The Earth's climate changes naturally due to the combined effects of external (extra terrestrial) forces and internal (land - ocean - atmosphere) feedback mechanisms.
Large-scale climate changes have affected the physical and biological environment in a number of ways with influence on everyday life for mankind
During the last 2-3 million years of the Earth's history, the climate system has had a modus of operation switching between ice ages with continental scale distribution of glaciers at high to intermediate latitudes and interglacial periods like the period we are presently living in.
These large-scale climate changes have affected the physical and biological environment in a number of ways with influence on everyday life for mankind. The climate of the Earth is the combined result of the interaction of natural climate changes with human induced (anthropogenic) climate changes, both currently and into the near future.
At NGU the focus of climate research is twofold in studying 1) the natural climate development itself and 2) the effects of climate change on various segments of the physical environments.
In the first, the aim is to study how different climate parameters has varied through time, whereas the second deals with reconstructing former environments like ice sheet distribution, sea or lake levels etc.
Both topics contribute to establishing the boundaries between which natural climate variations occur, and to understanding how the climate system operates. This provides necessary background information for understanding how future climate may develop. To accomplish all this we provide local reconstructions and regional syntheses of various types of natural environmental changes.
Current projects at NGU are largely dealing with climate and environmental changes in arctic and sub-arctic areas of Norway, Russia, Svalbard, Greenland and the Barents Sea. The focus is on investigating the changes that have taken place from the last interglacial, through the last glacial and current interglacial, up to today.
Additionally, we also study how early humans have adapted to these changes. Our reconstructions are based on studying sediments stored in different terrestrial and marine sediment archives.
Published: 14. January 2008