R09: Ocean Controls

How does the ocean control climate and environment at transitions of warming?

Ocean Controls brings together geophysicists, biogeochemists, paleoceanographers, and climate modellers to investigate the role of the ocean in past climate and environmental change and identify key processes and potential tipping points that could control future global warming.


We propose to study examples of past climate warming and environmental change in order to find the main patterns of ocean feedbacks on climate by concentrating on changes in three-dimensional (3D) ocean circulation, ocean carbon cycle, gas hydrate dynamics, and the influence of geological greenhouse gas emissions. The examples range from the extreme global warming during the Paleocene Eocene Thermal Maximum (PET M, 55 Ma), to the glacial/interglacial transitions, the Holocene climate optimum to the regionally confined medieval warm period. We shall integrate high performance Earth system modelling with geophysical fieldwork on modern analogues of gas release and high-resolution sedimentological and paleoceanographic proxy work to provide a synthesis of the relevant ocean processes during periods of climate warming.


This research topic aims to answer the following specific questions. How did the 3D ocean circulation control warming, how did it respond to different forcing factors, and what was the climate feedback? How does the ocean carbon cycle response to climate warming operate under different background conditions? How important were geological carbon emissions including gas hydrate dissociation in

driving environmental change during the PETM?

Focus 1: Climate model simulations focusing on the different warming episodes will take into account variable distributions of the continents, orbital parameters, ice sheets and greenhouse gas levels.

Focus 2: In order to reconstruct past changes in marine environmental conditions and climate, centennial-scale records will be established across the different warming epochs (δ18O, δ13C, Mg/Ca, etc.).

Focus 3: We will investigate geological forcing mechanisms of climate warming.



Becker, M., Andersen, N., Erlenkeuser, H., Humphreys, M. P., Tanhua, T. and Körtzinger, A. (2016) An Internally Consistent Dataset of delta13C-DIC in the North Atlantic Ocean - NAC13v1 Earth System Science Data, 8 . pp. 559-570. DOI 10.5194/essd-8-559-2016.

Hetzinger, S., Pfeiffer, M., Dullo, W. C., Zinke, J. and Garbe-Schönberg, D. (2016) A change in coral extension rates and stable isotopes after El Niño-induced coral bleaching and regional stress events Scientific Reports, 6 (32879). DOI 10.1038/srep32879.

Jegen, M., Avdeeva, A., Berndt, C., Franz, G., Heincke, B., Hölz, S., Neska, A., Marti, A., Planert, L., Chen, J., Kopp, H., Baba, K., Ritter, O., Weckmann, U., Meqbel, N. and Behrmann, J. (2016) 3-D Magnetotelluric Image of Offshore Magmatism at the Walvis Ridge and Rift Basin Tectonophysics, 683 . pp. 98-108. DOI 10.1016/j.tecto.2016.06.016.

Dumke, I., Burwicz, E. B., Berndt, C., Klaeschen, D., Feseker, T., Geissler, W. and Sarkar, S. (2016) Gas hydrate distribution and hydrocarbon maturation north of the Knipovich Ridge, western Svalbard margin Journal of Geophysical Research - Solid Earth, 121 (3). pp. 1405-1424. DOI 10.1002/2015JB012083.

von Reumont, J., Hetzinger, S., Garbe-Schönberg, D., Manfrino, C. and Dullo, W. C. (2016) Impact of warming events on reef-scale temperature variability as captured in two Little Cayman coral Sr/Ca records Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems, 17 (3). pp. 846-857. DOI 10.1002/2015GC006194.

Wallmann, K., Schneider, B. and Sarnthein, M. (2016) Effects of eustatic sea-level change, ocean dynamics, and nutrient utilization on atmospheric pCO2 and seawater composition over the last 130 000 years: a model study Climate of the Past, 12 (2). pp. 339-375. DOI 10.5194/cp-12-339-2016.

Nauendorf, A., Krause, S., Bigalke, N. K., Gorb, E. V., Gorb, S., Haeckel, M., Wahl, M. and Treude, T. (2016) Microbial colonization and degradation of polyethylene and biodegradable plastic bags in temperate fine-grained organic-rich marine sediments Marine Pollution Bulletin, 103 (1-2). pp. 168-178. DOI 10.1016/j.marpolbul.2015.12.024.

