QUIGS workshop: Interglacials of the 41kyr-world and of the Middle Pleistocene Transition

28.08 - 30.08.2017  
Molyvos, Greece
Contact person:
Chronis Tzedakis, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Workshop report: 
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The PAGES-PMIP Working Group on Quaternary Interglacials (QUIGS) workshop, titled "Interglacials of the 41kyr-world and of the Middle Pleistocene", will be held in Molyvos, Greece, from 28-30 August 2017.


Delfinia Hotel, Molyvos, Island of Lesvos, Greece.


The number of participants will be limited to 30. In addition to invited participants, there will be open spaces for interested scientists with a track record of working on the topic.


Our understanding of glacial-interglacial cycles has been built on a large body of evidence on Middle and Late Pleistocene environments, dominated by 100kyr ice-volume variations. However, any theory of ice ages remains incomplete if it does not include an adequate description and understanding of the mode and tempo of climate variability during the 41kyr-world and the transition into the 100kyr-world (the so-called [Early] Middle Pleistocene Transition, MPT).

This will be the third workshop of QUIGS first phase. Phase 1 aims to formulate research questions, identify knowledge gaps and steps how to fill these gaps. In close collaboration with PMIP, QUIGS1 defines model protocols and initiates the model runs and data collection needed. Phase 2 will attempt to systematically answer the research questions on the basis of model runs and data compiled during the intervening period.

Workshop aims

Our aim will be to examine whether there are any fundamental differences between interglacials of the 41kyr- and 100kyr-worlds:

- Does the distinction between 'saw-toothed'-shaped glacial cycles of the 100kyr-world and more 'symmetric' cycles of the 41kyr-world reflect the influence of ice-sheet size?
- What was the duration of interglacials of the 41kyr-world?
- Does the association of bipolar seesaw variability with glacial Terminations extend into the 41kyr-world?
- How did the intensity and shape of integlacials change during the MPT?
- What were the underlying causes of the MPT?

Some of these questions could begin to be addressed by existing or currently generated datasets. Providing a detailed reconstruction of the structure of 41kyr cycles, the sequence of events at glacial Terminations and an assessment of the role of the bipolar seesaw in promoting deglaciation would represent significant contributions to initiate model runs of Early Pleistocene glacial cycles.

Confirmed key speakers/participants

Russell Drysdale, The University of Melbourne, Australia
Michel Crucifix, Université catholique de Louvain, Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium
Patrizia Ferretti, Università Ca'Foscari, Venezia, Italy
Hubertus Fischer, University of Bern, Switzerland
Andrey Ganopolski, Potsdam Institute of Climate, Germany
David Hodell, University of Cambridge, UK
Bärbel Hönisch, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, USA
Erin McClymont, University of Durham, UK, and PlioVAR contact
Bette Otto-Bliesner, National Center for Atmospheric Research, USA
Maureen Raymo, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, USA
Yubin Sun, State Key Laboratory of Loess and Quaternary Geology, Institute of Earth Environment, Chinese Academy of Sciences


Monday 28 August
8:55-9:00   Welcome
9:00-9:20 Chronis Tzedakis A simple rule for the occurrence of Quaternary interglacials and the MPT
9:20-9:40 Andrey Ganopolski Simulation of the MPT with the CLIMBER-2 model
9:40-10:00 Matt Drew Testing the Regolith Hypothesis
10:00-10:20 Heather Ford Regional and global signals in seawater δ18O records across the Mid-Pleistocene Transition
10:20-11:00   Discussion
11:00-11:30   Coffee
11:30-11:50 David Hodell Using waveform of the δ18O signal to constrain insolation forcing and ice-sheet response across the Middle Pleistocene Transition
11:50-12:10 Tom Chalk Reconstructing and simulating MPT CO2 change
12:10-12:30 Leo Peña Interglacial deep ocean changes in the Atlantic across the Mid-Pleistocene Transition
12:30-12:50 Bärbel Hönisch Tracing carbon across the Mid-Pleistocene Transition
12:50-13:30   Discussion
13:30-14:30   Lunch
14:30-16:30   Break
16:30-17:00   Coffee
17:00-17:20 Yair Rosenthal Plio-Pleistocene evolution of the ocean's carbonate system
17:20-17:40 Andre Droxler Pleistocene ~500 kyr long-term global carbonate dissolution oscillation: Periodic Establishment of Coralgal Reefs during unusually High Sea Level Intervals
17:40-18:20 Mary Elliott and Anais Schmitt Changes in coral reef production during the Mid-Pleistocene Transition: causes and consequences
18:20-18:40   Discussion
18:40-19:00 Nena Galanidou The Palaeolithic of Lesvos
Tuesday 29 August
9:00-9:20 Hubertus Fischer What can we learn from a 1.5 Myr ice core from Antarctica: Climate information and glaciological challenges
9:20-9:40 Julie Brigham-Grette The Nature of Pleistocene Interglacials and Super Interglacials from Lake El’gygytgyn, NE Arctic Russia
9:40-10:00 Yubin Sun Diverse manifestations of the Mid-Pleistocene climate transition: New insights from Chinese loess 
10:00-10:20 Russell Drysdale The speleothem record through the MPT from Corchia Cave
10:20-11:00   Discussion
11:00-11:30   Coffee
11:30-11:50 Teresa Rodriguez Climate changes on the south Iberian Margin during Mid Pleistocene transition, based on Uk´37-SST data from IODP Sites U1385 (SW Iberian margin) and U1387 (Gulf of Cadiz)
11:50-12:10 Joan Grimalt Glacial-Interglacial high resolution alkenone SST record between MIS 23 and MIS 46 in the Iberian Margin
12:10-12:30 Vasiliki Margari Climate and vegetation signature of MIS 35: the view from the Portuguese Margin
12:30-12:50 Kostas Panagiotopoulos Lake Ohrid a unique record of climate and vegetation change from the Early Pleistocene
12:50-13:30   Discussion
13:30-14:30   Lunch
14:30-16:30   Break
16:30-17:00   Coffee
17:00-19:30   Group Discussion: The nature of interglacials of the ‘41k world’
20:30   Conference dinner
Wednesday 30 August
9:00-11:00   Group Discussion: Causes of the MPT: a review of different hypotheses
11:00-11:30   Coffee
11:30-12:30   Group Discussion: Questions arising
12:30-13:30   QUIGS Planning, Joint PALSEA/QUIGS meeting and QUIGS Phase 2
13:30-14:30   Lunch and end of meeting

Expressions of interest

The deadline for expressions of interest to attend this meeting is 10 March. Expressions of interest should be sent to Chronis Tzedakis (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) and Emilie Capron (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) with a short description of research experience on the topic. A track record on Early Pleistocene 41-kyr world and the Middle Pleistocene Transition is essential. Notifications will be sent by the end of March.

Financial support

A limited amount of funding is available for early-career researchers and/or scientists from developing countries. Please state in your expression of interest the reason/s financial support is required.

Further information

Contact Chronis Tzedakis (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)