Latest News

Anthropogenic CH4 emissions from fossil fuel sources underestimated

Two papers in Nature and Science using 14C and stable isotopes in ice core methane reveal that natural geological and permafrost CH4 emissions are much smaller than previously estimated. Consequently, anthropogenic fossil fuel CH4 loss must be larger than expected.

RADIX Team at Dome C

The unibe RADIX Team, consisting of Jakob, Remo and Thomas, is now at Dome Concordia Station (75°06'S 123°20'E, 3233 asl) after a long 10-day trip via Singapore, Christchurch, McMurdo Station, and Mario Zucchelli Station. Preparations for transfer to Little Dome C, about 33 km from Dome C, are underway. The RADIX Team is joined by Massimo, Saverio and Michele (ENEA) and Luc (IPEV) who will build the drilling tent for BeyondEPICA.

Thomas Frölicher, Laureate of the Theodor Kocher Prize 2019

Thomas Frölicher is the winner of the Theodor Kocher Prize 2019, which the University of Berne awards to its best young scientists. The award recognizes his fundamental contributions to the study of extreme events in the ocean. His research showed that as global warming continues, marine heatwaves become even more frequent, intense and widespread and have potentially large and damaging impacts on ecosystems. Further information can be found at:

KUP PhD Day 2019

On 13. June the second PhD of Climate and Environmental Physics took place. It was a full day of science during which the PhD students reported on their progress and which generated many engaged discussions and stimulating exchange. All have experienced the broad range of research and the multitude of still open questions regarding the past, present and future changes of the Earth System.

Working at East GRIP

Lucas Silva, normally measuring CO2 concentrations on Antarcitic ice samples, is working hard at EastGRIP exploring the firn layers which are crucial for his research. More seriously, Lucas is processing and logging ice cores at EastGRIP and enjoying his first experience on the ice sheet.

Four New EU Projects

Members of CEP are partners in four Horizon 2020 projects of the European Commission that will start in 2019. The project BEOIC, BeyondEPICA: Oldest Ice Core, has the goal to drill a 1.5-million year old ice core in Antarctica. Switzerland, through scientists of CEP, is one of the leading partners in this € 11M project.

EU Project TiPES is studying tipping points in the Earth System by combining new mathematical theories with the paleoclimatic records. Members of CEP will carry out simulations with EMICs to understand new paleoceanographic tracers.

EU Project CCICC will reduce uncertainty in our quantitative understanding of carbon-climate interactions and feedbacks. Scientists of CEP will quantify key processes regulating the coupled carbon-climate system and use observational constraints to provide long term projections of the climate in response to anthropogenic emissions.

EU Project COMFORT will determine tipping points in physical and biogeochemical tipping systems and the consequences of passing tipping points for the marine carbon, oxygen and nutrient cycles as well as for marine ecosystems. Members of CEP will assess marine extreme events and quantify maximum carbon emissions for a safe operating space.

Thomas Stocker, Member of Leopoldina

Thomas Stocker was elected member of Leopoldina, the Academy of Sciences of Germany. The Leopoldina is an association of scientists who are elected by the presidency of the Academy, at the proposition of their members. Leopoldina was founded in 1652 and is the oldest continuously existing learned society in the world. The purpose of Leopoldina is to provide the scientific view on topics of high societal relevance, independent of economic or political interests and agendas.

EPS Historic Site 2019

The European Physical Society honors the High Altitude Research Station Jungfraujoch with an award as ‘Historic Site’. In order to celebrate this award, there will be a half-day symposium on Thursday, February 7, 2019 at the University of Bern.

Detailed information on the event can be found here.

Marine heatwaves to become more frequent due to global warming

Marine heatwaves - prolonged periods of anomalously high ocean surface temperatures - are likely to become more frequent, extensive and intense as a result of global warming, according to a study led by Thomas Frölicher published now in Nature ( The study reports that the number of marine heatwave days doubled between 1982 and 2016, and this is projected to increase further if global temperatures continue to increase.

