During the Quaternary Period, the last 2.6 million years of Earth's history, changes in environments and climate shaped human evolution. In particular, large-scale features of atmospheric circulation patterns varied significantly due to the dramatic changes in global boundary conditions which accompanied abrupt changes in climate. Reconstructing these environmental changes relies heavily on precise and accurate chronologies. Radiocarbon dating continues to play a vital role in providing chronological control over the last 50,000 years, but advances in recent years on a range of other geochronological techniques that are applicable to the Quaternary have made available a much wider diversity of methods. In this session, contributions are particularly welcome that aim to (1) reduce, quantify and express dating uncertainties in any dating method, including high-resolution radiocarbon approaches, (2) use established geochronological methods to answer new questions, (3) use new methods to address longstanding issues, or (4) combine different chronometric techniques for improved results, including the analysis of chronological datasets with novel methods, such as Bayesian age-depth modelling. Applications may aim to understand long-term landscape evolution, quantify rates of geomorphological processes, or provide chronologies for records of climate change.
To fully diagnose the mechanisms behind the complex teleconnections of past abrupt climate transitions accurate dating and correlation is imperative. This is one of the main goals of the INTIMATE initiative. Furthermore, we aim towards a global approach to integrating climate data, by considering archives from the tropics to the poles and develop our understanding of proxy-sensitivities to different aspects of climate and environmental change (e.g. temperature, precipitation, nutrient availability, sunlight). Finally, we should test our hypotheses and challenge our ideas using models of atmosphere-ocean-biosphere processes. INTIMATE aims to provide a better understanding of the mechanisms of abrupt climate change, with a particular emphasis on the integration and interpretation of global records of abrupt climate changes during the last glacial to interglacial cycle.
Our invited speaker is Prof. Tim Jull, the Editor of the Radiocarbon Journal who will speak about
"Annual carbon-14 variability in tree-rings: Causes and Implications for the calibration curve."