Sagar, N., Hetzinger, S., Pfeiffer, M., Masood Ahmad, S., Dullo, W. C. and Garbe-Schönberg, D. (2016) High-resolution Sr/Ca ratios in a Porites lutea coral from Lakshadweep Archipelago, southeast Arabian Sea: An example from a region experiencing steady rise in the reef temperature Journal of Geophysical Research - Oceans, 121 (1). pp. 252-266. DOI 10.1002/2015JC010821.

Jin, L., Zhang, X. and Leduc, G. (2016) Reply to comment by Rashid et al. on “Asynchronous variation in the East Asian winter monsoon during the Holocene” Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres, 121 (4). pp. 1615-1620. DOI 10.1002/2015JD024270.

Song, Z., Latif, M., Park, W., Krebs-Kanzow, U. and Schneider, B. (2016) Influence of seaway changes during the Pliocene on tropical Pacific climate in the Kiel climate model: mean state, annual cycle, ENSO, and their interactions Climate Dynamics . DOI 10.1007/s00382-016-3298-x.

Tseng, Y. h., Lin, H., Chen, H. c., Thompson, K., Bentsen, M., Böning, C. W., Bozec, A., Cassou, C., Chassignet, E., Chow, C. H., Danabasoglu, G., Danilov, S., Farneti, R., Fogli, P. G., Fujii, Y., Griffies, S. M., Ilicak, M., Jung, T., Masina, S., Navarra, A., Patara, L., Samuels, B. L., Scheinert, M., Sidorenko, D., Sui, C. H., Tsujino, H., Valcke, S., Voldoire, A., Wang, Q. and Yeager, S. G. (2016) North and equatorial Pacific Ocean circulation in the CORE-II hindcast simulations Ocean Modelling, 104 . pp. 143-170. DOI 10.1016/j.ocemod.2016.06.003.

Zhang, X., Jin, L. and Jia, W. (2016) Centennial-scale teleconnection between North Atlantic sea surface temperatures and the Indian summer monsoon during the Holocene Climate Dynamics, 46 (9-10). pp. 3323-3336. DOI 10.1007/s00382-015-2771-2.

Zhang, X., Jin, L., Huang, W. and Chen, F. (2016) Forcing mechanisms of orbital-scale changes in winter rainfall over northwestern China during the Holocene The Holocene, 26 (4). pp. 549-555. DOI 10.1177/0959683615612569.

Löscher, C., Fischer, M. A., Neulinger, S., Fiedler, B., Philippi, M., Schütte, F., Singh, A., Hauss, H., Karstensen, J., Körtzinger, A., Künzel, S. and Schmitz, R. A. (2015) Hidden biosphere in an oxygen-deficient Atlantic open ocean eddy: future implications of ocean deoxygenation on primary production in the eastern tropical North Atlantic Biogeosciences (BG), 12 (16). pp. 7467-7482. DOI 10.5194/bg-12-7467-2015.

Nauw, J., Linke, P. and Leifer, I. (2015) Bubble momentum plume as a possible mechanism for an early breakdown of the seasonal stratification in the northern North Sea Marine and Petroleum Geology, 68 . pp. 789-805. DOI 10.1016/j.marpetgeo.2015.05.003.

Vielstädte, L., Karstens, J., Haeckel, M., Schmidt, M., Linke, P., Reimann, S., Liebetrau, V., McGinnis, D. and Wallmann, K. (2015) Quantification of methane emissions at abandoned gas wells in the Central North Sea Marine and Petroleum Geology, 68 . pp. 848-860. DOI 10.1016/j.marpetgeo.2015.07.030.

Wilfert, P., Krause, S., Liebetrau, V., Schönfeld, J., Haeckel, M., Linke, P. and Treude, T. (2015) Response of anaerobic methanotrophs and benthic foraminifera on 20 years of methane emission from a gas blowout in the North Sea Marine and Petroleum Geology, 68 . pp. 731-742. DOI 10.1016/j.marpetgeo.2015.07.012.

