 years and focusses on time scales from years to millennia. This time span allows scientists not only to analyze the rapid climate change during the last glacial termination and during the Holocene, but also to compare it to the second last glacial-interglacial transition and the following interglacial, the Eemian.

Further information on Topic 8 is available in German.

Contact Topic 8

Prof. Dr. Ralf Tiedemann
Helmholtz-Zentrum für Polar- und Meeresforschung
D-27568 Bremerhaven
E-mail: Ralf.Tiedemann(at)


Prof. Dr. Achim Brauer
Helmholtz-Zentrum Potsdam
Deutsches GeoForschungsZentrum GFZ
Telegrafenberg, C 324
D-14473 Potsdam