Environmental Change (TEMAM)

Tema M – Environmental Change is a platform for highly topical, problem-oriented and critical interpretive environmental research and education. At a time when almost the entire nature bears traces of human activity, the state of the environment is strongly linked to the development of society. Today, environmental problems are no longer perceived as ‘problems in nature’ but also as complex social problems that set new standards for scientific breadth, integration and problem-solving.

Environmental Change meets this challenge through a strong combination of analysis traditions and methods for natural science, social sciences, and the humanities. Among these included are analysis of biogeochemical processes and material flows, policy studies developed in close collaboration with user groups, as well as analytical studies of ideas and debates within the environmental and climate field. By promoting interdisciplinary cooperation in the borderland between these different analytical traditions, Tema M ensures that environmental change as a concept, process and political point at issue is not taken for granted but instead subject to constant review and transparency.

Tema M builds on a strong tradition of interdisciplinary environmental studies that have permeated the unit since 1980 and the Center for Climate Science and Policy Research (CSPR) since 2004. At Tema M, these studies are further developed and profiled in relation to contemporary environmental science and environmental policy development.

Strategic Research Areas

A park bench in water.

Climate Change

We study challenges posed by climate change, their implications around the world and actions that could lead to fossil free societies that are robust to the effects of climate change.

Insjö skog around.

Contaminant and Element Cycling

We study natural and human-induced changes using observational, experimental and modeling approaches. From major and trace elements to contaminants, we focus on biogeochemical processes driving their distribution and cycling in ecosystems.
People holding up signs.

Knowledge politics and communication 

We study how knowledge about current environmental and developmental challenges is represented, legitimized, problematized and made sense of in education, research practices, media and policy processes.

Lab environment.
Anna Nilsen

Earth resources 

We study challenges associated with sustainable use and management of resources with focus on waste, water, land, ecosystems, nutrients as well as renewable energy. We co-create knowledge through interactions with societal actors to assess and develop processes, technologies, analytical tools, and frameworks.  

Research Project

People sitting near industrial plant in Oulu, Finland.

Linköping University Negative Emission Technologies (LUNETs)

An increasing number of climate targets require net negative emissions of carbon dioxide. Here we study the methods bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS) and biochar in the Nordic and Tanzania.

Norrköping Decision Arena.

Centre for Climate Science and Policy Research, CSPR

CSPR is a platform for knowledge production to trigger and promote societal changes towards safe and just climate futures for all. Our goal is to create knowledge and methodological approaches that can support and advance climate actions.

Stones at the Swedish westcoast.

Just transformation: The places, politics and ethics of fossil free society

In 2017 the Swedish Parliament adopted a new climate policy framework that lays the foundations for an ambitious decarbonization of all sectors in Swedish society. The aim is to turn Sweden into the first fossil-free welfare state by 2045.


Latest publications


Tina-Simone Neset, Amy Oen, María Máñez Costa, Louis Celliers (2024) Co-designing climate services: Concepts and practices of the ERA4CS projects Climate Services, p. 100461-100461, Article 100461 Continue to DOI
Alexander Olsson, Mathias Fridahl, Stefan Grönkvist (2024) Expectations on biochar as a climate solution in Sweden: Carbon dioxide removal with environmental co-benefits Renewable and Sustainable Energy Transition, Vol. 5, p. 100087-100087, Article 100087 Continue to DOI
M. Ariel Geer Wallace, Marci G. Smeltz, James M. Mattila, Hannah K. Liberatore, Stephen R. Jackson, Erin P. Shields, Xhensila Xhani, Emily Y. Li, Jana Johansson (2024) A review of sample collection and analytical methods for detecting per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances in indoor and outdoor air Chemosphere, Vol. 358, Article 142129 Continue to DOI
Jens Marquardt, Eva Lövbrand, Frida Buhre (2024) The Politics of Youth Representation at Climate Change Conferences: Who Speaks, Who is Spoken of, and Who Listens? Global Environmental Politics, Vol. 1 Continue to DOI
Alexander Olsson, Emily Rodriguez, Anders Hansson, Sigrid Jansson, Mathias Fridahl (2024) Forerunner city or net-zero opportunist?: Carbon dioxide removal in Stockholm, residual emissions and risks of mitigation deterrence Energy Research & Social Science, Vol. 113, Article 103567 Continue to DOI
Oscar Widerberg, Karin Bäckstrand, Eva Lövbrand, Jens Marquardt, Naghmeh Nasiritousi (2024) A cautionary tale for polycentric governance: states' roles in orchestrating decarbonization Global Environmental Politics
Myanna Lahsen (2024) Steering signification for sustainability Global Sustainability, Vol. 7, Article e15 Continue to DOI
Bo Sha, Jana Johansson, Matthew E. Salter, Sara M. Blichner, Ian T. Cousins (2024) Constraining global transport of perfluoroalkyl acids on sea spray aerosol using field measurements Science Advances, Vol. 10, Article eadl1026 Continue to DOI



Decomposed leaf.

The reaction explaining large carbon sinks

A mystery has finally been solved. Researchers from LiU and Helmholtz Munich have discovered that a certain type of chemical reaction can explain why organic matter found in rivers and lakes is so resistant to degradation.

The astronomer who turned his eyes towards Earth

Magnus Gålfalk was ten years old when he became fascinated with space. His doctoral thesis was about how stars are formed. But now he is doing climate research at Linköping University instead.

Preem's refinery in Lysekil.

The canaries of climate transition

Lysekil, Luleå and Slite. Three locations where the demands for transition to a fossil-free society have upended people’s lives. For several years now, researchers from Linköping University have studied the residents’ stories.

PhD Programme





Visit us in Tema Building, Campus Valla

Postal adress
Linköping University, Department of Thematic Studies/Environmental Change, 581 83 Linköping, Sweden