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Paleoclimate science for a better understanding of the short- to long-term evolution of the Earth system
Cluster 5 - Destination 1: Climate sciences and responses for the transformation towards climate neutrality
Estimated EU contribution per project
Link to the call
Link to the submission
The projects funded under this topic will assess climate variability building on past climate and environmental datasets.
The geological and ice-core records provide long-term information on the conditions and processes that can drive physical, ecological, and social systems during interglacial periods, deglaciations and abrupt climatic events. The challenge of the research under this topic is to test Earth system models over selected past climate scenarios, outside the range of variability recorded over the past centuries.
This challenge will be tackled through the following activities:
- Producing and aggregating in databases high-resolution, well-dated, interoperable paleoclimatic records on climate changes from the past (e.g., temperature, GHG concentrations, sea level, ocean circulation variability, seasonality, and precipitation).
- Using paleo-archives at high resolution to extend the instrumental time series for better understating of the proxy records and for improved quantification of their uncertainties.
- Development of Earth system models with outputs that allow a more direct comparison to paleo-data, modelling climate variability, thresholds, and impacts across timescales from years to millennia (e.g., isotope-enabled general circulation models with dynamic ice sheet components that represent relevant feedbacks).
- Describing short- to long-term climate evolution using quantitative reconstructions from different proxies of past climate periods that are of particular relevance with respect to the current climate change scenario.
- Identification of climate tipping points, cascading effects, and environmental limits using paleo data and model experiments.
- Comparing changes in marine, terrestrial and glacier settings to evaluate ocean–land–cryosphere interactions.
- Documenting and quantifying the natural climate variability, in terms of amplitude, time (onset, duration, frequency) and space (location, extension).
- Allowing for consistent integration of large-scale and more regional/local factors to be reproduced by climate models using natural forcings.
Synergies with projects resulting from the topic HORIZON-CL5-2023-D1-01-02: Climate-related tipping points should be established.
The projects should rely on paleoclimatic data from scientific drilling campaigns, and other appropriate sources.
When dealing with models, actions should promote the highest standards of transparency and openness, as much as possible going well beyond documentation and extending to aspects such as assumptions, code and data that is managed in compliance with the FAIR principles. In addition, full openness of any new modules, models or tools developed from scratch or substantially improved with the use of EU funding is expected.
Project results are expected to contribute to all of the following expected outcomes:
- Better process understanding of past climate changes, their variability and interactions with ecosystems, leading to improved Earth system models based on paleoclimate data.
- Assessment of driving and feedback mechanisms (e.g., the carbon cycle evolution and water cycle process), and precise timing and dynamics of deglaciation and glaciation.
- Future climate change scenarios produced in light of documented past changes in climate and ice sheets, in particular warm climates/high sea-level situations, and abrupt transitions.
- Strengthened Earth system models integrating paleoclimate data, e.g. models of ice sheet, ocean, ecosystem and atmospheric components, enabling understanding of future climate.
- Identification of thresholds in Earth system components, including the biosphere, and feedbacks that may be responsible for non-linear behaviour of the climate system to certain forcings.
- Development, review, and improvement of indicators of abrupt changes, or early warning signals, and tipping points within paleoclimate records.
- Synthesis of climate variations that will serve as fundamental bases for IPCC future assessment and benchmarks for model inter-comparisons.
Regions / countries for funding
Moldova (Moldova), Albania (Shqipëria), Armenia (Հայաստան), Azerbaijan (Azərbaycan), Belarus (Беларусь), Bosnia and Herzegovina (Bosna i Hercegovina / Босна и Херцеговина), Faeroes (Føroyar / Færøerne), Georgia (საქართველო), Island (Ísland), Israel (ישראל / إِسْرَائِيل), Kosovo (Kosova/Kosovë / Косово), Montenegro (Црна Гора), Morocco (المغرب), New Zealand (Aotearoa), North Macedonia (Северна Македонија), Norway (Norge), Serbia (Srbija/Сpбија), Tunisia (تونس /Tūnis), Türkiye, Ukraine (Україна), United Kingdom
Education and training institution, International organization, Non-Profit Organisation (NPO) / Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO), Other, Private institution, incl. private company (private for profit), Public Body (national, regional and local; incl. EGTCs), Research Institution incl. University, Small and medium-sized enterprise (SME)
To be eligible for funding, applicants must be established in one of the following countries:
- the Member States of the European Union, including their outermost regions
- the Overseas Countries and Territories (OCTs) linked to the Member States
- third countries associated to Horizon Europe - see list of particpating countries
Only legal entities forming a consortium are eligible to participate in actions provided that the consortium includes, as beneficiaries, three legal entities independent from each other and each established in a different country as follows:
- at least one independent legal entity established in a Member State; and
- at least two other independent legal entities, each established in different Member States or Associated Countries.
