Climate, climate change, paleoclimate, environmental change, earth resources, sustainability, energy, social change, biomaterials, bioeconomy, carbon neutral, carbon budget


This Lab addresses topics related to climatic change and Earth resources. Both the United Nations (UN) and the European Commission (EC) identify these as critical topics for future research, teaching and science communication. For example, the UN highlight Climate Change as a Global Issue, and their 2020 Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) include 7: Affordable and clean energy, 12: Responsible consumption and production, and 13: Climate action.

The consequences of climate change are staggering. Past records, and modern observations clearly demonstrate it impacts ecosystems, the quality of the environment, and aspects of human society, politics, communication, and civil engagement. The scientific community have already convincingly demonstrated anthropogenic processes accelerate changes in Earth’s climate systems, and will do so increasingly in future. Rich and diverse research continues to refine the records of change, and enhance models of drivers and critical system behaviours. Achieving climate-neutral development, and mitigating the effects of ongoing change, requires development of innovative technologies – both for alternative energy sources, and for green technologies – that make efficient use of Earth resources.

A very broad range of increasingly scarce Earth resources are required for the wellbeing (and comfort) of humanity. The EU recently released an updated List of Critical Raw Materials which serves as a guide for the focii of this FORTHEM Lab. We explore the formation of resources, extraction methods, and environmental mitigation. Furthermore, since sustainable resource use worldwide is severely hampered by a broad lack of understanding of the origin and finite nature of resources, we particularly focus our attention on communicating about this topic to society.

More generally, FORTHEM’s Climate and Resources lab members are devoted toward ensuring collaborative education and research (i.e. Citizen Science) enhances societal understanding of these topics, as this will demonstrably build societal resilience to them.

Research areas

  • -    History of climate change: what we can learn?
  • -    How do Earth processes, such as volcanic eruptions and plate tectonics, modify climate?
  • -    Climate change as a driving force of landscape and ecosystem change, and responses of these systems
  • -    Impacts of climate change on resources, such as water and food
  • -    Response of economies, social formations, and human populations to climate change
  • -    Development of approaches for climate change communication and education
  • -    Adaptation tools, strategies, their efficiency and focus
  • -    Alternative energy sources, such as geothermal, wind, tide, and hydro-electric energy
  • -    Sustainability of critical Earth resources needed to respond to and mitigate climate change.
  • -    Tools for low-carbon development, including bioeconomy and alternative energies
  • -    Biorefinery to achieve maximally efficient use of biomaterials
  • -    Carbon budgets of organisations (such as the FORTHEM Alliance)

Lab contact information

Alliance level Contact Person:

University level Contact Persons:

University of Valencia, Spain: Professor Inmaculada Revuelta Pérez, (inmaculada.revuelta[at] and graduate student Olga Novillo Sanjuan, (olga.novillo[at]

Planned outputs of the Lab and current work in progress

Action: Please contact the ‘responsible people’ if you want to be engaged with any of these initiatives.

1. Immediate actions that we hope will yield outputs within the current FORTHEM funding period:

- Sustainability concept / living lab / climate and resource use of the FORTHEM Alliance: Virginia needs to follow up with Anna Ropert about her attempts the student body to develop this. In general, C&R support it.  A draft Sustainability concept has already been created, and at present we are inviting comments and ideas. Please explore the draft in this Google Document and provide your comments there by 15 December 2020.

-“Sedimentary Basin Records of Earth’s climate” – This will include a digital field class, which is already in progress. We would like partner institutions (Mainz/Valencia/Dijon/Palermo=stable isotopes) to contribute lectures over a semester so we can work toward a joint course for all Master level students in the Alliance. Please contact Virginia Toy if you already teach in this field and could contribute.

- Climate change communication summer school in 2022 in Jyväskylä: In advance we will produce short outreach videos highlighting research in all partner institutions relevant to the Lab. These will be analyzed during the summer school. Jan Lundell will develop guidelines for these videos and distribute with a call for contributions. Christoph Helo (Mainz) would like to contribute teaching about volcanoes & atmosphere

- Waste recycling joint study course: Maris Klavins is working on development of this course. There is funding for this available in Latvia, but materials will need to be presented in Latvian.

- Co-ordination and advice on establishing research relationships with partner institutions. Virginia Toy / Martina Kirilova to arrangeas part of our website:

- a listing of Partner Institutions’ local expertise

- a proposal/expertise sharing platform online


- Links to the seed funding for mobility already available for students

- Alliance-level student led conference. Could capitalize on KliKoMainz concept. Selina Fenske is our student champion.

2. Longer-term outputs

- Outreach and community engagement about Climate proxies / records and Earth resources in our region.  Emmanuelle Puceat – to provide more information about the current plans.

- Scientific drilling proposal? Virginia Toy. We are able to advise on development of proposals through joint expertise with IODP and ICDP. We will include anouncements of e.g. summer schools and opportunities to join expeditions in our website.

- Geothermal living lab: capturing data from ground source heat pumps, citizen science approach. Virginia Toy - JGU will apply for external funds for such a lab (and borehole) in the next few years. Are other institutions interested in acquiring similar data from their regions?

Highlighted events of the Lab

The Alliance Level Kick-off meeting occurred on 28th October 2020, via Microsoft Teams.