Mapping the climate of the past and examining climatic and human impacts on the environment.
GEUS has a proud tradition for climate history research. In recent years, this work has become topical due to the focus on the effect of the climate on the environment. Through participation in many different projects, GEUS is contributing considerably to our understanding of the climate of today as well as the climate over decades and millennia.
GEUS’ activities in brief
In the field of climate history, GEUS is active within a number of disciplines, all of which aim at describing variations in the climate over the past 10–15,000 years. Topics include forest history, with monitoring of Draved forest and its unique pollen data series dating back to the 1940s. Lake history, including coring lake sediment and describing the physical, chemical and biological changes, can provide new information about prehistoric climate variation, not least through the presence of macrofossils and pollen.
GEUS' activities also include climate proxies to describe variations in North Atlantic Current patterns. Finally, GEUS has extensive activities in fjords in Greenland. Here, researchers are studying the complex interactions between the atmosphere, sea currents and the Greenland ice sheet. Through reconstructing the shifting warm and cold periods of the past (century-long periods), it is possible to get an idea of the stability of the ice sheet over time and of its interplay with climatic factors. Furthermore, through comparing data from East Greenland with data from West Greenland, the coupling between atmospheric and oceanographic conditions across large distances can shed light e.g. on whether systems are connected so that warming in one region is taking place in parallel with cooling in another region.