Long-Term Dynamics of the Earth System (LOTES)


Long-Term Dynamics of the Earth System (LOTES)

About the working group

The current state of knowledge of the Earth system and its future evolution contains significant uncertainties that hamper an impact analysis of future climate change. Study of past climates provides a unique opportunity to quantify more accurately a number of climate characteristics, such as Earth system sensitivity and critical climate thresholds. Study of past climates also contributes to a better understanding of the new geological epoch – the Anthropocene – in the context of climate variability during the current geological era, the Quaternary.

Key questions

  • What is the role of climate and carbon cycle feedbacks in the past Earth system dynamics?
  • Which constraints on the critical climate thresholds can be derived from the past climate changes?
  • How the long-term (thousands to million years) future evolution of the Earth system depends on the anthropogenic CO2 emission?

Related Projects

  • PalMod 2. Transient ice sheet-solid earth-climate simulations using the CLIMBER-X to study
    processes of the last glacial inception (PalMod 2 WP1.3)
  • PalMod 2. Land & Shelf Processes TP2 Carbon dynamics in transient CLIMBER-X runs as a testbed
    for MPI-ESM (PalMod 2 WP2.2)
  • Modeling of long-term future climate evolution using a hierarchy of Earth system models (MOLTEN-Nagra)
  • Tipping points in the Earth system (TiPES)

Team members

Dr. Reinhard Calov
Dr. Andrey Ganopolski
Dr. Stefanie Talento
Dr. Matteo Willeit

Selected publications

  • Willeit, M., Ganopolski, A., Calov, R., Brovkin, V. (2019). Mid-Pleistocene transition in glacial cycles explained by declining CO2 and regolith removal, Science Advances, 5: eaav7337.

  • Willeit, M., Ganopolski, A. (2018) The importance of snow albedo for ice sheet evolution over the last glacial cycle, Climate of the Past, 14, 697-707.

  • Ganopolski, A., Brovkin, V. (2017) Simulation of climate, ice sheets and CO2 evolution during the last four glacial cycles with an Earth system model of intermediate complexity. Climate of the Past, 13, 1695–1716.

  • Ganopolski, A., Winkelmann, R., Schellnhuber, H.J. (2016) Critical insolation-CO2 relation for diagnosing past and future glacial inception. Nature, 529, 200-203.

  • Calov, R., Robinson, A.,  Perrette, M., Ganopolski, A. (2015) Simulating the Greenland ice sheet under present-day and palaeo constraints including a new discharge parameterization. The Cryosphere,  9, 179–196.

  • Willeit, M., Ganopolski, A., Calov, R.,  Robinson, A., Maslin, M. (2015) The role of CO2 decline for the onset of Northern Hemisphere glaciation.  Quaternary Science Review, 119, 22-34.

  • Willeit, M., Ganopolski, A., Feulner G. (2013) On the effect of orbital forcing on mid-Pliocene climate, vegetation and ice sheets, Climate of the Past, 9, 1749–1759

  • Robinson, A., Calov, R., Ganopolski, A. (2012) Multistability and critical thresholds of the Greenland ice sheet, Nature Climate Change,  2, 429-432.

  • Ganopolski, A, Calov R. (2011) The role of orbital forcing, carbon dioxide and regolith in 100 kyr cycles. Climate of the Past, 7,  1415–1425.