About the project
Extending the instrumental record of North Atlantic Ocean climate variability (ECHO)
The scope of ECHO is to provide a definitive breakthrough in our capacity to observe the long-term (century to millennial scale) development of key aspects of North Atlantic Ocean dynamics at annual to sub-annual resolution. In ECHO, we aim at developing molluscan sclerochronology and scleroclimatology to study the inflow of Atlantic water into the Nordic Seas at annual to sub-annual resolution on decadal to centennial time scales. The inflow of warm and saline Atlantic Water plays a key role in the global thermohaline circulation as well as being of fundamental importance for the oceans north of the Greenland-Scotland Ridge and the regional climate of northern Europe through the heat and salt advected northwards by the inflow (Hansen and Østerhus, 2000). Quantitative projections and predictions of future climate at various time scales are increasingly demanded from the scientific community, policymakers and other stakeholders. Climate models are used to make projections, but deficiencies in how they represent key aspects of climate variability remain a challenge. The shortness of available observations is, however, inadequate for an understanding of changes on longer, multi-decadal, time scales. Hence, there is a need of an alternate approach, capable of incorporating knowledge of climate system behaviour on longer time scales than those covered in instrumental observations. Knowledge of the natural climate variability is dependent on proxy records of environmental and climate variables recoded by natural archives. Marine proxy records for the ocean are both sparsely distributed and are poorly resolved in time. The identification and development of proxies for studying key ocean processes at annual to sub-annual resolution that can extend the marine instrumental record is therefore a clear priority for marine climate science.