Global climate is changing. What are the main drivers of this change? Ocean currents have a strong influence on the climate system. Shifts in sea currents, caused by changes in temperature and salinity, therefore also play a major role in the changing climate, but how exactly?
To learn more about this, we look at the distant past. There are various tools for reconstructing the temperature, but reconstructing salt concentration of the ocean is more difficult. This dissertation shows that good records of salinity shifts are achieved by measuring the hydrogen isotope ratio of long-chain alkenones. However, we must look at which specific haptophyte has produced the alkenones, because the results are better when the alkenones come from one type of haptophyte. Overall, this thesis has taken another step towards better research methods and, ultimately, more knowledge about the effects of sea currents on our climate.