SUMMER PRAETORIUS, PhD
Ocean & Climate Science
I study the dynamics of past climate in order to create context and predictability for future climate change. I am particularly focused on the origins of non-linear transitions in the climate system, such as the abrupt warming and cooling events that punctuated the last deglacial and glacial periods - how and where these types of events manifested, and the cascading effects they had in various ecological systems. A fundamental question is whether these past events were unique to previous climate states with large ice-volumes (and hence reflect rapid feedbacks within the ocean-ice-atmosphere system) or whether they reflect intrinsic non-linearities in the climate system, and can arise in a variety of climate states under certain forcing conditions. If the later is the case, then it is important to understand the ways in which non-linearities in the climate system manifest in relation to newly evolving boundary conditions in the Earth’s climate - i.e. what type of tipping points will emerge in future climate scenarios.
Research Domains: oceanography, marine geology, climate science, paleoceanography, climate modeling, archaeology
Topics of interest: abrupt climate change, ocean circulation, human-climate interactions, climate tipping points, ecological thresholds, ocean hypoxia, volcanic cycles, late Pleistocene megafauna extinctions