Estonian-Norwegian scientific cooperation discussed during joint webinar “The Changing Arctic”

The Estonian Academy of Sciences, Tallinn University of Technology, the Bjerknes Centre for Climate Research/University of Bergen and the Academia Europaea Bergen Knowledge Hub in cooperation with the Norwegian Embassy in Tallinn co-hosted the webinar “The Changing Arctic” on April 14th, a joint Estonian-Norwegian scientific event.

The webinar pointed towards further Estonian-Norwegian scientific cooperation in Arctic Research, and it also received media attention in Estonia.

Academic director at the AE-Bergen Hub, Eystein Jansen, gave an overview the Arctic/polar research landscape in Norway.

Academic director at the AE-Bergen Hub, Eystein Jansen, gave an overview the Arctic/polar research landscape in Norway.

Academic director at the AE-Bergen Hub, Eystein Jansen, presented at the webinar. His presentation focused on recent evidence classifying the current climate changes in the Arctic as abrupt changes, compared to previous periods of climate change. He also gave an overview the Arctic/polar research landscape in Norway.

In a press release, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Estonia writes:

The joint virtual seminar “The Changing Arctic” focused on scientific cooperation between the countries to deal, with climate change and other issues related to the Arctic. Estonian Foreign Minister Eva-Maria Liimets and the State Secretary of Norway Audun Halvorsen made introductory statements. The seminar was opened by the President of the Estonian Academy of Sciences Tarmo Soomere, and Norwegian Ambassador to Estonia Else Berit Eikeland made welcoming remarks.

Foreign Minister Eva-Maria Liimets said Arctic issues had a prominent place in the action plans of both Estonia and Norway. “As a country on the Arctic coast, Norway is a major scientific power in the Arctic, and we would like to learn from and cooperate with Norway in this field. Estonia is currently applying for observer status on the Arctic Council to contribute to the sustainable development of the Arctic.”

“Scientists are observing, interpreting and analysing rapid change in the Arctic,” Minister Liimets said. “Their message is clear: climate change is the challenge of our time and nowhere is it more obvious than in the Arctic. We can only get enough data to keep up with and adapt to change in the Arctic through joint measures and international cooperation. The Arctic ecosystem is vulnerable and it is the task of concerned countries to listen to scientists and work together.”

The webinar was moderated by Professor Maarja Kruusmaa, whose joint project MAMMAMIA with the University of Oslo looks at the mechanisms of accelerating land ice loss.

The webinar was moderated by Professor Maarja Kruusmaa, whose joint project MAMMAMIA with the University of Oslo looks at the mechanisms of accelerating land ice loss.

The State Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Norway Audun Halvorsen said that cooperation in Arctic research is crucial to adapting to climate change and developing new technologies that would contribute to sustainable jobs and the creation of values. “The rising temperatures in the Arctic are mainly caused by an increase in greenhouse gas emissions worldwide and not by human activity in the region. This means that we must set and meet global targets to improve the situation in the Arctic. And Norway is determined to do its part.”

At the webinar, scientists from Estonia and Norway gave a more detailed overview of the situation in the Arctic and the impacts of the Arctic climate change in the region and on ecosystems, and also presented their work and joint projects. The seminar reaffirmed the interest of both countries in continuing and boosting cooperation – the scientists of both countries are already involved in several projects. For example, TalTech’s Department of Geology and the Norwegian Polar Institute have been engaged in drilling and analysing ice cores in Svalbard.

The webinar was moderated by Professor Maarja Kruusmaa, whose joint project MAMMAMIA with the University of Oslo looks at the mechanisms of accelerating land ice loss.

The seminar was organised by the Estonian Academy of Sciences, TalTech and the Norwegian Embassy in Estonia. The programme was compiled by the Polar Research Committee of the Estonian Academy of Sciences, the Bjerknes Centre for Climate Research at the University of Bergen, and the Academia Europaea Bergen Hub. In addition to strengthening bilateral relations and advancing the polar cooperation of Estonia and Norway, the seminar also presented Estonia’s Arctic research expertise in light of Estonia’s bid for observer status on the Arctic Council.

The seminar is part of a series of events dedicated to the centenary of diplomatic relations between Estonia and Norway.

Watch the event here.

Estonian media covered the event, among them public broadcaster ERR.

Pathways towards more sustainable shipping in the Arctic

The webinar “Arctic Marine Operations and Shipping: Green Initiatives and Challenges”, organised by the Academia Europaea Bergen Knowledge Hub (AE-Bergen), Pacific Environment, University of Bergen, and Arctic Frontiers on April 7th 2021, is now available as a recording. In this article, you’ll also find selected highlights.

