The EU has awarded a grant of 700 million ISK to a new climate change research project, in which the Agricultural University of Iceland participates, RUV reports.
The project, entitled Future Arctic, provides insight into how the grasslands and forests of Iceland respond to changes in climate and air quality. The project involves 51 scientists from 15 countries as well as six private companies. Research is taking place at Reykja á Ölfus, where geothermal systems were disrupted by the 2009 Suðurlandsskjálftan earthquake. Bedrock in previously cold areas started to heat up as a result of the quake.
Bjarni Diðrik Sigurðsson, professor of forestry at LBHÍ and one of the project supervisors, told RUV: “We are taking advantage of these new hot areas, and looking at the effects of this warming on nature. It is the case that these new areas are both under grassland and under cultivated forest. ”
During the earthquake the soil warmed up to 40 degrees. Bjarni continues: “We can say that the most pessimistic forecast regarding climate change in the Arctic area is around 8°C. So we are examining everything that could happen in this region by the end of this century.”
Twenty similar studies are underway in the world, but none on the same scale as in Iceland. Bjarni says he expects more projects to take over after these four years.
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