Media Release of the University of Bern, 15.8.2018

A 1.5°-2° warmer world in the future - Lessons from the past

In a paper now published online in Nature Geoscience ( an international team of researchers led by Hubertus Fischer has investigated the long-term response of the Earth System in the future using periods in climate history that were warmer than preindustrial. The study shows that marine and terrestrial ecosystems will spatially shift and sea level will rise by several meters over the next thousands of years even under strict mitigation scenarios as foreseen in the Paris Agreement. This stresses the need for climate models to include such long-term effects to forecast the full spectrum of Earth System changes to come.

Nature Geosciences, 27.6.2018

CEP PhD Day 2018

An enthusiastic group of scientists gathered at the First PhD Day of CEP to discuss ongoing projects, exchange personal experiences and foster new collaboration. This stimulating event has highlighted the breadth of our research ranging from the development of innovative analytical tools, measurement of new paleoclimatic records from ice cores and tree rings, design and application of models of the physical-biogeochemical climate system on time scales from years to a million years, and to radioisotope environmental physics.




Hubertus Fischer awarded Hans Oeschger Medal

During the last European Geosciences Union (EGU) General Assembly in Vienna Hubertus Fischer was awarded the Hans Oeschger Medal 2018. In his medal lecture he recalled the history of how rapid climate changes in the last glacial, the so called Dansgaard Oeschger events, were discovered. He summarized how latest progress in paleoclimate reconstructions and in ice core science in particular has pushed forward our understanding of the interaction of atmosphere and ocean changes in the global propagation of DO events.

EGU, 11.4.2018



Prof. Thomas Stocker receives the Marcel Benoist Swiss Science Prize 2017

By means of climate modelling and ice core analysis, Prof Stocker has been able to demonstrate the reality of climate change and its resulting consequences. In keeping with the objects of the Foundation, his research findings are of great importance to human life, and address one of the main challenges facing today’s society. Federal Councillor Johann N. Schneider-Ammann, President of the Marcel Benoist Foundation, met Professor Thomas Stocker in Bern on Friday, September 1, and congratulated him on this important award. The award ceremony will be held in Bern on 1 November.

Media Release of the University of Bern, 1.9.2017



Fortunat Joos elected AGU Fellow

The American Geophysical Union (AGU) elected Prof. Fortunat Joos to be AGU Fellow. AGU Fellows are recognized for their scientific eminence in the Earth and space sciences. This distinction recognizes Fortunat's leadership and long-term impact in global-scale carbon cycle research.

Announcement in AGU news (28.7.2017)



Hubertus Fischer and Thomas Stocker honoured by AGU

The American Geophysical Union (AGU) awarded Prof. Hubertus Fischer the 2017 Dansgaard Award for his outstanding work in paleoclimate research based on polar ice cores.

Further, Prof. Thomas Stocker was selected to hold the prestigious Cesare Emiliani lecture at the 2017 AGU Fall Meeting in New Orleans.

AGU list of 2017 awardees and named lecturers (28.6.2017)


"We have some work ahead of us, but that's normal"

The concept of living in warmer times is not only a hot global topic for scientists working in the here and now, but also for those who deal with the past. Leading paleoscientists convened at the University of Bern from 5-7 April to share knowledge and start a contribution to an Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) special report.

Article in UniAktuell, 11.04.2017



10th International Carbon Dioxide Conference, 21-25 August 2017, Interlaken, Switzerland

The Oeschger Centre for Climate Change Research and the Division of Climate and Environmental Physics organized the 10th anniversary International Carbon Dioxide Conference.

Official ICDC10 website

Honorary doctorate awarded to Thomas Stocker

The ETH Rector awarded an honorary doctorate to well-known climate researcher Thomas Stocker "for his seminal research into climate systems and climate change, honouring a key figure in climate science". "Stocker, who led the IPCC’s Working Group I from 2008 until 2015, is not merely an expert at linking together various aspects of research; he also sees it as his responsibility to build bridges between climate research, decision-makers and the general population", as the ETH Zurich writes.

Article on ETH-website, 19.11.2016

Pinhole technology to search for the oldest ice

Few people in the world have had as much experience with drilling ice cores as Bernese physicist Jakob Schwander. He is now working on the development of ultra-light drilling equipment to be used to search for 1.5 million-year-old ice in Antarctica. Last summer, the new technology proved itself in Greenland.