Steeb, P., Krause, S., Linke, P., Hensen, C., Dale, A. W., Nuzzo, M. and Treude, T. (2015) Efficiency and adaptability of the benthic methane filter at Quepos Slide cold seeps, offshore Costa Rica Biogeosciences (BG), 12 . pp. 6687-6706. DOI 10.5194/bg-12-6687-2015.

Downes, S. M., Farneti, R., Uotila, P., Griffies, S. M., Marsland, S. J., Bailey, D., Behrens, E., Bentsen, M., Bi, D., Biastoch, A., Böning, C. W., Bozec, A., Canuto, V. M., Chassignet, E., Danabasoglu, G., Danilov, S., Diansky, N., Drange, H., Fogli, P. G., Gusev, A., Howard, A., Ilicak, M., Jung, T., Kelley, M., Large, W. G., Leboissetier, A., Long, M., Lu, J., Masina, S., Mishra, A., Navarra, A., George Nurser, A. J., Patara, L., Samuels, B. L., Sidorenko, D., Spence, P., Tsujino, H., Wang, Q. and Yeager, S. G. (2015) An assessment of Southern Ocean water masses and sea ice during 1988–2007 in a suite of interannual CORE-II simulations Ocean Modelling, 94 . pp. 67-94. DOI 10.1016/j.ocemod.2015.07.022.

Farneti, R., Downes, S. M., Griffies, S. M., Marsland, S. J., Behrens, E., Bentsen, M., Bi, D., Biastoch, A., Böning, C. W., Bozec, A., Canuto, V. M., Chassignet, E., Danabasoglu, G., Danilov, S., Diansky, N., Drange, H., Fogli, P. G., Gusev, A., Hallberg, R. W., Howard, A., Ilicak, M., Jung, T., Kelley, M., Large, W. G., Leboissetier, A., Long, M., Lu, J., Masina, S., Mishra, A., Navarra, A., George Nurser, A. J., Patara, L., Samuels, B. L., Sidorenko, D., Tsujino, H., Uotila, P., Wang, Q. and Yeager, S. G. (2015) An assessment of Antarctic Circumpolar Current and Southern Ocean meridional overturning circulation during 1958–2007 in a suite of interannual CORE-II simulations Ocean Modelling, 93 . pp. 84-120. DOI 10.1016/j.ocemod.2015.07.009.

Schmale, O., Leifer, I., Schneider von Deimling, J., Stolle, C., Krause, S., Kießlich, K., Fram, A. and Treude, T. (2015) Bubble transport Mechanism: Indications for a gas bubble-mediated inoculation of benthic methanothrophs into the water column Continental Shelf Research, 103 . pp. 70-78. DOI 10.1016/j.csr.2015.04.022.

Aquino da Silva, A. G., Amaro, V. E., Stattegger, K., Schwarzer, K., Vital, H. and Heise, B. (2015) Spectral calibration of CBERS 2B multispectral satellite images to assess suspended sediment concentration Isprs Journal of Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing, 104 . pp. 53-62.

Cappelli, E. L. G., Regenberg, M., Holbourn, A., Kuhnt, W., Garbe-Schönberg, D. and Andersen, N. (2015) Refining C. wuellerstorfi and H. elegans Mg/Ca temperature calibrations Marine Micropaleontology, 121 . pp. 70-84.

Eisenhauer, A., Horn, C., Nürnberg, D., Blanz, T. and Garbe-Schönberg, D. (2015) Phase-shift between surface ocean warming, evaporation and changes of continental ice volume during Termination I observed at tropical ocean sediment cores In: Integrated Analysis of Interglacial Climate Dynamics (INTERDYNAMIC) , ed. by Schulz, M. and Paul, A.. Springer Briefs in Earth System Sciences . Springer, Cham, pp. 49-53. ISBN 978-3-319-00692-5 DOI 10.1007/978-3-319-00693-2_9.

Fleury, S., Martinez, P., Crosta, X., Charlier, K., Billy, I., Hanquiez, V., Blanz, T. and Schneider, R. (2015) Pervasive multidecadal variations in productivity within the Peruvian Upwelling System over the last millennium Quaternary Science Reviews, 125 . pp. 78-90.

