2014-2015 Schlanger Fellow – Alan Foreman

Alan Foreman

University of California – San Diego



Evolution of Deep Ocean Temperature Across the Mid-Pleistocene in a South Atlantic Depth Transect




The reconstruction of deep ocean temperatures over ice age cycles represents one of the most straightforward opportunities to gauge the mechanisms of change in the ocean’s interior on any timescale. Here I propose to generate geochemical proxy-based deep ocean temperature records of the past seven glacial terminations at three ODP sites in the South Atlantic (ODP Sites 1083, 1085, 1090)—all sites that should have experienced significantly different deep-water conditions across glacial terminations. The relationship between the timing and amplitude of temperature record and the relative ‘strength’ of the interglacial episode (as inferred from marine and ice core records) will serve as an essential test of the causes and consequences of changes in stratification and overturning in the interior ocean.




My research and education have long been focused on understanding climate change issues, as anthropogenically induced climate change will present significant economic, social, and political challenges over the coming decades. As an undergraduate at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, I received degrees in chemistry and in Earth sciences and developed a strong interest in paleoclimatology. Upon graduating, I joined the climate sciences Ph.D. program at the University of California, San Diego’s Scripps Institution of Oceanography, where I work with Dr. Christopher Charles. My research at Scripps focuses on recreating the ventilation history of Antarctic water masses over ice age cycles using a suite of sediment cores collected along the Namibian margin.