Climate change and paleolimnology: understanding past and potential future changes to climate with a focus on coastal area and freshwater lakes

@ATREE auditorium at 3.45 pm on 3th February 2017


With projected increases in global temperatures, scientists are continuing to assess and understand the risks of climate warming on the biosphere. Climate change has already been affecting terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems around the world. Specifically, water resources from tropical countries to the Polar Regions are under great threats such as algal blooms, and contaminant pollution. However, the risk or vulnerability of society and ecosystems are different around the world. Therefore, region-specific ecosystem assessment studies are necessary. In the current discussion on anthropogenic climate change, it is important to understand the long-term environmental changes over centuries to millennia because only then we will be able to differentiate the changes related to natural process from human interferences. An excellent archive for such changes are lake sediments. They continuously accumulate material from both within and outside the lake basin in a chronological sequence, which may serve as important physical, chemical or biological indicators of past climatic conditions.

The overall objective of this talk is to provide two different case studies where paleolimnological techniques were used to understand i) climate variability as well as human mediated impact in coastal area and estuaries in New Brunswick ii) a centennial-to-multi-millennial perspective on the impacts of past climate change on boreal lakes in northwest Ontario using multi-proxy paleolimnological approach.

About the speaker

Moumita Karmakar completed her PhD under the supervision of Dr. Brian F Cumming at the Paleoecological Environmental Assessment and Research Laboratory (PEARL), Queen’s University, Ontario, Canada, in June 2015. She then did postdoctoral work at the University of Moncton with Dr. Alain Patoine (Nov 2015 – Dec 2016). The focus of this research was to understand the impact of climate variability and land transformations on the long-term dynamics of algal pigments in estuarine and coastal ecosystems of New Brunswick.