Jennings, R. P., Singarayer, J., Stone, E. J., Krebs-Kanzow, U., Khon, V., Nisancioglu, K. H., Pfeiffer, M., Zhang, X., Parker, A., Parton, A., Groucutt, H. S., White, T. S., Drake, N. A. and Petraglia, M. D. (2015) The greening of Arabia: Multiple opportunities for human occupation of the Arabian Peninsula during the Late Pleistocene inferred from an ensemble of climate model simulations Quaternary International, 382 . pp. 181-199.

Repschlaeger, J., Weinelt, M., Andersen, N., Garbe-Schönberg, D. and Schneider, R. (2015) Northern source for Deglacial and Holocene deepwater composition changes in the Eastern North Atlantic Basin Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 425 . pp. 256-267.

Repschlaeger, J., Weinelt, M., Kinkel, H., Andersen, N., Garbe-Schönberg, D. and Schwab, C. (2015) Response of the subtropical North Atlantic surface hydrography on deglacial and Holocene AMOC changes Paleoceanography, 30 (5). pp. 456-476.

Szczygielski, A., Stattegger, K., Schwarzer, K., da Silva, A. G. A., Vital, H. and Koenig, J. (2015) Evolution of the Parnaiba Delta (NE Brazil) during the late Holocene Geo-Marine Letters, 35 (2). pp. 105-117. DOI 10.1007/s00367-014-0395-x.

Liebetrau, V., Augustin, N., Kutterolf, S., Schmidt, M., Eisenhauer, A., Garbe-Schönberg, D. and Weinrebe, W. (2014) Cold-seep-driven carbonate deposits at the Central American forearc: contrasting evolution and timing in escarpment and mound settings International Journal of Earth Sciences, 103 (7). pp. 1845-1872. DOI 10.1007/s00531-014-1045-2.

Visbeck, M., Kronfeld-Goharani, U., Neumann, B., Rickels, W., Schmidt, J., van Doorn, E., Matz-Lück, N., Ott, K. and Quaas, M. (2014) Securing Blue Wealth: The Need for a Special Sustainable Development Goal for the Ocean and Coasts Marine Policy, 48 . pp. 184-191. DOI 10.1016/j.marpol.2014.03.005.

Khélifi, N., Sarntheim, M., Frank, M., Andersen, N. and Garbe-Schönberg, D. (2014) Late Pliocene variations of the Mediterranean outflow Marine Geology, 357 . pp. 182-194. DOI 10.1016/j.margeo.2014.07.006.

Dumke, I., Berndt, C., Crutchley, G. J., Krause, S., Liebetrau, V., Gay, A. and Couillard, M. (2014) Seal bypass at the Giant Gjallar Vent (Norwegian Sea): indications for a new phase of fluid venting at a 56-Ma-old fluid migration system Marine Geology, 351 . pp. 38-52. DOI 10.1016/j.margeo.2014.03.006.

Zinke, J., Pfeiffer, M., Park, W., Schneider, B., Reuning, L., Dullo, W. C., Camoin, G. F., Mangini, A., Schroeder-Ritzrau, A., Garbe-Schönberg, D. and Davies, G. R. (2014) Seychelles coral record of changes in sea surface temperature bimodality in the western Indian Ocean from the Mid-Holocene to the present Climate Dynamics, 43 (3-4). pp. 689-708. DOI 10.1007/s00382-014-2082-z.

Jin, L., Schneider, B., Park, W., Latif, M., Khon, V. and Zhang, X. (2014) The spatial-temporal patterns of Asian summer monsoon precipitation in response to Holocene insolation change: a model-data synthesis Quaternary Science Reviews, 85 . pp. 47-62. DOI 10.1016/j.quascirev.2013.11.004.

Steeb, P., Linke, P. and Treude, T. (2014) A sediment flow-through system to study the impact of shifting fluid and methane flow regimes on the efficiency of the benthic methane filter Limnology and Oceanography: Methods, 12 . pp. 25-45. DOI 10.4319/lom.2014.12.25.

