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Top-level Research Initiative
Interaction between climate change
and cryosphere
Magnus Friberg
Chair of Programme Committee
TFI annual Conference, 16 September 2010
The present Cryosphere
UNEP map of Cryosphere
The past Cryosphere
Understanding feed-back loops
2xCO2, cold orbit
8.29x106 km3
(Oligocene c. 25 My)
1xCO2, cold orbit
30.50x106 km3
(Last Glacial Maximum)
Future is data poor
DeConto et al., Nature, 2008
Onset of glaciations
DeConto et al., Nature, 2008
Zachos, Dickens, Zeebe, (2008)
Stability of large ice sheets
CO2 cooling
Amplifies initial growth
Produces hysteresis
From DeConto 2010
Stability of large ice sheets
East Antarctic Ice Sheet hysteresis
N. Hem ice sheet hysteresis
DeConto et al., Nature, 2008
Trace gases and shortlived climate
IPCC report AR4 WG1, 2007
The Role of Permafrost
Walsh et. al 2010, ACIA report
The Sea ice extent over time
IPCC report AR4 WG1, 2007
Nordic Centre of
Excellence Programme
Interaction between
Climate Change and the
Purpose and rationale
The objective of ICCC is to support science driven questions of
high interest to society, science, industry and/or national
All Nordic countries are effected by the Cryosphere
IPCC models performs badly for the Cryosphere
Important for industries like hydropower, forestry, fishing,
transport, exploration and tourism
Nordic Cryosphere research is in many ways world leading
Support to ICCC NCoE
Project duration is five years (3+2)
Funding covers:
• Support to researcher and key staff
• Fellowships for visiting professors
• Fellowships for post docs
• Fellowships for PhD students
• Nordic research schools (research training)
• Equipment
• Travel, management and co-ordination
Objectives of CRAICC – CryosphereAtmosphere Interactions in a Changing
Arctic Climate
• Role of short-lived climate
forcing agents - SLCF
• Identify and quantify the
major processes controlling
Arctic warming and related
feedback mechanisms and to
outline strategies to mitigate
Arctic warming
• Develop Nordic Earth System
•Supradisciplinary knowledge
Objectives of DEFROST
• To improve our understanding of Arctic terrestrial and shallow
sub-sea permafrost interactions with climate
• To provide improved data on energy exchange, carbon cycling
and GHG emissions from terrestrial and near coastal cryospheric
• To improve on climate model capabilities for simulating the
feedback processes associated with observed changes in
permafrost, snow and ice
Objectives of SVALI – Stability and
Variations of Arctic Land Ice
• A comprehensive joint Nordic research programme to study
basic processes (flux of meltwater and icebergs from glaciers)
• Using remote sensing, airborne and in-situ measurements
• Carry out advanced Earth system Modelling
• Focus on glaciers in the Arctic /N-Atlantic area.
• Establish a Nordic graduate school in cryosphere science and
Earth System modelling
Features of the centres in the NCoE
• Each NCoE has partners from all five Nordic countries, one
including Greenland
• The NCoE programme has participation from the other Arctic
countries (Russia, USA, Canada) and the UK
• Each NCoE has about 17 partners
• The NCoE programme involves about 340 researchers
• Open data policy within and between NCoE’s
If the future becomes like the past
The horrors of the Palaeocene–Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM)
Isfjorden viewed from Longyearbyen towards Pyramiden
some 50 Million years ago (pCO2 = 2000ppm)
(Nathorst 1910, Backman and Moran 2009)