Short INTIMATE history
INTIMATE was launched at the XIVth INQUA Congress held in Berlin in 1995, and
its primary objective was the synthesis of records of the Last Termination from
the North Atlantic region. The project was established to encourage
collaboration between members of the ice-core, marine and terrestrial
‘communities’ in order to synthesise the large number of high-resolution
stratigraphical records of the Last Termination now available from the North
Atlantic region. Subsidiary aims included:
- establishing procedures for
more precise dating of, and more accurate correlations between, the regional
and/or site data-sets.
- testing the notion that the
North Atlantic limb of the ocean conveyor was the major driver of abrupt
climatic changes in the North Atlantic region during the Last Termination.
In the last 4 years an event stratigraphy for the Last Termination in the
North Atlantic region based on the Greenland Ice Core record has been developed
(Björck et al. 1998, Walker et al. 1999). Furthermore, the by the INTIMATE
group developed protocol for stratigraphic terminology and classification forms
the basis of a QSR special Issue 'Records of the Last Termination around the
North Atlantic' edited by M.J.C. Walker, S. Björck and J.J. Lowe (QSR 20(11)
The activities of INTIMATE during the 1995-1999 inter-congress period
- an inaugural workshop held
at the XIVth INQUA Congress in Berlin, 1995
- an international workshop
held near Lund, Sweden in 1997, convened by B. Wohlfarth (Lund), S. Björck
(Copenhagen), S.J. Johnsen (Copenhagen) and K-L. Knudsen (Aarhus)
- an international workshop
held at Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada in 1998, convened by L.C.
- one of the main symposia
and an associated poster session at the XVth INQUA Congress held in
Durban, South Africa in 1999
- an INTIMATE business
meeting also held at the Durban INQUA Congress, where a future programme,
with revised objectives for INTIMATE, was agreed.
Durban (1999): John Lowe, Mike Walker and Wim Hoek
XVth INQUA Congress 1999, Durban SA
At the XVth INQUA Congress held in Durban in 1999 it was concluded that the
INTIMATE programme would continue and enlarge the focus to the whole Atlantic
Region, including the Mediterranean.
- The existing INTIMATE Steering Group would be
expanded to include Regional co-ordinators for the South Atlantic, Africa,
South America and the Mediterranean.
- Wim Hoek succeeded Mike
Walker as INTIMATE Secretary during the INQUA Congress in Durban.
In line with recommendations of the INQUA Palaeoclimate
Commission and with INTIMATE’s stated remit for the 1999-2003 inter-congress
period, the following new developments have been actioned:
- Wim Hoek has initiated the INTIMATE web page which is
generating increasing numbers of INTIMATE members from a growing number of
- Chris Turney and Valerie
Hall (Queen’s University, Belfast) maintain links between INTIMATE and
- Fabienne Marret (School of Ocean Sciences, Bangor, Wales) has
agreed to act as regional co-ordinator for African scientists who wish to
participate in the activities of INTIMATE.
- Daniel Ariztegui
(University of Geneva, Switzerland) has agreed to act as regional
co-ordinator for the South American Seaboard.
- A link has been
established between INTIMATE and the co-ordinator of the Mediterranean ELDP group, B.L. Valero-Garces (Spain) who has
agreed to encourage close co-operation between INTIMATE and the relevant
Mediterranean scientific community.
- Rainer Zahn (Cardiff, Wales) has agreed to help establish
links with interested palaeoceanographers who hold records from
Mediterranean Sea sediment sequences which span the Last Termination.
- INTIMATE held its 4th
International Workshop in Kangerlussuaq, Greenland, from 21-28 August,
2000. The meeting was attended by 31 INTIMATE project members from 9 European countries.
- Formal links have been
established with the IGBP’s PAGES programme. John Lowe has been appointed co-coordinator (with Jef Vandenberghe, Amsterdam) for
the appropriate PAGES ‘time-stream’, and represented INTIMATE’s international
activities at the PAGES meeting in London, U.K. January 2001.