Bakker, P., Masson-Delmotte, V., Martrat, B., Charbit, S., Renssen, H., Groeger, M., Krebs-Kanzow, U., Lohmann, G., Lunt, D. J., Pfeiffer, M., Phipps, S. J., Prange, M., Ritz, S. P., Schulz, M., Stenni, B., Stone, E. J. and Varma, V. (2014) Temperature trends during the Present and Last Interglacial periods - a multi-model-data comparison Quaternary Science Reviews, 99 . pp. 224-243.

Braack, M., Klein, M., Prohl, A. and Tews, B. (2014) Optimal Control for Two-Phase Flows International Series of Numerical Mathematics, 165 . pp. 347-363. DOI 10.1007/978-3-319-05083-6_22.

Garbe-Schönberg, D. and Mueller, S. (2014) Nano-particulate pressed powder tablets for LA-ICP-MS Journal of Analytical Atomic Spectrometry, 29 (6). pp. 990-1000.

Leduc, G., Garbe-Schönberg, D., Regenberg, M. and Contoux, C. (2014) The late Pliocene Benguela upwelling status revisited by means of multiple temperature proxies Geochemistry Geophysics Geosystems, 15 (2). pp. 475-491.

Li, S., Geldmacher, J., Hauff, F., Garbe-Schönberg, D., Yu, S., Zhao, S. and Rausch, S. (2014) Composition and timing of carbonate vein precipitation within the igneous basement of the Early Cretaceous Shatsky Rise, NW Pacific Marine Geology, 357 . pp. 321-333. DOI 10.1016/j.margeo.2014.09.046.

Regenberg, M., Regenberg, A., Garbe-Schönberg, D. and Lea, D. W. (2014) Global dissolution effects on planktonic foraminiferal Mg/Ca ratios controlled by the calcite-saturation state of bottom waters Paleoceanography, 29 (3). pp. 127-142.

Priede, I. G. and Froese, R. (2013) Colonization of the deep sea by fishes Journal of Fish Biology, 83 (6). pp. 1528-1550. DOI 10.1111/jfb.12265.

Hathorne, E. C., Gagnon, A., Felis, T., Adkins, J., Asami, R., Boer, W., Caillon, N., Case, D., Cobb, K. M., Douville, E., deMenocal, P., Eisenhauer, A., Garbe-Schönberg, D., Geibert, W., Goldstein, S., Hughen, K., Inoue, M., Kawahata, H., Kölling, M., Cornec, F. L., Linsley, B. K., McGregor, H. V., Montagna, P., Nurhati, I. S., Quinn, T. M., Raddatz, J., Rebaubier, H., Robinson, L., Sadekov, A., Sherrell, R., Sinclair, D., Tudhope, A. W., Wei, G., Wong, H., Wu, H. C. and You, C. F. (2013) Interlaboratory study for coral Sr/Ca and other element/Ca ratio measurements Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems, 14 (9). pp. 3730-3750. DOI 10.1002/ggge.20230.

Bakker, P., Stone, E. J., Charbit, S., Groger, M., Krebs-Kanzow, U., Ritz, S. P., Varma, V., Khon, V., Lunt, D. J., Mikolajewicz, U., Prange, M., Renssen, H., Schneider, B. and Schulz, M. (2013) Last interglacial temperature evolution - a model inter-comparison Climate of the Past, 9 (2). pp. 605-619.

Cocco, V., Joos, F., Steinacher, M., Frölicher, T. L., Bopp, L., Dunne, J., Gehlen, M., Heinze, C., Orr, J., Oschlies, A., Schneider, B., Segschneider, J. and Tjiputra, J. (2013) Oxygen and indicators of stress for marine life in multi-model global warming projections Biogeosciences (BG), 10 (3). pp. 1849-1868. DOI 10.5194/bg-10-1849-2013.

Grove, C. A., Brummer, G. J. A., Kasper, S., Zinke, J., Pfeiffer, M. and Garbe-Schönberg, D. (2013) Confounding effects of coral growth and high SST variability on skeletal Sr/Ca: Implications for coral paleothermometry Geochemistry Geophysics Geosystems, 14 (4). pp. 1277-1293.

