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Elucidating the Causes and Effects of Atlantic Circulation Changes through Model-Data Integration (ACCLIMATE)
Start date: Feb 1, 2014, End date: Jan 31, 2019 PROJECT  FINISHED 

Rapid changes in ocean circulation and climate have been observed in marine sediment and ice cores, notably over the last 60 thousand years (ky), highlighting the non-linear character of the climate system and underlining the possibility of rapid climate shifts in response to anthropogenic greenhouse gas forcing.To date, these rapid changes in climate and ocean circulation are still not fully explained. Two main obstacles prevent going beyond the current state of knowledge:- Paleoclimatic proxy data are by essence only indirect indicators of the climatic variables, and thus can not be directly compared with model outputs;- A 4-D (latitude, longitude, water depth, time) reconstruction of Atlantic water masses over the past 40 ky is lacking: previous studies have generated isolated records with disparate timescales which do not allow the causes of circulation changes to be identified.Overcoming these two major limitations will lead to major breakthroughs in climate research. Concretely, I will create the first database of Atlantic deep-sea records over the last 40 ky, and extract full climatic information from these records through an innovative model-data integration scheme using an isotopic proxy forward modeling approach. The novelty and exceptional potential of this scheme is twofold: (i) it avoids hypotheses on proxy interpretation and hence suppresses or strongly reduces the errors of interpretation of paleoclimatic records; (ii) it produces states of the climate system that best explain the observations over the last 40 ky, while being consistent with the model physics.Expected results include:• The elucidation of the mechanisms explaining rapid changes in ocean circulation and climate over the last 40 ky,• Improved climate model physics and parameterizations,• The first projections of future climate changes obtained with a model able to reproduce the highly non linear behavior of the climate system observed over the last 40 ky.
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