Institute for Climate and Atmospheric Science (ICAS)

Physical Climate Change Group Projects


Forward Modelling of Past Abrupt Climate Transitions


Sponsor: NERC

PI: Ruza Ivanovic

Start 2013, End 2018.

This project focuses principally on climate-ocean interactions taking place around 21 to 12 thousand years ago.


Falling in the early last deglaciation, this encompasses the duration of several rapid climate events, for example:

  • Heinrich Event 1, when the Northern Hemisphere climate was relatively cool and armadas of icebergs were released into the North Atlantic
  • The abrupt Bolling warming event, when Northern Hemisphere temperatures are thought to have warmed by as much as 4-5 degrees C in just a few years-decades.
  • Meltwater Pulse 1a, when sea level is thought to have risen by 12-22 m in < 350 years.

We know that these events took place, from geological records of climate, but exactly what caused them, and how they might be linked remains unknown.  The project will incorporate geochemical tracers of ocean circulation into a complex General Circulation Model (the UK Met Office’s HadCM3), to test different hypotheses for the causes and consequences of these abrupt climate events.

Last Deglaciation PMIP Working Group


Sponsor: PMIP

Project leader: Ruza Ivanovic

Deputy leader: Lauren Gregoire

Start date: 2013

End date: indefinite


In February 2014, Ruza Ivanovic and Lauren Gregoire established a new working group in the international Paleoclimate Modelling Intercomparison Project (PMIP), with the goal of coordinating transient simulations of the last deglaciation, 21-9 ka.

The ultimate aim is for participant groups to run one core simulation through the whole last deglaciation. Where this is not practical, we will also define shorter events within the longer transient run to focus on within the longer transient run. We are currently designing the first phase of experiments for the working group (Last Glacial Maximum at 21 ka or before, until before the Bolling warming at 14.6 ka, encompassing Heinrich Event 1).

Please email Ruza for more info or to sign-up.

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