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The Bjerknes Centre is a collaboration on climate research, between the University of Bergen, Uni Research, the Institute of Marine Research, Nansen Environmental and Remote Sensing Centre.

Henning Åkesson og Øyvind Paasche

Henning Åkesson and Øyvind Paasche invite Nordic researchers to sign a petition supporting their American colleagues. Photo: Ellen Viste

Mobilizing Nordic support for American scientists

Scientists at the Bjerknes Centre for Climate Research invite colleagues in the Nordic countries to sign a support letter for scientific integrity and the Paris climate agreement.

 

The open letter is addressed to President Donald Trump and his administration and emphasizes the importance that the United States complies with the Paris agreement and that climate research must be protected from political agendas.

Read the open letter here

Sign the letter here

Showing support

Henning Åkesson is a PhD candidate at the University of Bergen and the Bjerknes Centre and received a corresponding letter from American colleagues last week. He therefore took the initiative to write a Nordic support letter. The Nordic open letter for American climate science is now being sent around to researchers in higher education in Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Faroe Islands and Iceland.

Together with co-author Øyvind Paasche, project leader and senior adviser at the Bjerknes Centre, they now invite fellow Nordic scientists to sign the petition.

- The idea is that the letter is not formally from different research institutions, but that we as scientists would like to show our support and coherence on scientific integrity and how important the Paris agreement is, says Åkesson.

­- The aim of the letter is to demonstrate our support to American colleagues in climate science, to remind Trump and his administration about the importance of a science free from political agendas, and to stress the significance of complying with the Paris agreement so that we can avoid dangerous climate change, says Øyvind Paasche.

Massive reactions

Since Trump took office, resistance like the massive Women’s March the day after his inauguration, has met his political agenda. Now many new initiatives are in the making, such as for instance the march planned for April 29 organized by People’s Climate March.

Henning Åkesson returned from a research stay at University of California, Irvine a few days after Donald Trump was installed in the White House.

- Californians generally support the Democrats and many are critical to Trump’s plans. Even so, the atmosphere was somehow characterized by waiting for what actually would happen. The American open letter was written a few weeks ago and has so far received 2311 signatures from faculty members at universities in California.

Åkesson and Paasche hope to get widespread support for their open letter, and would like to see corresponding letters from Europe. Finally, the question is if a letter would really matter?

- Scientific integrity is something worth defending, and every effort counts. This letter is from climate scientists and an academic environment, and the point is that they speak with authority on these issues. And nothing would be better if someone brings this forward and write a European Climate Letter, for example, says Paasche.