Projects Detail

Holocene climate change in the Alps

An improved understanding of the natural variability is crucial to place the recent climate change into a long-term context. It is therefore important to extend climatological records of temperature, precipitation, and atmospheric circulation patterns far back in time. Beyond the instrumental period information must be derived from natural archives.
Speleothems provide a clear opportunity to resolve some major issues regarding recent climate fluctuations. The heterogeneity and complexity of karst systems may, however, lead to site-specific responses particularly relevant when the signal-to noise ratio is small as for instance during the Holocene. Calibration of such data may be achieved either by comparing various archives from regional sites or by establishing a site-specific, process-based calibration using transfer functions between the external climate and the investigated climate proxy. The ultimate objective of our research is to provide a reference time-series of Holocene climate changes in the Alpine range.

Finished projects
- Holocene climate change in the northern Alps (FWF, P20618-N10, p.i.: Christoph Spötl)
- Towards a high-resolution paleoclimate record from a cave in the Bregenzerwald, Vorarlberg (INATURA, p.i.: Christoph Spötl, co-p.i.: Marc Luetscher)
External collaborators: John Hellstrom (University of Melbourne), Wolfgang Müller (Royal Holloway University of London), Silvia Frisia (University of Newcastle), Achim Brauer (GFZ Potsdam).