NordForsk LANDCLIM workshop on climate modeling, 22-24 February 2011

The research network NordForsk LANDCLIM gathers researchers from Northern Europe dealing with issues related to the link between climate and vegetation on long time scales.

Tree-rings are one example of proxy data.

The NordForsk Landclim network is sponsored by Nordforsk and coordinated by Prof. Marie-José Gaillard, Linnaeus University, Kalmar. NordForsk is the Nordic Council of Ministers‘ advisory body in the area of research. It focuses on research areas in which the Nordic countries are international leaders, and promotes research and researcher training of high international calibre.

There are clear links between climate and land use. For example, the degree of forest relative to that of open land may affect both near-surface temperatures as well as fluxes of water and gases between the atmosphere and the soil.

How land use has varied in historic and prehistoric times is debated. This implies that there are different ideas about whether mankind may have affected the climate already in pre-industrial times by reducing the proportion of forest in favour of open (arable) land.

The researchers in the network have diverse backgrounds, such as palaeoecologists, vegetation modellers and climate modellers. At the workshop in Norrköping climate models and their use in palaeoclimatological applications were in focus.

In a series of lectures fundamental principles for climate modelling were presented. It was also shown how these models can be used in studies of current, future and ancient climate, as well as information on how the results from the models can be used for further impact studies.

Other lectures during the workshop dealt with various special topics such as vegetation reconstruction based on pollen data from lake sediments, vegetation modelling and collection and use of proxy data.