Major economies aim to be carbon neutral by 2050. Such an ambition implies an almost full transition away from using fossil fuels to power the transport sector, including maritime transport. How will the maritime Arctic be influenced by global responses to climate change? The webinar, organised by the Academia Europaea Bergen Knowledge Hub (AE-Bergen), Pacific Environment, University of Bergen, and Arctic Frontiers on 7 April 2021, addressed maritime transport in the Arctic and provided insights into a complex set of issues: the Arctic policy framework for marine safety and environmental protection; indigenous and conservation perspectives; green ship technology; marine infrastructure; and, what measures are needed to make Arctic marine operations and shipping more sustainable.

Jim Gamble (Director, Arctic Programme Director of Pacific Environment) chaired the webinar, and Eystein Jansen (Professor at the University of Bergen, the Bjerknes Centre for Climate Research and Academic Director of Academia Europaea Bergen Knowledge Hub) served as a moderator.

A recording of the webinar is available below: 

The full recording and discussion is also available in it’s original form on the Arctic Frontiers digital platform:  https://myonvent.com/event/arctic-frontiers.

In his presentation titled “Challenges and policies for Arctic marine operations and shipping”, Dr. Lawson Brigham highlighted the complexity of marine operations and shipping. Arctic marine operations should be discussed in the context of global changes and trends, as the Arctic cannot be separated from geopolitics, climate change, sanctions, and other regional and global processes. In many cases, the infrastructure deficit and lack of hydrographic, ocean, and meteorological data are challenging for safe operations. Implementation of the Polar Code will be critical in the following decades to ensure the safety of marine operations and environmental protection.

During the presentation entitled “The green transition for arctic shipping”, Morten Mejlænder-Larsen pointed out that the decarbonization pathways of shipping depend on regulatory and policy measures, fuel prices, and future seaborne trade demands. As of today, we are still far away from starting a transition.

During the webinar, several experts highlighted the lack of Arctic infrastructure as a barrier to the green transition within the maritime industry.

During the webinar, several experts highlighted the lack of Arctic infrastructure as a barrier to the green transition within the maritime industry.

The transition is expected to be costly. LNG is already used, primarily for deep-sea shipping. Ammonia and methanol are among the most promising alternative fuels in addition to sustainably produced biofuels. When it comes to engine technology, hybrid engines are becoming a new standard these days and bring many advantages for operations in the Arctic.

According to Hege Økland (CEO, Maritime CleanTech), 90% of shipping emissions come from international shipping. Due to the long life span of vessels, shipbuilders need to foresee future the upcoming regulations at an early stage, when ships are being planned and constructed.

Russia is the largest Arctic country, and hence the drivers of the development of the Russian Arctic are of great interest. According to Arild Moe, Research Professor at the Fridtjof Nansen Institute, it is essential to include Russian experts in the discussions focusing on the future technology and governance in Arctic shipping.

According to Dr. Moe, the primary traffic along the Northern Sea Route consists of destination shipping. The demand for international transit shipping remains somewhat unclear at this point as the economic benefit is uncertain.

Russia focuses on the development of Arctic transit shipping. While the Northern Sea Route is not a fully-fledged alternative to the Suez canal at the moment, it can serve as an option alongside the Suez as transit traffic picks up.

The Executive Director of the Bering Sea Elders Group, Mellisa Johnson,  highlighted the concern that the local communities in Alaska have regarding the food safety of the locally produced food they harvest and trade. Increased shipping poses several environmental threats, such as risks of oil spills and disturbance of animals’ migration patterns. “The ocean is our grocery store. Marine vessel traffic can influence our way of life”, – said Melissa Johnson.

Dr. Sian Prior is a lead advisor at the Clean Arctic Alliance, which advocates for HFO (heavy fuel oil) free Arctic Ocean. Dr. Prior highlighted the concern that black carbon emissions have increased in the Arctic by 85% between 2015 and 2019. She further highlighted the need to switch to the other type of fuels. Such shift alone can account for a 40% reduction in black carbon emissions. The use of filters can reduce emissions even further. According to Dr. Prior, Arctic shipping can become a flagship for the rest of the world.

During the webinar, several experts highlighted the lack of Arctic infrastructure as a barrier to the green transition within the maritime industry.  Regulatory aspects play a crucial role in the further implementation and scaling up of the existing technologies.

This webinar is the first step in a series of discussions ahead of the upcoming Arctic Frontiers 2022 conference. The work of Arctic Frontiers will traditionally facilitate pan-Arctic stakeholder engagement by linking business, policy, science, and society.

Furthermore, the theme of Arctic infrastructure will be among the core themes discussed during the conference in Tromsø in early 2022.

Active year for AE-Bergen amid Covid restrictions

The annual report of the Academia Europaea Bergen Knowledge Hub for 2020 is now available to download from our website. The report shows an active year, despite Covid restrictions. The AE-Bergen Hub participated in 7 live events before the pandemic, and 1 live event (Rosendal Week) during the relative easing of restrictions in August.

The Hub also participated in several digital events during 2020.