Portrait on the Oeschger Centre website, 04.10.2016

CEP researchers again among Web of Science Highly Cited Researchers in 2016

Hubertus Fischer, Fortunat Joos and Thomas Stocker of Climate and Environmental Physics are again among the very few Web of Science Highly Cited Researchers in 2016, a list that Thomson Reuters compiles annually.


New CEP-website

Welcome to the new website of the Climate and Environmental Physics division!

Further information:
Research groups at CEP
Our team
Open positions at CEP
Courses offered at CEP


Newly created Swiss Polar Institute to launch a major Antarctic expedition

The Swiss Polar Institute with participation of the University of Bern will study the Earth’s poles and extreme environments. Its first project is ambitious: an international scientific expedition, comprising 55 researchers from 30 countries working on 22 research projects, will circumnavigate Antarctica.

Media Release of the University of Bern 20.04.2016

Thomas Stocker elected as honorary member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences

Prof. Thomas Stocker was elected as new  foreign honorary member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences

Website of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences

More greenhouse gases from the sea

The ocean surrounding Antarctica, which oceanographers often refer to as the Southern Ocean, plays an important role in regulating the Earth’s climate evolution. It absorbs carbon dioxide (CO2) from the atmosphere on one hand, but releases natural carbon as well. How will this buffer work in the future? Will the Southern Ocean continue to help reduce greenhouse gases, or will it increasingly serve as a source of them? At the Oeschger Centre, several climate research teams are searching for answers.

Oeschger Centre for Climate Change Research 04.02.2016

Timely action needed to meet climate targets

The Paris Agreement of the UN climate change conference is deemed a historic step for climate protection, but its success depends on rapid implementations. The consequences of delaying global CO2 emission reductions for the climate and the world oceans are assessed in a new study by climate physicists from the University of Bern.

Together with climate physicist Thomas Stocker, Patrik Pfister from the Oeschger Centre has carried out a study quantifying the consequences of delaying global emission reductions. The study has now been published in the open access journal "Environmental Research Letters".

Patrik L. Pfister and Thomas F. Stocker: Earth System commitments due to delayed mitigation, Environmental Research Letters, 21. Januar 2016, 11 014010, doi: 10.1088/1748-9326/11/1/014010

University of Bern joins european network for CO2-research (ICOS-ERIC)

The European Commission has officially established the Integrated Carbon Observation System (ICOS-ERIC), a new pan­‐European environmental research infrastructure, which aims to provide long­‐term carbon and greenhouse gas observations across the Europe. University of Bern participates with observations from the Jungfraujoch observatory.

“The IPCC chair should first of all be a scientist with a broad perspective”

On 5 October delegates from 195 countries will elect the new chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in Dubrovnik, Croatia. One of the five candidates for this most important job in climate science is Thomas Stocker. He is a professor for Climate and Environmental Physics at the University of Bern and a member of the Oeschger Centre. In an interview he talks about his election campaign and his plans for the future of IPCC.

Oeschger Center for Climate Change Research 08.09.2015

Climate scientist is awarded cutting edge research grant by the European Research Council

Climate Physicist Hubertus Fischer was awarded a grant of 2.26 Million Euro by the European Research Council for research on polar ice cores. This is the climate physicist’s second project funded by one of the prestigious “ERC Advanced Grants”, illustrating the internationally top ranking ice and climate research at the Oeschger Centre.

Oeschger Centre for Climate Change Research 04.05.2015

IPCC: Die Schweiz schlägt Thomas Stocker als Präsidenten des Weltklimarats vor

Der Bundesrat hat beschlossen, Professor Thomas Stocker von der Universität Bern als Kandidaten für den Vorsitz des Weltklimarats IPCC vorzuschlagen. Die Amtszeit des derzeitigen Präsidenten Rajendra Pachauri endet demnächst. Im Oktober 2015 werden die Mitglieder des IPCC seine Nachfolgerin oder seinen Nachfolger wählen.

Medienmitteilung 18.02.2015


Expedition to Greenland 1967

New documentary about "Camp3" ice core drilling expedition to Greenland 1967

In 1967 Hans Oeschger led a small ice core drilling expedition to Greenland. The short documentary Camp 3 provides an insight into these adventurous pioneering days of polar research at the University of Bern (in German).

More informations about life and career of Hans Oeschger can be found on the website of the Oeschger Centre