Interaction between models for climate and biodiversity

By combining research from biology and glaciology, it is possible to estimate key parameters from different fields in physics, biology and climate research. This combination can increase our understanding of the parameter’s influence, for example, on the Greenland ice sheet dynamics during the Eemian period and earlier interglacial periods.

Data about the gas content, chemistry and content of biological and geological material in the ice cores can all contribute to describing the spread of the ice sheet and its response to climate change throughout history.

Models can also help to identify new sites that are optimal for the study of biological material in the ice. For example, ice flow models and radar measurements can identify new locations where researchers could expect to find old ice that is frozen to the bottom and which may contain old preserved DNA of great interest for new biological studies.

The exchange of data between many different disciplines is quite new and it has great potential for understanding the processes and interactions between the atmosphere, ecosystems and the climate. The knowledge that is gained through interdisciplinary collaboration can be transferred to other glaciated areas, like Antarctica. Antarctica has been covered with ice even longer than Greenland and is therefore a very interesting area to look for preserved DNA from the basal ice under the ice sheet.

- Biodiversity and response to climate change
- Ice sheet formation and DNA
- Models for climate, biodiversity and evolution
- Interdisciplinary collaboration between research in climate and biology