Any legal entity, regardless of its place of establishment, including legal entities from non-associated third countries or international organisations (including international European research organisations) is eligible to participate (whether it is eligible for funding or not), provided that the conditions laid down in the Horizon Europe Regulation have been met, along with any other conditions laid down in the specific call topic.
A ‘legal entity’ means any natural or legal person created and recognised as such under national law, EU law or international law, which has legal personality and which may, acting in its own name, exercise rights and be subject to obligations, or an entity without legal personality.
- Affiliated entities — Affiliated entities (i.e. entities with a legal or capital link to a beneficiary which participate in the action with similar rights and obligations to the beneficiaries, but which do not sign the grant agreement and therefore do not become beneficiaries themselves) are allowed, if they are eligible for participation and funding.
- Associated partners — Associated partners (i.e. entities which participate in the action without signing the grant agreement, and without the right to charge costs or claim contributions) are allowed, subject to any conditions regarding associated partners set out in the specific call conditions.
- Entities without legal personality — Entities which do not have legal personality under their national law may exceptionally participate, provided that their representatives have the capacity to undertake legal obligations on their behalf, and offer guarantees to protect the EU’s financial interests equivalent to those offered by legal persons.
- EU bodies — Legal entities created under EU law including decentralised agencies may be part of the consortium, unless provided for otherwise in their basic act.
- Joint Research Centre (‘JRC’)— Where provided for in the specific call conditions, applicants may include in their proposals the possible contribution of the JRC but the JRC will not participate in the preparation and submission of the proposal. Applicants will indicate the contribution that the JRC could bring to the project based on the scope of the topic text. After the evaluation process, the JRC and the consortium selected for funding may come to an agreement on the specific terms of the participation of the JRC. If an agreement is found, the JRC may accede to the grant agreement as beneficiary requesting zero funding or participate as an associated partner, and would accede to the consortium as a member.
- Associations and interest groupings — Entities composed of members (e.g. European research infrastructure consortia (ERICs)) may participate as ‘sole beneficiaries’ or ‘beneficiaries without legal personality’. However, if the action is in practice implemented by the individual members, those members should also participate (either as beneficiaries or as affiliated entities, otherwise their costs will NOT be eligible.
other eligibility criteria
If projects use satellite-based earth observation, positioning, navigation and/or related timing data and services, beneficiaries must make use of Copernicus and/or Galileo/EGNOS (other data and services may additionally be used).
Beneficiaries will be subject to the following additional obligations regarding open science practices: Open access to any new modules, models or tools developed from scratch or substantially improved with the use of EU funding under the action must be ensured through documentation, availability of model code and input data developed under the action.
Relevance for EU Macro-Region
EUSAIR - EU Strategy for the Adriatic and Ionian Region, EUSALP - EU Strategy for the Alpine Space, EUSBSR - EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region, EUSDR - EU Strategy for the Danube Region
UN Sustainable Development Goals (UN-SDGs)
All proposals must be submitted electronically via the Funders & Tenders Portal electronic submission system (accessible via the topic page in the Search Funding & Tenders section). Paper submissions are NOT possible.
Proposals must be complete and contain all parts and mandatory annexes and supporting documents, e.g. plan for the exploitation and dissemination of the results including communication activities, etc.
The application form will have two parts:
- Part A (to be filled in directly online) contains administrative information about the applicant organisations (future coordinator and beneficiaries and affiliated entities), the summarised budget for the proposal and call-specific questions;
- Part B (to be downloaded from the Portal submission system, completed and then assembled and re-uploaded as a PDF in the system) contains the technical description of the project.
Annexes and supporting documents will be directly available in the submission system and must be uploaded as PDF files (or other formats allowed by the system).
Eligible costs will take the form of a lump sum.
The limit for a full application (Part B) is 50 pages.