News before 2015
Bold steps into uncharted territory
28 November 2014
Three young researchers from the Oeschger Centre for Climate Change Research have launched an interdisciplinary conference on the Spörer Minimum. So much scientific zest at a young age is rare.
Wanted: politically acceptable adaptation strategies
28 October 2014
Researchers from various disciplines gather at the Oeschger Centre to consider adaptation strategies for Switzerland with regard to climate change. In a large Sinergia project, they are looking for economically and politically viable concepts which will promise protection from the impact of climate change.
A multimedia trail guide to climate change
3 August 2014
Learn about climate change on your smartphone – the Jungfrau climate guide 2.0 makes it possible. The app from the Oeschger Centre for Climate Change Research offers visitors to the Jungfrau region background information about the local impact of global warming.
Research above the clouds
14 July 2014
High school students paid a visit to the high-altitude Sphinx laboratory. The excursion to Jungfraujoch was part of Nano-camp 2014, a research camp for teeangers organized jointly by the 3sat television network and the Oeschger Centre.
A closer look at hailstorms
4 July 2014
The first European hail workshop, organised by the Mobiliar Lab for Narural Risks, was unexpectedly popular. More than 100 people representing academia, the insurance industry, and national weather services attended. From 25-27 June in Bern, they exchanged ideas and discussed unresolved questions about the formation and prediction of hailstorms. Founded in 2013, the Mobiliar Lab is a joint research institution of the Oeschger Centre and the Mobiliar insurance company.
Youth from three countries experience the thrill of climate research
17 June 2014
The Oeschger Center will host the 2014 nano-Camp from 29 June until 4 July 2014. This research camp for high school students is coordinated by 3sat’s science television program “nano”, and is coming to Switzerland for the first time.
Northern and Southern Hemisphere Climates Follow the Beat of Different Drummers
31 March 2014
Over the last 1000 years, temperature differences between the Northern and Southern Hemispheres were larger than previously thought. Using new data from the Southern Hemisphere, researchers have shown that climate model simulations overestimate the links between the climate variations across the Earth with implications for regional predictions. These findings are demonstrated in a new international study coordinated by Raphael Neukom from the Oeschger and the Swiss Federal Research Institute WSL. The study was published in «Nature Climate Change».
Impacts of climate change in Switzerland: adaptation and climate change mitigation must go hand in hand
14 March 2014
Southern Switzerland emerges as a hotspot of the effects of climate change. And the bark beetle is putting spruces all over Switzerland under increasing pressure, because an additional generation of pests could hatch each year due to the rising temperatures. These are two of many statements from the report «CH2014-Impacts» that has been produced under the direction of the Oeschger Centre. It deals with the quantitative consequences of climate change for Switzerland.
"Climate scientists must not think they have to conduct research on behalf of politicians"
19 February 2014
Hans von Storch delivered the first Mobilar Lab Lecture at the University of Bern. In an interview, political scientist Karin Ingold responds to the ideas put forward by the prominent German climate scientist. She is assistant professor of political science at the University of Bern, a member of the Oeschger Centre and also of the Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science & Technology (Eawag). The subject of her doctoral thesis was an analysis of the decision-making mechanisms in Swiss climate policy, and her interests currently include the analysis and design of political processes and instruments.
Global carbon dioxide emissions to reach 36 billion tonnes in 2013
19 November 2013
In its latest report the Global Carbon Project Global (GCP) shows that emissions of carbon dioxide from the combustion of fossil fuels will reach 36 billion tonnes for the year 2013, a level unprecedented in human history. The atmospheric concentration of CO2 has risen above 400 ppm (parts per million) for the first time. One of the researchers behind the GCP's annual publication is the OCCR's Benjamin Stocker.
Sea-ice formation sustained the "Little Ice Age"
30 September 2013
For the so-called Little Ice Age in the late Middle Ages, atmospheric currents were of secondary importance. This surprising result was revealed by the latest simulations on CSCS supercomputer "Monte Rosa". They are part of a study conducted by the group for Earth System Modeling - Atmosphere Ocean Dynamics of the Oeschger Centre.
Thomas Stocker receives international spotlight
27 September 2013
Thomas Stocker, a professor of climate and environmental physics at the University of Bern, will generate global public attention when on 27 September 2013, the new IPCC report is presented in Stockholm. Stocker, a founding member of the Oeschger Centre, has been leading the IPCC's 'science' working group as its co-chair since 2008.
Two new visiting scientists at the OCCR
9 September 2013
The Oeschger Centre regularly hosts visiting scientists. Currently we have two guests: Franco Biondi from the University of Nevada, Reno, USA, and Dietmar Wagenbach from the Institute of Environmental Physics of the University of Heidelberg, Germany.
Limiting global warming is not enough
3 July 2013
So far, international climate targets have been restricted to limiting the increase in temperature. But if we are to stop the rising sea levels, ocean acidification and the loss of production from agriculture, CO2 emissions will have to fall even more sharply. This is demonstrated by a study published in "Nature" that has been carried out at the Oeschger Centre.
A high-tech replacement for the Oeschger counters
6 May 2013
More than 50 years ago Hans Oeschger made science history in Bern with his invention of a C14 measuring device. Now a new instrument for analysing C14 has been inaugurated at the University of Bern. Its extraordinary accuracy will open up new opportunities in climate and environmental research. The driving force behind the project is the Oeschger Centre for Climate Change Research, named after the pioneer.
