The main objective of the research pillar "Climate Drivers" is to fully understand the forcing and drivers of the climate system from anthropogenic and natural origins at global, regional and national scales. The main question concerns the human interaction with the climate system and the impacts on future climate change. How much and how fast is climate change evolving and what are the main unknown processes with respect to the drivers of the system? How is natural and human-induced forcings interacting? Is climate change accelerating or is the development more moderate? How big is the climate challenge really for humanity? These questions are important for creating new knowledge, innovative services and solutions to all aspects of society – both private industries and public stakeholders.
The research mainly focuses on three main components in the global climate system: 1) Greenhouse gasses and the processes driving the exchange of gasses between the atmosphere and the ecosystems in the oceans, ice and on land, 2) The processes related to transport and chemical transformation of gases and aerosols in the atmosphere and feedback to the climate systems, and 3) The interaction between changes in ocean-atmosphere and cryosphere and its impact on key climate parameters. In addition to anthropogenic drivers (e.g. greenhouse gasses and particles), a number of natural mechanisms involving ocean dynamics, (micro-)biological processes, solar and volcanic forcing, sea ice and albedo all impact climate. A central research field is thus also the understanding of the processes that govern climate change, not least the interactions between the ocean, atmosphere, cryosphere and biosphere and interactions with human activities.
We combine advanced atmospheric chemistry transport models, global climate models with results from field and laboratory experiments and monitoring data to increase our understanding of the climate drivers and limit the uncertainties related to the climate change forcing. We will compile data and atmospheric modelling of fluxes and concentrations of climate drivers on a national and global scale, where the main components are carbon dioxide, nitrous oxide, methane, ozone, and atmospheric particles (e.g. black carbon, secondary formed organic and inorganic particles). The carbon and nitrogen cycles as well as anthropogenic emissions of CO2 and short-lived climate forcers are important to understand the climate system