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Rachel Lupien receives over DKK 3 million for a pioneering climate project in West Africa

Assistant professor Rachel Lupien has received a grant of DKK 3,167,996 from the "Inge Lehmann program" under Independent Research Fund Denmark.

Rachel Lupien will lead the exciting research project "WARMEST: West African Rainfall Modulation by Eocene Shifts in Temperature". The project will contribute to a better understanding of the climate's influence on the Sahel region, but also shed light on the interaction between climate and ecosystems under elevated CO2 levels. This is crucial for effective climate action, as there are still uncertainties about how these reactions will play out in the future.

Today, about 100 million people depend on the Sahelian grasslands of West Africa for their livelihoods, primarily in livestock and agriculture. Unfortunately, climate change has resulted in more extreme weather, leading to more frequent floods, droughts, and forest fires. These challenges affect the resources of the area, so it is crucial to understand how natural variations in rainfall, vegetation and wildfires will respond to future increases in temperature and greenhouse gas levels.

In the research project, Rachel and her team will investigate the Eocene period, which took place around 50 million years ago. During that period, greenhouse gas levels and global temperature were comparable to the highest predicted temperatures in a worst-case scenario for the year 2150. The project will involve measuring organic biomarkers in marine sediments that will provide important information about rainfall, vegetation, and forest fires in West Africa during the Eocene.

You can read more here.