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PolarRES General Assembly September 2022

28 October 2022

PolarRES partners meet in Bergen, Norway for the first time in-person!

At the end of September many members of the PolarRES consortium came and gathered in Bergen, Norway for the first in-person annual meeting. Due to COVID, the kick-off last year had to take place online, so it was a great opportunity to finally see each other face to face!

The general assembly took place over two days, 26 and 27 of September, at the Scandic in Bergen, Norway. On the first day everyone had the chance to introduce themselves, and finally put a face to a name after six months of slack messages and email exchanges! Our Coordinator, Priscilla Mooney, gave everyone a warm welcome and re-capped the achievements of the consortium during the first year of the project.  This was followed by several other presentations highlighting the importance of research collaboration among the consortium and with external platforms such as with the IPCC, our sister H2020 projects, and the EU Polar Cluster.

Each PolarRES work package then gave a presentation updating the entire consortium on their progress so far and what is to come in the next months. Naturally, a noteworthy focus in this regard has been the work in PolarRES WP 1, where the development of PolarRES storylines analytical framework.  

As discussed at the meeting, our attention is focused on two climate risks over land: high-latitude fires and permafrost thaw; and two areas of concern that may be impacted by global warming over the high-latitude oceans: changes in ocean primary productivity and trans-Arctic shipping.

PolarRES storylines

Projections of the climate response to anthropogenic global warming within a given emission scenario remain plagued by large inter-model spreads, especially at regional and local scales relevant for policy making. Improvement in climate models has been slower than our need for accurate climate predictions at the regional scales, which is a necessity for making our society resilient to climate change. The storyline approach is a novel analytical framework that uses known correlation in the climate systems found across climate model simulation to narrow down the spread in climate predictions and provide concrete outcomes of climate change at the regional scale.

A key component of the research science in year one of PolarRES has been to develop, test and present the storylines of the polar climate in both hemispheres, predicting various climate change outcomes for the Arctic and Antarctic regions for the end of the 21st century, under a global warming scenario. Those outcomes, called storylines, will be then used to quantify in subsequent WP’s how climate change impacts the various climate risks identified by PolarRES.

Views from the top of Fløyen

On the second day dedicated sessions focused on maximizing the impact of the project with a dedicated Work Package and small group discussions on how our research would be implemented in the future.

A poster session was held in the afternoon where more than 10 posters served as a basis for breakout discussions between PolarRES researchers, both within and across our research work packages.

Xavier Levine (NORCE) and Jen Freer (BAS) discussing Diapods in the Arctic.

Annual meetings are a great way for members of PolarRES to touch base with one another in person. Zoom and Teams calls cannot compare to the connection and unity one feels when seeing their colleagues and collaborators in person. We look forward to the next one in 2023!