EGU General Assembly 2023
© Author(s) 2023. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Paleoclimate archives as sentinels of future climate change

Stefanie Kaboth-Bahr
Stefanie Kaboth-Bahr
  • University of Potsdam, Institute of Geosciences, Potsdam, Germany (

Paleoclimate archives, such as marine and terrestrial sediment cores, provide a valuable record of past climate conditions and can serve as "sentinels" for predicting future climate change. By using methods of sedimentology, stratigraphy, and paleontology, it is possible to reconstruct the physical and biological conditions of the past and gain a deeper understanding of how ecosystem stability has responded to changes in the environment. One excellent example of this is the UNESCO world heritage Messel fossil pit in central Europe, which dates back to the Eocene epoch and provides a glimpse into the potential future climate that may be experienced in 2150. Examining the annually laminated Messel sediments and building upon more than 60 years of paleontological excavations allows for insights into the sensitivity of terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems to environmental change under high greenhouse gas concentrations across orbital to interannual time scales. This can provide new and important constraints on aquatic ecosystem stability and potential teleconnections to the surrounding terrestrial realm in an ever-warming world. Understanding these complex interactions between terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems can inform decision-making and policy development related to climate change mitigation and adaptation.

How to cite: Kaboth-Bahr, S.: Paleoclimate archives as sentinels of future climate change, EGU General Assembly 2023, Vienna, Austria, 24–28 Apr 2023, EGU23-11406,, 2023.