Mobiliar Lab for climate risks and natural hazards at the Oeschger Centre
22 April 2013
The Swiss Mobiliar cooperative insurance company has decided to substantially expand its existing collaboration with the Oeschger Centre for Climate Research (OCCR) of the University of Bern. A "Mobiliar lab for climate risks and natural hazards" is to be established as part of the Mobiliar Chair for Climate Impact Research in the Alpine Region at the OCCR. The research conducted by the Mobiliar lab will concentrate on quantifying climate risks and natural hazards, particularly wind, hail, water and mass wasting with very high spatial resolution.
The importance of glacier and forest change in hydrological climate-impact studies
25 February 2013
Researchers at the Oeschger Centre’s Hydrology group point at an up to now neglected aspect of climate change and hydrology. In a recent publication, they indicate that changes in land cover alter the water balance components of a catchment, due to strong interactions between soils, vegetation and the atmosphere. Therefore, hydrological climate impact studies should also integrate scenarios of associated land cover change. A hydrological climate-impact study that assesses the additional impacts of forest and glacier change is new so far.
Thomas Stocker raises questions on the format of future IPCC Assessment Reports
6 January 2013
Thomas Stocker, member of the Oeschger Centre and Co-chair of Working Group I of the IPCC is one of nine Earth and planetary scientists who were asked by Nature Geoscience to contribute to a special issue to mark its 5th anniversary. The now well-established journal was launched in 2007. "This timescale, just enough to complete a research project or two, may not seem a long time", the editors write in the current issue of their magazine, "but a lot has happened in the collective of disciplines that are covered in our journal."
Best record to date of the glacial to interglacial variations in stable carbon isotopes of CO2 created
30 May 2012
The transition from a glacial to an interglacial state is governed by a complex system of feedbacks such as the change in the atmospheric CO2. OCCR researchers Jochen Schmitt and colleagues provide important new data that help to explain these changes. They have created what a comment in Science calls the "best record to date of the glacial to interglacial variations in stable carbon isotopes of CO2".
Drastic decrease of high mountain soil moisture
30 April 2012
Climate change could profoundly influence the hydrosphere of mountain ecosystems. OCCR researcher Ole Rössler, in a recent publication, analyses the potential drought stress in a Swiss mountain catchment. The forecasting of high mountain soil moisture reveals a drastic decrease, despite major uncertainties.
Homo sapiens crossed a damp Arabian Desert
5 December 2011
A research team of the Oeschger Centre found evidence that damp climate occurred in the Arabian desert several times over the past 130,000 years. These spells allowed modern humans to track across the Arabian Peninsula to spread to other continents from its origin in Africa.
The great Climate Poker
3 October 2011
The Oeschger Centre made a well noted appearance at the first ever Night of Science at the University of Bern on 23 September 2011.
Drip Stones Help Penetrate the Mystery of Noah's Flood
14 March 2011
The Black Sea has an eventful history: each time it was completely isolated from the Mediterranean Sea over the past 670,000 years the salty sea turned into a large fresh-water lake. A research team from the Oeschger Centre has now been able to accurately reconstruct the various water intrusions into the Black Sea.
New Dataset Provides Understanding of Extreme Weather Events
25 January 2011
An international team of climatologists have created a comprehensive reanalysis of all global weather events from 1871 to the present day, and from the Earth's surface to the jet stream level. Among those researchers was Stefan Brönnimann, a member of the Oeschger Centre.
New evidence for climate impacts on ancient societies
14 January 2011
An international team led by Ulf Büntgen from the Oeschger Centre has, for the first time ever, reconstructed annual-resolved European summer climate over the past 2,500 years from tree rings. Their study, published in the renowned journal Science, provides new evidence that agrarian wealth and overall economic growth may have been impacted by climate change.
A High-Tech Replacement for the Oeschger Counter
22 December 2010
More than 50 years ago, Hans Oeschger made science history with his invention of a device for 14C measurements at the University of Bern. Now, researchers are again at the forefront in developing a new 14C-analysis instrument in the Swiss capital. The research center that carries Oeschger's name is the driving force behind the project for a new radiocarbon dating system, which will be used jointly by different research groups.
Bernese climate researchers play key role in IPCC report
30 June 2010
Oeschger Centre scientists are strongly involved in the fifth IPCC report. The report will be ready in 2013 and analyses the state of the Earth's climate.
Quantifying the positive feedback between CO2 and temperature
25 January 2010
For each degree Celsius of global warming, CO2 levels in the atmosphere increased by roughly 3%. This conclusion represents the outcome of a study conducted by researchers of the Oeschger Centre.
Stone-age people didn't contribute to global warming
24 September 2009
Researchers from the Oeschger Centre for Climate Change Research have disproven the hotly debated hypothesis that humans measurably influenced atmospheric concentrations of CO2 as early as during the stone age. The prestigious science magazine Nature has published the results of the study.
Evolution of the Climate and the Ocean – Oeschger Lectures by visiting scientist Prof. Dr. Edouard Bard
29 January 2009
Edouard Bard is the first visiting scientist at the Oeschger Centre. In a special series of public lectures he will talk on rapid climate and ocean changes during glacial and interglacial periods.
Oeschger Centre researcher takes over top position of the IPCC
5 September 2008
Thomas Stocker takes over top position of the IPCC
Windows on the greenhouse
15 May 2008
Oeschger Centre research results featured on Nature cover page.