Find the EGU on


Our understanding of the parameters of future change is born out of models and observations that are best tested in the laboratory of the past. Increasingly detailed, i.e. sub-decadal, reconstructions of climate change during past abrupt transitions have revealed substantial spatiotemporal heterogeneity in the response of the climate systems to a forcing. The identification of spatial patterns as well as temporal leads and lags in climatic behaviour is implicit for the identification of mechanisms, vulnerabilities and thresholds in the climate system.

In 1998 Björck et al. published an event stratigraphy for the North Atlantic realm, exploring past climate connections during the abrupt climate changes of the Last Glacial to Interglacial Transition and spurring two decades of collaborative research by participants in the open INTegrating Ice core, MArine and TErrestrial records (INTIMATE) network. The wealth of palaeoclimate and palaeoenvironmental datasets generated since that time, covering all areas of the earth, has produced an extremely detailed record of past climate change on local, regional and global scales. The latest event stratigraphy by Rasmussen et al. (2014) now reaches back to 123 ka BP.

To fully diagnose the mechanisms behind the complex teleconnections of past abrupt transitions, requires not only chronologically-precise comparisons of independent proxy records (both within and between archives), but also models of atmosphere-ocean-biosphere processes, and a better understanding of proxy-sensitivities to different aspects of climate and environmental change (e.g. temperature, precipitation, nutrient availability, sunlight).

Celebrating the latest developments in palaeoclimate science as well as two decades of INTIMATE research, this Galileo conference will look to further uncover the “Anatomy of Abrupt Climate Change” by bringing together researchers studying ice core, marine or terrestrial records with different proxies (e.g. pollen, stable isotopes, biomarkers, chemical composition), and those using physical models as a means of exploring climate system and proxy behavioural processes. Together we will review and explore what we have learnt, and set out what we must continue to learn, from collecting and connecting diverse high-resolution palaeoclimate archives, in order to achieve a greater understanding of the signals within.


The conference will be organised into three cross-cutting themes, which will each review, inspect and connect the latest data about abrupt climate changes. We invite abstracts for poster and oral presentations under these three headings:

  • Theme 1: Integrating records of climate and environment over the last glacial to interglacial cycle
  • Theme 2: Resolving proxy signals of climate change and environmental response
  • Theme 3: Diagnosing global climate mechanisms of abrupt change