Research on climate

Climate research is the field that engages the majority of researchers at the Norwegian Polar Institute. The Un Climate Panel (IPCC) has shown that the planet is experiencing human-induced changes in the climate. The Polar Institute is mapping these changes and examining their consequences for the polar environment. 

polar bear with cubs on the iceThe total volume of sea ice in the Arctic is greatly reduced. This has direct consequences for polar bears, for instance. Photo: Norwegian Polar Institute

Climate research at the Norwegian Polar Institute is focusing particularly on sea ice, glaciers, oceanography and marine ecosystems, and much of the research is coordinated through the Centre for Ice, Climate and Ecosystems (ICE).

The Polar Institute performs research on the past climate as well as present-day physical processes in the sea, the sea ice and the ice on land. In Antarctica, our scientists have helped to acquire information on the climate by drilling ice cores from the thick inland ice sheet in Dronning Maud Land. The ice is a climate archive which “traps” gases in the atmosphere and provides knowledge that stretches 900 000 years back in time. Through its wide-ranging research programme, ICE Fimbulisen, ICE (the Centre for Ice, Climate and Ecosystems) supplies knowledge about the climate in Antarctica and the impact it may have on the rest of the planet. The formation of deep water and the sea ice is being studied in the Fram Strait, and the size (mass balance) of glaciers is being studied in Svalbard. 

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