SZTE Long-term Environmental Changes Research Group
Principal investigator: Prof Pál Sümegi, DSc
Climate change is one of the most pressing environmental, economic and societal issues of the 21st century. Predicting climate and environmental changes is one of the most significant challenges of current research in earth sciences. The development of reliable models that can predict the forthcoming changes in water availability, temperature, and soil functioning is essential for identifying and implementing adequate measures to minimize adverse environmental feedbacks to climate change and for developing strategies for retaining food security and sustainable land use under changing environmental conditions. It is of utmost importance, that these mitigation measures are implemented on time, before the expected environmental feedbacks take place.
The main goal of the project is to investigate various types of terrestrial paleo-archives in the area of the Carpathian Basin in order to elucidate the causal relationship of past climatic variations and Earth system responses at a smaller spatial and larger temporal scale than achievable by modern atmospheric climate models. Terrestrial paleoarchives may address an important component of paleoclimatic and paleoenvironmental reconstructions not captured by the analysis of other type of paleo-archives: the integration of the feedback of the terrestrial ecosystem on climate change. The analysis will focus on some past global climate events, which may be similar in trajectory to what we may have to face these days with a special attention to regional differences for the past.
Adoption of material sciences in geological, paleontological and archeological research provide us with refined accurate chronology, high-resolution sampling techniques and derivation of new proxies. These data makes the opportunity for modelling the recent climate change and the industrial human effects in global, regional and local level, by using the reconstruction of such changes from the past.
The most important scientific achievement of the research team is the construction of various paleoenvironmental models built on hard data from geology, geochemistry, paleontology, paleoecology as well as archeology, which helps to highlight local and regional responses to major climatic transformations including warm-ups and cooling.