* | Carlsbergfondet
Til bevillingsoversigt

Queen Margrethe and Vigdís Finnbogadóttir´s Interdisciplinary Research Centre on Ocean, Climate, and Society

Carlsbergfondets ”Semper Ardens” forskningsprojekter


This trans-disciplinary center will elucidate the historical relationships between ecosystem structure and climate development in marine and terrestrial environments on and near Iceland. It will provide both ground-breaking new natural science understanding of the interaction between the climate and the biosphere and examine the how these interactions influence human (as interpreted through the humanities and social sciences)-biosphere interactions. This will make a major contribution to the growing discipline of Earth System science.


The Center's research will enable a new understanding of how the Icelandic population has been impacted by (and has responded to) changes in ecosystem services caused by climate change as well as how this change has been recognised in the society and, conversely, how human interference has impacted ecosystems around them.


By employing recent advancements in the paleo-sciences, particularly ancient molecular proxies (DNA and proteins), we will reconstruct ancient ecosystem-climate interactions. Analysis of eDNA in both ocean and lake sediment cores will be applied to describe characteristics of the relationship between climate and ecosystem structure through time.

The establishment of this natural science framework will then provide a unique opportunity for applying the humanities and social sciences to interpret human societal responses and adaptations to climate change.


The research carried out here will help us to understand the indirect effects of climate change, i.e., those that are mediated through changes in the nature around us on human populations. Iceland represents an ideal “laboratory” for studying how climate change signals are translated directly into Earth System functioning through the ocean. This signal reverberates through the ocean biosphere as well as in the realised climate conditions on nearby land, directly affecting the biosphere in Iceland.

Humanity in general is directly dependent on the biosphere and its associated services. This will be shown in depth through the case of Iceland, where there are excellent historical records covering the~1200 years (or more) that Iceland has been inhabited.