Margret Steinthorsdottir. Photo: Oskar Omne

Margret Steinthorsdottir, Swedish Museum of Natural History and co-leader of the Bolin Centre’s Research theme 3: Past Climates, has been awarded a stipend of almost a quarter of a million crowns from the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences’ Anna-Greta and Holger Crafoord’s Fund. This year’s Crafoord award theme is Historical geobiology – Interactions between the physical Earth and the biosphere through deep time and the project Past and future climate change investigated with conifers is a great fit. The awarded funds will be used to purchase environmental growth chambers for controlled experiments. Herein, “living fossil” conifers will be grown at highly raised temperatures to investigate their leaf parameters, which are proxies for past CO2, and these will be compared with fossil conifers from warm climate episodes in the past. The overall purpose of this research project is to test the effects of highly elevated temperatures at equal CO2 and use the results to better constrain Earth’s climate sensitivity and thus improve predictions of future climate change.