The Bjerknes Centre is a collaboration on climate research, between the University of Bergen, NORCE, the Institute of Marine Research, Nansen Environmental and Remote Sensing Centre.

Research group 6

Natural climate variability

Extending the instrumental record

The interaction between the forcing and internal processes of the climate system give rise to natural variability on time scales ranging from a few days to several centuries. In order to assess the impact of human-induced changes on the climate system a better understanding of such natural variations is key. The research in RG6 Natural variability will aim to integrate high-resolution palaeoclimatic time series and instrumental data with long atmosphere-ocean general circulation model (AOGCM) simulations in order to explore natural variability modes in the climate system, with a special focus on the last two millennia.


Atle Nesje Isprofil
Ice profile. Photo: Atle Nesje

Research focus

The research in RG6 cover a wide range of topics. Some of the main goals are:

  • To generate improved high-resolution (seasonal to interannual), well-dated quantitative paleoclimate records to assess and elucidate the timing and variability  of climate during the last two millennia
  • To perform quantitative data-model comparison analyses using advanced statistical tools as well as dynamical downscaling
  • To assess the relative importance of natural external forcings and internal variability for climate variations
  • To explore mechanisms for decadal to centennial varaibility in the Atlantic/Arctic region and their potential teleconnections
  • To develop new and improved methodologies for reconstructing climate
  • To build dynamical frameworks for better interpretating paleo proxydata

The research in RG6 interact closely with new infrastructure for data reconstruction in Bergen (e.g. EARTHLAB), and will use the Norwegian Earth System model extensively for generating model simulations and conducting research on mechanisms of climate variabilty. Through collaboration with leading research groups in Europe, US and China we will also participate in large international multi-model and model-data comparisons such as PAGES2K and PMIP.