Carmen Friese

Institution: University of Bremen 
Phone: +49 421 218 - 65584 
Other web page(s): Carmen's MARUM web page 

PhD project:

The role of mineral aerosols in the climate system: Driven by or driving environmental change?

Why is it necessary to study wind-blown mineral aerosols (“dust”)? Wind-blown mineral aerosols are an important element of the earth climate system considering their large emissions globally, their sensitivity to parameters of climate change such as rainfall, wind, temperature and vegetation cover and their involvement in feedback mechanisms with the biological carbon pump, atmospheric energy balance, and sea-surface temperatures.

Up to now, however, there is insufficient information with respect to modern temporal variability in dust origin, transport and deposition as well as information regarding the understanding of climate feedback mechanisms associated with dust. There is a need for studying modern dust in order to provide data facilitating the paleoclimatic interpretation of the aeolian input in the sedimentological record and to support climate models to simulate the future state of the climate in connection with dust export in relation to the ongoing anthropogenic climate warming.

My PhD is part of the Marum CCP1 project: “Aerosol-induced feedbacks in the Earth system” and deals with the recent temporal variability in Saharan dust origin, transport and deposition as well as its influences on the marine biological carbon pump. For this purpose I analyze the aeolian input in two sediment trap time-series offshore Cape Blanc (NW Africa) sampling since 1988 and 2001, respectively. Further, I study actual aerosol samples from a tethered dust-collecting buoy that is positioned offshore Cape Blanc and from an on land dust collector at Iwik (Mauritania), both sampling since 2013, and from dust filters collecting Saharan dust during several ship cruises in the eastern Atlantic Ocean. The methods comprise grain-size analysis, mineralogical analysis, optical- and bulk-chemical analysis using SEM, XRF, and ICP-MS.

Thesis committee:

Prof. Dr. Dierk Hebbeln University of Bremen 
Dr. Jan-Berend Stuut University of Bremen and Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research (NIOZ) 
Dr. Ute Merkel University of Bremen 
Dr. Morten Hvitfeld Iversen University of Bremen 
Dr. Christoph Vogt University of Bremen