The Arctic is warming at what might be an unprecedented rate and ecosystems are undoubtedly changing. How they are changing is more moot and whether the Anthropocene will contain ecosystems unlike any that occurred over the Holocene is central to this proposed project. To answer this, I will develop and apply multidisciplinary methods to quantitatively track recent and more distant climate change and also track ecosystem response at these times based on lake sediments. The project will develop a novel method for inferring past climate change through the analysis of the stable isotopes of Oxygen (i.e. δ18O) preserved in biological remains. The technique will then be applied to sediment cores from areas of Greenland with different climate histories – in particular contrasting dynamics and speed of change of inland ice mass (e.g. Ilulisssat vs Isua, Nuuk). An assessment of ecosystem response independent of the inference of past climate change will be gained by diatom analysis, or cladoceran and algae pigments analysis where more appropriate. It will place the current change in the context of past change and inform on ecological regime shift and resilience for Arctic lakes. Furthermore, for a global implication, the research findings in this project will serve for comparison purpose with other aquatic ecosystems (i.e. strong human impacted Yangtze shallow lakes and unique alpine lakes in Yunnan Province in China) to understand how robust the δ18O technique and different trajectory and mechanism of lake environmental changes.
Quantitative assessment on ecological changes and the contribution from climate in remote Greenland lakes: a multidisciplinary study
Area of research:
1 Oct 2014 – 30 Sep 2017
AIAS-COFUND Marie Skłodowska-Curie fellow
This fellowship has received funding from the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme for research, technological development and demonstration under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement No 609033 and The Aarhus University Research Foundation.