Several organisational developments took place, such as the establishment of a not-for-profit- company to be able to organise and coordinate activities e.g., for project management within Horizon Europe. Our nomination of Rebecca Cox to the SAM (Scientific Advice Mechanism) expert group on ‘How can Europe ensure adequate management of and better preparedness for future epidemics and pandemics in the global context?’ resulted in her participation as expert consultant for the report commissioned by the EU.

The AE-Bergen Hub annual report will also give indications of the key elements in our soon-to-be-finalised Strategy Plan.

You can view or download the annual report here.

 

The Changing Arctic

April 14th, 2021 at 09:00 (in Norway) 10:00 (in Estonia)

The Arctic has gained increased interest over the last decade as global climate change continues to transform the region. Norway and Estonia are both maritime countries with a long history of polar exploration and research. Now we are looking into new opportunities of Arctic research cooperation. The webinar celebrates the 100th anniversary of the diplomatic relations between Estonia and Norway.

The webinar celebrates the 100th anniversary of the diplomatic relations between Estonia and Norway, and the Norwegian-Estonian cooperation in climate change under the EEA and Norway Grants. Researchers from Estonia and Norway offer an insight into the state of play and their work in the Arctic – the glaciers and the sea, the indigenous people and the governance, methane seeps, algal blooms and the fungi.

The Estonian Academy of Sciences, Tallinn University of Technology, the Bjerknes Centre for Climate Research/University of Bergen and the Academia Europaea Bergen Knowledge Hub in cooperation with the Norwegian Embassy in Tallinn welcome you to a webinar on

The Changing Arctic – Strengthening the Arctic research cooperation between Estonia and Norway

on Wednesday, 14 April 2021 at 09:00 (in Norway) 10:00 (in Estonia)

See the program, and join the live streaming here.

The webinar is free of charge and open to all interested.

 

Green Initiatives and Challenges in the Arctic

The AE-Bergen Hub is one of the co-organizers of the webinar: Arctic Marine Operations and Shipping: Green Initiatives and Challenges.

Major economies aim to be carbon neutral by 2050. Such an ambition implies an almost full transition away from using fossil fuels to power the transport sector, including maritime transport. How will the maritime Arctic be influenced by global responses to climate change?

What measures are needed to make Arctic marine operations and shipping more sustainable?

What measures are needed to make Arctic marine operations and shipping more sustainable?

The webinar addresses maritime transport in the Arctic and will provide insights into a complex set of issues: the Arctic’s policy framework for marine safety and environmental protection; indigenous and conservation perspectives; green ship technology; marine infrastructure; and, what measures are needed to make Arctic marine operations and shipping more sustainable.

OrganizersAcademia Europaea Bergen Knowledge Hub (AE-Bergen), Pacific EnvironmentThe University of Bergen and Arctic Frontiers

Program: The program includes two keynotes followed by a moderated panel-debate with keynote speakers and panelists. The panelists will all give brief introductions between the keynotes and the debate. There will be opportunities for registered participants to ask questions in the debate by chat. Biographies of the contributors can be downloaded here.

Participation: The webinar is free and open to all. But participation requires registration. Before the webinar starts, you must log in to the Arctic Frontiers conference platform. Press a green button “Join as participant” in the top right corner. If you participated in the Arctic Frontiers 2021 conference, please choose the “LOG IN” option; If not, please select the “SIGN UP” option (a two-step process, which will allow attending future Arctic Frontiers events). The registration is open, and we recommend login/sign up ahead of the event.

The webinar will be streamed in the auditorium (enter the door from the lobby). It will be possible to ask participants questions on the auditorium’s live wall, which will be activated during the event.

Should you have any practical questions regarding the conference platform, please contact Alexey Pavlov (alexey@arcticfrontiers.com) at Arctic Frontiers.

When: 7th of April 2021, CET: 18.00-20.00 (Norway) and AKDT: 08.00-10.00 (Alaska)

Chair:  Jim Gamble, Arctic Programme Director of Pacific Environment

ModeratorEystein Jansen, Professor at the University of Bergen, the Bjerknes Centre for Climate Research and Academic Director of Academia Europaea Bergen Knowledge Hub

Keynotes:

Lawson Brigham, Wilson Fellow, Polar Institute of the Wilson Center
Challenges and policies for Arctic marine operations & shipping (20 minutes)

Morten Mejlænder-Larsen, Director of Arctic Operations and Technology, DNV
The green transition for arctic shipping (20 minutes)

Panelists:

Hege Økland, CEO at Maritime CleanTech
Green global shipping, status on technological aspects (5-7 minutes introduction)

Arild Moe, Senior Research Fellow, The Fridtjof Nansen Institute
Russian Arctic Shipping: Commercial and political drivers (5-7 minutes introduction)

Mellisa Johnson, Executive Director, Bering Sea Elders Group,
Community perspectives on Arctic shipping (5-7 minutes introduction)

Sian Prior, Lead Advisor to the Clean Arctic Alliance,
Sustainable Arctic Shipping – priorities from an environmental group perspective (5-7 minutes introduction)

 

Arctic Marine Operations and Shipping: Green Initiatives and Challenges

Major economies aim to be carbon neutral by 2050. Such an ambition implies an almost full transition away from using fossil fuels to power the transport sector, including maritime transport. How will the maritime Arctic be influenced by global responses to climate change?

