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Probing the long-term forcing mechanisms of the Asian Monsoon by magnetic analysis of aeolian dust in sediments from the North Pacific Ocean (MARINE MAGNETISM)
Start date: 01 Jul 2008, End date: 30 Jun 2009 PROJECT  FINISHED 

Understanding past climate change is crucially dependent on understanding oceanic and atmospheric circulation. The atmospheric circulation, which might provide meaningful information about the long-term forcing mechanisms of major atmospheric components, such as the monsoons, is poorly constrained. Aeolian dust preserved in deep-sea sediments provides an excellent means of determining past variations in continental paleoclimate and atmospheric circulation. In the main phase of this project, we will focus on dust signals recorded in marine sediments from the North Pacific Ocean (NPO). The major task for the Fellow during the return phase will be to continue this work and to establish and lead a group in the Chinese Academy of Science that focuses on magnetic analysis of marine sediments. The priorities during the return phase will be as follows. First, more cores will be analysed along both longitudinal and latitudinal transects from NPO to complete the work started at the National Oceanography Centre, Southampton. Second, parallel studies will be also carried out on coeval sediments from the Chinese loess Plateau. This will permit a direct linkage between the dust signals recorded in continental (source region) and marine sediments (depositional region). We will then further determine the chronological relationship of dust signals in these two regions. This will provide important constraints on the forcing mechanisms that drive atmospheric circulation and the Asian Monsoon. The return phase is crucial to the success of the overall program because it will enable the Fellow to establish his own group in China and it will enable the hosts for the main and return phase to continue to work together in this strategic development.
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