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About Topic 2


Topic 2 will advance the understanding of past, present and future changes of the climate system from an ocean and cryosphere perspective by closing critical knowledge gaps related to warming climates, variability and extremes as well as sea level change for the benefit of society.

Our focus:

The atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide and methane, which are currently by far the highest for at least 800,000 years as a result of anthropogenic influence, is strongly affecting the ocean and cryosphere. We focus on natural and anthropogenically-induced variability as well as on feedbacks in the coupled Earth system via observations, data analyses and comprehensive modeling. Essential are furthermore reconstructions of the past which bring our current changes into the long-term perspective.

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Recent Highlights

Global Warming Reaches Central Greenland

A temperature reconstruction from ice cores of the past 1,000 years reveals that today’s warming in central-north Greenland is surprisingly pronounced. The most recent decade surveyed in a study, the years 2001 to 2011, was the warmest in the past 1,000 years, and the region is now 1.5 °C warmer than during the 20th century, as researchers just report in the journal Nature. Using a set of ice cores unprecedented in length and quality, they reconstructed past temperatures in central-north Greenland and melting rates of the ice sheet.


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