Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research

NESSC_A salinity proxy based on specific algal biomarkers δD values (WP1)

This is part of Work Package 1 of NESSC (Netherlands Earth System Science Centre)

Ice core records give us highly detailed information of the earth for the last 800 thousand years, such as Antarctic air temperatures and composition of the atmosphere. But to speculate about the climate beyond that time, millions of years into the past, NESSC primarily relies on fossilized remains of organisms preserved deep in the earth. These remains are called proxies.

Emiliana huxleyi

Proxies from plankton

Well-developed proxies can tell us a lot about environmental circumstances in the distant past. For example, with the the ratio of magnesium and calcium in carbonized shells of fossilized planktonic foraminifera, we can predict the sea surface temperature with an accuracy of 1.5 degrees Celsius. But accuracy can be compromised by external factors like salinity or magnesium-calcium ratios in the sea, and for several important climate variables no proxies exist.
Currently the accuracy for seawater temperatures of the past million years is 2-3 degrees Celsius, and 3-5 degrees Celsius for the past hundred million years. Our ambition is to ultimately reconstruct seawater temperatures with an accuracy of less than 1 degree Celsius for the past million years, and less than 2 degrees Celsius for the past 100 million years. There is a continuous need for improving proxies and constraining uncertainties.

Project information
Linked department:
Funder:
Ministerie van OCW
Duration:
6 Nov 2015 - 28 Feb 2021
Partners
  • Radboud University Nijmegen, The Netherlands
  • Universiteit van Amsterdam (UvA), The Netherlands
  • Utrecht University, The Netherlands
  • VU University Amsterdam, The Netherlands
  • Wageningen University & Research Centre (WUR), The Netherlands

Meet the team

Linked projects

NESSC_High-resolution organic geochemical proxy records of critical time intervals III (WP2)
Supervisor
Stefan Schouten
Funder
Ministerie van OCW
Project duration
6 Dec 2015 - 10 Jul 2025
NESSC_High-resolution organic geochemical proxy records of critical time intervals III (WP2)
Supervisor
Stefan Schouten
Funder
Ministerie van OCW
Project duration
6 Dec 2015 - 10 Jul 2025
NESSC-WP2_High-resolution organic geochemical proxy records of critical time intervals I
Funder
Ministerie van OCW
Project duration
11 Jul 2015 - 5 Mar 2022
NESSC-WP2_High-resolution organic geochemical proxy records of critical time intervals I
Funder
Ministerie van OCW
Project duration
11 Jul 2015 - 5 Mar 2022
NESSC_Improving past climate records (WP2)
Supervisor
Gert Jan Reichart
Funder
Ministerie van OCW
Project duration
1 Jan 2014 - 31 Dec 2023
NESSC_Foraminiferal salinity proxy (WP1)
Supervisor
Gert Jan Reichart
Funder
Ministerie van OCW
Project duration
1 Jan 2014 - 31 Aug 2018
NESSC_New generation of foraminiferal proxies (WP1)
Supervisor
Gert Jan Reichart
Funder
NA
Project duration
1 Jan 2014 - 31 Dec 2023
NESSC_High Resolution Organic Geochemical Records (WP2)
Supervisor
Stefan Schouten
Funder
Ministerie van OCW
Project duration
31 Dec 2013 - 11 Jul 2025
NESSC_Developing biomarker proxies for aerobic and anaerobic methane oxidation (WP1)
Supervisor
Stefan Schouten
Funder
Ministerie van OCW
Project duration
31 Dec 2013 - 11 Jul 2025
NESSC_Developing biomarker proxies for aerobic and anaerobic methane oxidation (WP1)
Supervisor
Stefan Schouten
Funder
Ministerie van OCW
Project duration
31 Dec 2013 - 11 Jul 2025
NESSC_High Resolution Organic Geochemical Records (WP2)
Supervisor
Stefan Schouten
Funder
Ministerie van OCW
Project duration
31 Dec 2013 - 11 Jul 2025

Linked publications

  • 2017
    Frieling, J.; Gebhardt, H.; Huber, M.; Adekeye, O.A.; Akande, S.O.; Reichart, G.-J.; Middelburg, J.J.; Schouten, S.; Sluijs, A. (2017). Extreme warmth and heat-stressed plankton in the tropics during the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum. Science Advances 3(3): e1600891. https://hdl.handle.net/10.1126/sciadv.1600891
    Loomis, S.E.; Russell, J.M.; Verschuren, D.; Morrill, C.; De Cort, G.; Sinninghe Damsté, J.S.; Olago, D.; Eggermont, H.; Street-Perrott, F.A.; Kelly, M.A. (2017). The tropical lapse rate steepened during the Last Glacial Maximum. Science Advances 3(1): e1600815. dx.doi.org/10.1126/sciadv.1600815
    O'Brien, C.L.; Robinson, S.A.; Pancost, R.D.; Sinninghe Damsté, J.S.; Schouten, S.; Lunt, D.J.; Alsenz, H.; Bornemann, A.; Bottini, C.; Brassell, S.C.; Farnsworth, A.; Forster, A.; Huber, B.T.; Inglis, G.N.; Jenkyns, H.C.; Linnert, C.; Littler, K.; Markwick, P.; McAnena, A.; Mutterlose, J.; Naafs, B.D.A.; Püttmann, W.; Sluijs, A.; van Helmond, N.A.G.M.; Vellekoop, J.; Wagner, T.; Wrobel, N.E. (2017). Cretaceous sea-surface temperature evolution: Constraints from TEX86 and planktonic foraminiferal oxygen isotopes. Earth-Sci. Rev. 172. https://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.earscirev.2017.07.012
    Rush, D.; Sinninghe Damsté, J.S. (2017). Lipids as paleomarkers to constrain the marine nitrogen cycle. Environ. Microbiol. 19(6): 2119–2132,. https://dx.doi.org/10.1111/1462-2920.13682
  • 2016
    Johnson, T.C.; Werne, J.P.; Brown, E.T.; Abbott, A.; Berke, M.; Steinman, B.E.; Halbur, J.; Contreras, S.; Grosshuesch, S.; Deino, A.; Lyons, R.P.; Scholz, C.A.; Schouten, S.; Sinninghe Damsté, J.S. (2016). A progressively wetter climate in southern East Africa over the past 1.3 million years. Nature (Lond.) 537(7619): 220-224. dx.doi.org/10.1038/nature19065