I am a geochemist researching climate change and the carbon cycle.
Paleoclimate: I develop and refine geochemical proxies to understand the history of the past environment. These include radioactive isotopes to study rates of processes, and stable-isotopes to understand variables such as past rainfall or weathering. I also construct timescales for these proxy-records, and run a leading chronology lab using U-Th and U-Pb dating to assess the history of sea level and of climate records in stalagmites. The unifying goal of this work is to use paleoclimate to better understand the processes controlling climate change.
Ocean chemistry: The oceans play such a critical role in driving climate via the carbon cycle. By making appropriate measurements in the water column and underlying core-top sediments, I assess the modern cycling of elements in the ocean, and calibrate paleoproxies which enable reconstruction of the past ocean environment. I research the iron cycle in the oceans – so important for its role as a limiting nutrient – assessing the fluxes of Fe into the ocean from atmosphere, land and sediment. I also pursue work on the inorganic carbon system in the oceans, including the sensitivity of future ocean carbon uptake and the appropriateness of some ocean approaches for removal of anthropogenic CO2 from the atmosphere.
The Carbon Cycle (2nd year); Climate (3rd year; co-taught with Ros Rickaby and Samar Khatiwala); Topics in Oceanography (4th year; co-taught with other oceanographers); the final year field trip to Bermuda.
View Selected Publications
Some recent publications listed below. For a full list, see:
• Carolin, S.A., Walker, R.T., Day, C.C., Ersek, V., Alastair Sloan, R., Dee, M.W., Talebian, M., Henderson, G.M. Precise timing of abrupt increase in dust activity in the Middle East coincident with 4.2 ka social change (2019) PNAS, 116 (1), pp. 67-72.
• Deng, F., Henderson, G.M., Castrillejo, M., Perez, F.F., Steinfeldt, R. Evolution of 231Pa and 230Th in overflow waters of the North Atlantic (2018) Biogeosciences, 15 (23), pp. 7299-7313.
• Owen, R., Day, C.C., Henderson, G.M. CaveCalc: A new model for speleothem chemistry & isotopes (2018) Computers and Geosciences, 119, pp. 115-122.
• Hemsing, F., Hsieh, Y.-T., Bridgestock, L., Spooner, P.T., Robinson, L.F., Frank, N., Henderson, G.M. Barium isotopes in cold-water corals (2018) Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 491, pp. 183-192.
• Henderson, G.M., Achterberg, E.P., Bopp, L. Changing Trace Element Cycles in the 21st Century Ocean (2018) Elements, 14 (6).
• Bridgestock, L., Hsieh, Y.-T., Porcelli, D., Homoky, W.B., Bryan, A., Henderson, G.M. Controls on the barium isotope compositions of marine sediments (2018) Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 481, pp. 101-110.
• Renforth, P., Henderson, G.M. Assessing ocean alkalinity for carbon sequestration (2017) Reviews of Geophysics, 55 (3), pp. 636-674.
• Hsieh, Y.-T., Henderson, G.M. Barium stable isotopes in the global ocean: Tracer of Ba inputs and utilization (2017) Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 473, pp. 269-278.
• Pogge von Strandmann, P.A.E., Vaks, A., Bar-Matthews, M., Ayalon, A., Jacob, E., Henderson, G.M. Lithium isotopes in speleothems: Temperature-controlled variation in silicate weathering during glacial cycles (2017) Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 469, pp. 64-74.