- The INTIMATE Special Issue
based on the papers presented during INQUA Durban 1999 appeared in
Quaternary Science Reviews 20(11) in May 2001.
- Wim Hoek
represented INTIMATE during the PAGES-PEPIII Conference
'Past Climate Variability Through Europe and Africa' in Aix en Provence,
August 2001. Special emphasis was on encouraging participation by African
and Mediteranean scientists to the INTIMATE project.
- INTIMATE held its 5th
International Workshop in Tromsø, Norway, from 22-28 June 2002. The
meeting was attended by 36 INTIMATE project members from 12 countries.
- John Lowe represented
INTIMATE at the Second National Conference (Italy) of SINAPSI (Seasonal,
International and decAdal variability of the atmosPhere, oceanS and
related marIne ecosystems) held at Ancona, Italy, 13-15 May 2002.
- Wim Hoek
represented INTIMATE during the Union International des Sciences
Préhistoriques et Protohistoriques, Commission XXXII for the Final
Palaeolithic of the Great European Plain workshop on Landscape and
Humans at the Dryas III – Preboreal Transition on the European Plain
held in Greifswald, Germany, 12-14 September 2002.
- Berit Eriksen
(University of Aarhus, Denmark) has agreed to act as co-ordinator to
involve archaeologists with interest in the work of INTIMATE. She will
establish a formal link the INQUA
commission on Human Evolution and Paleoecology.
- The INTIMATE Executive
group is considering ways of expanding the remit of INTIMATE to enable
data world-wide to be synthesised, and to encourage participation in
INTIMATE’s activities by scientists from many other countries. At the same
time, however, there is a concern over the need to maintain the close-knit
collaboration that has characterised INTIMATE’s activities thus far. The
presently favoured proposal is to encourage the development of regional
groups that can co-ordinate work in parallel with the INTIMATE-North
Atlantic group. The proposal will be aired at the XVIth INQUA
Congress, and form part of any application for continued support for
INTIMATE from INQUA post-2003.
INTIMATE members on
the Greenland Ice (photo by Jan Heinemeier)
Developments since the last INQUA Congress,
During the XVIth INQUA Congress held in Reno, Nevada in July,
2003, John Lowe was elected President of the INQUA Palaeoclimate Commission,
with immediate effect. He has therefore decided to step down as co-ordinator of
the INTIMATE project from the end of December, 2003. His final task as INTIMATE
co-ordinator will be the construction and submission of the 2003 INTIMATE
annual report to INQUA. He is willing to continue to serve as a member of the INTIMATE
Steering Committee during the next inter-Congress period, if acceptable to the
The 6th INTIMATE International Workshop attended by
33 scientists from 14 countries was held during the Reno INQUA Congress. During
that meeting it was proposed that Wim Hoek, presently the Secretary of the
INTIMATE project, should take over from John Lowe as Co-ordinator of INTIMATE
with effect from 1st January, 2004.
Zicheng Yu of Lehigh University, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania has
volunteered to succeed Wim Hoek as Secretary of the INTIMATE project from 1st
January, 2004. His involvement in this capacity promises to increase
involvement in INTIMATE by North American scientists. He has been asked to
consider the planning of a future International Workshop of INTIMATE, to be
based in the NE USA during 2005 or 2006.
The Australasian INTIMATE project has been launched during
INQUA Reno. Dr Rewi Newnham (R.Newnham@plymouth.ac.uk) is acting as the link
person to the main INTIMATE project, Dr
Jamie Shulmeister (James.Shulmeister@canterbury.ac.nz) is the NZ local
co-ordinator and Dr Simon Haberle (email@example.com) is doing the same
for Australia. The regional project is intended to run until at least 2007 when
results will be presented at the next INQUA congress in Cairns (and a journal
issue and/or summary paper/s will be derived).