Sophie Winterhalder

The aim of this PhD thesis is to reconstruct precipitation variability during the Last Glacial period (115ka and 11ka BP) based precisely dated Caribbean speleothems. The tropical hydrological cycle plays a key role in regulating global climate, in particular through the export of heat and moisture to higher latitudes. The Caribbean is located in a region which is influenced by several large-scale climate patterns, such as the Atlantic Multi-Decadal Oscillation (AMO), El Nino-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) and the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO). Rainfall variability in the Caribbean is largely dependent on the position of the Intertropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ), which is influenced not only by seasonal insolation but also by inter-hemispheric spatial gradients in SST. Our sampling sites in Puerto Rico and Cuba are very sensitive to changes in the position and strength of the ITCZ.