Lunt, D. J., Abe-Ouchi, A., Bakker, P., Berger, A., Braconnot, P., Charbit, S., Fischer, N., Herold, N., Jungclaus, J. H., Khon, V. C., Krebs-Kanzow, U., Langebroek, P. M., Lohmann, G., Nisancioglu, K. H., Otto-Bliesner, B. L., Park, W., Pfeiffer, M., Phipps, S. J., Prange, M., Rachmayani, R., Renssen, H., Rosenbloom, N., Schneider, B., Stone, E. J., Takahashi, K., Wei, W., Yin, Q. and Zhang, Z. S. (2013) A multi-model assessment of last interglacial temperatures Climate of the Past, 9 (2). pp. 699-717. DOI 10.5194/cp-9-699-2013.

Sarnthein, M., Schneider, B. and Grootes, P. (2013) Peak glacial 14C ventilation ages suggest major draw-down of carbon into the abyssal ocean Climate of the Past, 9 (6). pp. 2595-2614. DOI 10.5194/cp-9-2595-2013.

Storz, D., Gischler, E., Fiebig, J., Eisenhauer, A. and Garbe-Schönberg, D. (2013) Evaluation of oxygen isotope and Sr/Ca ratios from a Maldivian Scleractinian coral for reconstruction of climate variability in the NW Indian Ocean Palaios, 28 (1). pp. 42-55. DOI 10.2110/palo.2012.p12-034r.

Heinemann, A., Fietzke, J., Melzner, F., Böhm, F., Thomsen, J., Garbe-Schönberg, D. and Eisenhauer, A. (2012) Conditions of Mytilus edulis extracellular body fluids and shell composition in a pH-treatment experiment: Acid-base status, trace elements and delta B-11 Geochemistry Geophysics Geosystems, 13 (1). Q01005. DOI 10.1029/2011GC003790.

Becker, M., Andersen, N., Fiedler, B., Fietzek, P., Körtzinger, A., Steinhoff, T. and Friedrichs, G. (2012) Using cavity ringdown spectroscopy for continuous monitoring of delta C-13(CO2) and fCO(2) in the surface ocean Limnology and Oceanography-Methods, 10 . pp. 752-766.

Becker, M., Andersen, N., Fiedler, B., Fietzek, P., Körtzinger, A., Steinhoff, T. and Friedrichs, G. (2012) Using cavity ringdown spectroscopy for continuous monitoring of δ13C(CO2) and ƒCO2 in the surface ocean Limnology and Oceanography: Methods, 10 . pp. 752-766. DOI 10.4319/lom.2012.10.752.

Braack, M. and Tews, B. (2012) LINEAR-QUADRATIC OPTIMAL CONTROL FOR THE OSEEN EQUATIONS WITH STABILIZED FINITE ELEMENTS Esaim-Control Optimisation and Calculus of Variations, 18 (4). pp. 987-1004.

Khon, V., Park, W., Latif, M., Mokhov, I. I. and Schneider, B. (2012) Tropical circulation and hydrological cycle response to orbital forcing Geophysical Research Letters, 39 . L15708. DOI 10.1029/2012GL052482.

Salau, O., Schneider, B., Park, W., Khon, V. and Latif, M. (2012) Modeling the ENSO impact of orbitally induced mean state climate changes Journal of Geophysical Research - Oceans, 117 (C5). DOI 10.1029/2011JC007742.

Taubner, I., Böhm, F., Eisenhauer, A., Garbe-Schönberg, D. and Erez, J. (2012) Uptake of alkaline earth metals in Alcyonarian spicules (Octocorallia) Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, 84 . pp. 239-255. DOI 10.1016/j.gca.2012.01.037.

Zhang, X., Prange, M., Steph, S., Butzin, M., Krebs-Kanzow, U., Lunt, D. J., Nisancioglu, K. H., Park, W., Schmittner, A., Schneider, B. and Schulz, M. (2012) Changes in equatorial Pacific thermocline depth in response to Panamanian seaway closure: Insights from a multi-model study Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 317-318 . pp. 76-84. DOI 10.1016/j.epsl.2011.11.028.

Krebs-Kanzow, U., Park, W. and Schneider, B. (2011) Pliocene aridification of Australia caused by tectonically induced weakening of the Indonesian throughflow Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, 309 (1-2). pp. 111-117. DOI 10.1016/j.palaeo.2011.06.002.