The most populated country in the Middle East, Iran, is vulnerable to several extreme climate events (dust storms, long-lasting droughts, heavy floods, hails), which are expected to increase in frequency due to the global population’s continued greenhouse gas emissions. The climate system over Iran is complex, and confidence in model projections of future climate change remains low, as there are very few studies that have resolved climate variations quantitatively beyond the instrumental record. Speleothems)have developed into extremely useful archives for investigating past climate change, and Iran uniquely houses an expansive network of karst systems across the country, which have only very recently begun to be explored for palaeoclimate research objectives to a small degree.
Our research project aims to overcome the present formidable risks of field-based paleoclimate research in Iran with a team of experts in karst and palaeoclimate research in collaboration with Iranian geologists and speleologists. Currently two PhD students are working on samples collected during two field campaigns.
Researchers: Christoph Spötl, Mojgan Soleimani (PhD student), Mansooreh Sani (PhD student), Yuri Dublyansky, Gabriella Koltai
Partners: Stacy Carolin (Cambridge University), Alireza Nadimi (Isfahan University), Gideon Henderson (Oxford University), Iranian speleologists
Funding sources: University of Innsbruck, Austrian Academy of Sciences
Images of field work in spring and summer of 2019.