Interdisciplinary top-level research yielding results

22.11.2013
On 12-13 November, the NordForsk programme committees for the Top-level Research Initiative (TRI) held their annual conferences.

Each committee presented itself and research results achieved thus far to its respective Scientific Advisory Board (SAB). The boards praised the Nordic Centres of Excellence (NCoEs) for their ongoing efforts. In addition to the results, topics discussed included international cooperation, career opportunities for young researchers, dissemination activities and cooperation between the NCoEs.

Mark Serreze“We are at the very cutting edge of research,” said Professor Mark Serreze of the University of Colorado in his opening speech to participants from the sub-programme Interaction between Climate Change and the Cryosphere. He heads the SAB for the sub-programme. “The results coming in now and the collaboration between the NCoEs are vital contributions to the global initiative to identify the relationship between climate change in the Arctic and greenhouse gas emissions.”

Torben Christensen, project manager of the NCoE DEFROST, spoke of the field work his centre is carrying out, such as using mobile monitoring equipment in a variety of Arctic locations. Another test method they use is gradual thawing of earth samples in the laboratory. In his presentation Professor Christensen said, “We know the Arctic is very fragile, we know the permafrost is thawing, but we don’t know how much carbon is out there.”

Signe Hillerup LarsenThe dissemination of research results is given high priority under the TRI, particularly in this final phase of the programme period. A large number of articles and publications have been produced, and the final results will be comprehensive. Furthermore, researchers at the NCoE Stability and Variations of Arctic Land Ice (SVALI) are putting together a multilingual website targeting schools at various levels.

Under the sub-programme Effect Studies and Adaptation to Climate Change, a number of projects addressing where and how the impacts of climate change may strike were presented. Topics under this sub-programme include the visualisation of vulnerable areas in the form of maps used for policy development, impacts on agriculture and selection of crops and seed grain, and cooperation between researchers and insurers regarding the safety of land tracts for purposes of building development.


Links to video interviews are incorporated in the text.

Text: Anne Riiser, NordForsk
Photo: Terje Heiestad

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