Shakuntala Haraksingh Thilsted, 71, who grew up on Caribbean island of Trinidad and later became a citizen of Denmark, was awarded the prize in recognition of her achievements in pioneering fish-based food systems to improve nutrition, health and livelihoods for millions around the world.
"The Peace Prize laureates represent civil society in their home countries. They have for many years promoted the right to criticise power and protect the fundamental rights of citizens," the Norwegian Nobel Committee said in its citation.
"I was very surprised ... I never thought it would be on my landscape as a writer," Ernaux told Swedish broadcaster SVT. "It is a great responsibility ... to testify, not necessarily in terms of my writing, but to testify with accuracy and justice in relation to the world."
Bernanke, 68, the chair of the US Federal Reserve between 2006 and 2014, was highlighted for his analysis of "the worst economic crisis in modern history" — the Great Depression in the 1930s.
Svante Paabo has spearheaded research comparing the genome of modern humans and our closest extinct relatives, the Neanderthals and Denisovans, showing that there was mixing between the species.
The physics prize has often taken centre stage among the awards, featuring household names of science such as Albert Einstein, Max Planck, Pierre Curie and Marie Curie, and rewarding breakthroughs that have reshaped how we see the world.
Nearly 40 years later, the Nobel Peace Prize committee has made a similar gesture towards the Russian and Belarus governments ruled by Vladimir Putin and Alexander Lukashenko, who have shown scant respect for the Western European notions of democracy and freedom.
Winners of the prizes in physics, chemistry and economics made the assessment on Saturday at a news conference ahead of next week's presentation of the prizes. The remarks come as a global summit on climate change takes place in Madrid.
Polish writer Olga Tokarczuk won the 2018 Nobel Literature Prize while Austrian novelist and playwright Peter Handke took the 2019 award.