“Descent Into The Icehouse” Meeting in Cardiff

Feb 27, 2012   //   by Athena   //   Blog  //  Comments Off on “Descent Into The Icehouse” Meeting in Cardiff

By Gordon Inglis 

On Tuesday the 21st of February, members from various institutions convened at Cardiff University to discuss the Descent into the Icehouse project. The event, chaired by Professor Paul Pearson, was used as a platform for new postgraduates to briefly outline their project and for postdoctoral research associates (PDRAs) to discuss any preliminary data gathered so far. The meeting was twinned with the UK Ocean Acidification (UKOA) project which focuses on human-induced pH change and its potential effect on ocean-dwelling microorganisms such as foraminifera and coccolithophores.

Phil Williamson  from the University of East Anglia and Rob Thomas,  and the British Oceanographic Data Centre (BODC) respectively, began proceedings with an overview of the UKOA project and the methods of data collation. The remainder of the morning session was designated to new postgraduates and allowed them to discuss their project and detail what they have achieved so far.

The afternoon session was assigned to PDRAs from both the UKOA and Descent project. Trazy Aze, from Cardiff, discussed the use of foraminifera to elucidate past environmental conditions during the Palaeocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM) (55.6Ma), an analogue for current anthropogenic-induced warming. Marcus Gutjahr, from NOC, Southampton, examined the application of boron isotopes to pH and pCO2 reconstruction while Sam Gibbs, also from NOC, Southampton, focused on the response of calcareous nannofossils to periods of extreme warmth. Eleanor John of Cardiff University explained how we can use foraminifera to understand the water column of ancient oceans before Eleni Anagnostou detailed the improvements in boron isotope measurements. Kirsty Edgar of Cardiff rounded off proceedings with a brief overview of the mid-Eocene climatic optimum (MECO) and the ways in which we can reconstruct the sea surface temperature during that period.

Following discussion, the group adjourned to the pub for more discussion and a well-earned drink.

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