The webinar addresses maritime transport in the Arctic and will provide insights into a complex set of issues: the Arctic’s policy framework for marine safety and environmental protection; indigenous and conservation perspectives; green ship technology; marine infrastructure; and, what measures are needed to make Arctic marine operations and shipping more sustainable.

OrganizersAcademia Europaea Bergen Knowledge Hub (AE-Bergen), Pacific EnvironmentThe University of Bergen and Arctic Frontiers

Program: The program includes two keynotes followed by a moderated panel-debate with keynote speakers and panelists. The panelists will all give brief introductions between the keynotes and the debate. There will be opportunities for registered participants to ask questions in the debate by chat. Biographies of the contributors can be downloaded here.

Participation: The webinar is free and open to all. But participation requires registration. Before the webinar starts, you must log in to the Arctic Frontiers conference platform. Press a green button “Join as participant” in the top right corner. If you participated in the Arctic Frontiers 2021 conference, please choose the “LOG IN” option; If not, please select the “SIGN UP” option (a two-step process, which will allow attending future Arctic Frontiers events). The registration is open, and we recommend login/sign up ahead of the event.

The webinar will be streamed in the auditorium (enter the door from the lobby). It will be possible to ask participants questions on the auditorium’s live wall, which will be activated during the event.

Should you have any practical questions regarding the conference platform, please contact Alexey Pavlov (alexey@arcticfrontiers.com) at Arctic Frontiers.

When: 7th of April 2021, CET: 18.00-20.00 (Norway) and AKDT: 08.00-10.00 (Alaska)

Chair:  Jim Gamble, Arctic Programme Director of Pacific Environment

ModeratorEystein Jansen, Professor at the University of Bergen, the Bjerknes Centre for Climate Research and Academic Director of Academia Europaea Bergen Knowledge Hub

Keynotes:

Lawson Brigham, Wilson Fellow, Polar Institute of the Wilson Center
Challenges and policies for Arctic marine operations & shipping (20 minutes)

Morten Mejlænder-Larsen, Director of Arctic Operations and Technology, DNV
The green transition for arctic shipping (20 minutes)

Panelists:

Hege Økland, CEO at Maritime CleanTech
Green global shipping, status on technological aspects (5-7 minutes introduction)

Arild Moe, Senior Research Fellow, The Fridtjof Nansen Institute
Russian Arctic Shipping: Commercial and political drivers (5-7 minutes introduction)

Mellisa Johnson, Executive Director, Bering Sea Elders Group,
Community perspectives on Arctic shipping (5-7 minutes introduction)

Sian Prior, Lead Advisor to the Clean Arctic Alliance,
Sustainable Arctic Shipping – priorities from an environmental group perspective (5-7 minutes introduction)

Digital media in crisis situations: rethinking their role and function

What has been the role of the media, including social media and local news, on our public debate, attitudes and behaviour during the coronavirus pandemic?

Trends point in different directions. Science advisors have gained high public profiles, with frequent media appearances that emphasise that government policy is ‘science-led’. At the same time, the pandemic has coincided with a climate of populism, ‘post-truth’ and ‘fake news’, made easier by social media and other digital platforms that can spread misinformation, uncertainty and fear.

The webinar “Digital media in crisis situations: rethinking their role and function” is organized by the Academia Europaea Cardiff Knowledge Hub. Time: March 1th, 15.30-16.30 CET. Registration here:

Digital media in crisis situations: rethinking their role and function

Taking action on plastics pollution: are biodegradable plastics the answer?

February 4th, 2021. 15:00. Online webinar

In this SAPEA webinar, a distinguished panel of experts will explore the potential role that biodegradable plastics could play in our society, and what practical steps are needed next to shape European policy on the issue. The audience will be able to pose questions and contribute to the debate.

Registration here.

The 2021 SDG Conference

February 10. – 12. 2021, Bergen, online event

The 2021 SDG Conference considers the COVID-19 pandemic’s impact on equality

While the world has united behind the 2030 Agenda, rising global inequalities have long threatened to derail the progress made so far. Adding to this, the outbreak of covid-19 has had devastating impacts across the world. Recognizing this global fundamental challenge, the 2021 SDG Conference Bergen focuses on tackling global inequalities, relevant for all of the goals, to achieve a new path for sustainable development, after the crisis.