The Anthropocene Epoch is a novel, yet unofficial, unit of geologic time, used to describe the most recent period in Earth’s history when human activity started to have a significant impact on the planet’s climate and ecosystems. The Anthropocene is also a period characterized by an unprecedented technology level that allows us to measure essential variables of the climate system (ECVs) at high temporal resolution (e.g. satellites) and forecast future climate scenarios using state-of-the-art supercomputers based on Shared Socioeconomic Pathways (SSPs). However, instrumental records exist only since the mid XX century while simulations are time-limited to a few centuries. Thus, it remains elusive whether the documented and predicted changes are part of the long-term natural variability of the climate system. In this respect, climate archives such as ice cores, marine/lake sediment cores, corals, speleothems and tree-rings offer an extraordinary perspective of the past climate evolution and, thus, they represent a fundamental benchmark to place on-going climate change into a larger context of long-term natural climate variability. In particular, the past climate is punctuated by important climate events that can be used as examples (not necessarily analogues) to assess the rate of natural changes and understand the interactions between critical components of the climate system including external and internal forcings. Thus, paleo-climatology is a fundamental research field for the study of the Anthropocene as it provides insight into how Earth's climate system works and how it may change in the future. This, ultimately, improves climate models by lowering uncertainties on future projections.
Natural archives of past climate history are pillars for paleoclimatologists as they literally represent time machines. Scientists look for clues of past events in these records as biological, geochemical, and sedimentary indicators used for the empirical quantification of climatic and environmental parameters, something generally referred to as proxies. Each type of archive comes with its benefits and drawbacks. Thus, paleo-studies greatly benefit from the integration of complementary archives together to have an interdisciplinary overview on how the climate system works.

Main ERC Panels:
• PE4_5 - Analytical chemistry
• PE4_18 - Environment chemistry
• PE10_1 - Atmospheric chemistry, atmospheric composition, air pollution
• PE10_3 - Climatology and climate change
• PE10_6 - Palaeoclimatology, palaeoecology
• PE10_8 - Oceanography (physical, chemical, biological, geological)
• PE10_9 - Biogeochemistry, biogeochemical cycles, environmental chemistry
• PE10_11 - Geochemistry, cosmochemistry, crystal chemistry, isotope geochemistry, thermodynamics
• PE10_18 - Cryosphere, dynamics of snow and ice cover, sea ice, permafrosts and ice sheets

Beyond EPICA - Beyond EPICA Oldest Ice Core: 1,5 Myr of greenhouse gas - climate feedbacks
• BioCyCLeS - Multidecadal Biogenic Compounds and Nutrients Characterization in Coastal Lake Sediments
BIOROSS - Bioconstructional organisms from the Ross Sea under Climate Change: ecosystems and oasis of biodiversity to monitor and protect
DECORS - Deep-sea coral records of Southern Ocean climate and nutrient dynamics
DISGELI - Drone-based acquISition and modelling of morpho-stratigraphic data alonG the TErra Nova Bay (Victoria Land, AntarctIca) coastline
Field and Laboratory Tests of Pyrogenic Organic Compounds in Australian Stalagmites as a Novel, High-Resolution Paleofire Proxy
• GRETA - CoolinG oveR thE VicToria LAnd: resolving the Ross Sea response to continental climate change during the last two millennia
• LASAGNE - Laminated sediments in the magnificent Edisto Inlet (Victoria Land): What processes control their deposition and preservation?
LOGS - Local Glaciers Sisimiut - Greenland
PAIGE - Chronologies for Polar Paleoclimate Archives – Italian-German Partnership
PAST-HEAT - PermAfroSt Thawing: what Happened to the largest tErrestrial cArbon pool during lasT deglaciation?
• PRIN-PASS - The Po-Adriatic Source-to-Sink system (PASS): from modern sedimentary processes to millennial-scale stratigraphic architecture
Referents: Andrea Spolaor, Tommaso Tesi
Contact: info-paleoclimate AT


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