The Bjerknes Centre is a collaboration on climate research, between the University of Bergen, NORCE, the Institute of Marine Research, Nansen Environmental and Remote Sensing Centre.

Research group 7

Past Climate Dynamics - from greenhouse to icehouse

Understanding how and why climate has changed in the past.

Coring at Svalbard 2014. Photo: Jostein Bakke
Coring at Svalbard 2014. Photo: Jostein Bakke

Studies of past climate - from greenhouse to icehouse

Research in RG7 focuses on understanding how and why climate has changed in the past.

The group is interdisciplinary and integrates empirical and dynamical studies of past changes in the ocean, atmosphere and cryosphere (both sea ice and land ice) and on land.

Activities include studies of past warm greenhouse climates, greenhouse-icehouse transitions, interglacial climates, glacial inception, glacial cycles, abrupt climate changes, past ice sheet evolution and deglaciations.


  • Uni Research Trace Element Lab
  • Palaeoecology Laboratory at the Biodiversity Lab, Department of Biology   The lab has an Open Lab policy: for visits, click here
  • Research microscope for palynology and micropaleontology:  Contact person Stijn De Schepper
  • NorESM – Norwegian Earth System Model, including low resolution version used for ensemble and sensitivity studies of past climates
  • NOTUR/NORSTORE – Norwegian national high performance computational facilities​


  • OCCP – Ocean Control on high-latitude Climate sensitivity – a Pliocene case study (Bjørg Risebrobakken) 2013-2017
  • ClimLink - Climate forcing factors for marine environmental change during the mid and late Holocene – a link between the eastern Atlantic and the Baltic Sea (Bjørg Risebrobakken) 2014-2016
  • NoAClim - No-analogue climates and ecological responses in the past and future (John Birks) 2013-2016
  • PEGSIE - Pliocene East Greenland Current and Sea Ice Evolution (Stijn De Schepper) 2014-2017
  • EU Cost INTIMATE - INTegrating Ice core, MArine, and TErrestrial records (Kerim Nisancioglu)
  • GLACINDIA - Water related effects of changes in glacier mass balance and river runoff in western Himalaya, India: past, present and future (Atle Nesje) 2013-2016
  • ARAMACC - Annually-resolved archives of marine climate change - development of molluscan sclerochronology as a marine environmental monitor (Carin Andersson Dahl) 2013-2017
  • IceBed - Quantifying ice sheet response to variations in initial bedrock topography IceBed (Petra Langebroek) 2013-2016
  • INTERACT - Ocean-atmosphere-ice sheet interactions in the polar north, 50-150 ka BP: Implications for global climate system processes (Jo Brendryen) 2013-2016
  • DOORMAT - Direct Observation of Macrofossils Across Tree line (Anne E. Bjune) 2004 -
  • PARASOL - Developing a method to measure UV-B flux through time using aromatic compunds in fossil pollen and leaf cuticles PI Vigdis Vandvik & Kathy Willis. End date end of 2016. Includes both John Birks and Anne Bjune.