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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.

Icebergs in Disco Bay

The Disko Bay, or Qeqertarsuup tunua as it is called in Greenlandic, receives icebergs from the famous Jakobshavn Glacier, which is one of the fastest moving bodies of ice on Earth. Some of the icebergs make it into the Davis Strait but quite a few become stranded before getting that far. Once stranded, waves will cut into them and they usually break apart before drifting further. The young, volcanic rocks on Disko Island (Qeqertarsuaq) are the source for the dark, almost black beaches. Photo: Øyvind Paasche

At the polar frontier

In 2016 you could find Bjerknes Centre scientists in the Nordic Seas, on Greenland and in Antarctica. Among our 210 published articles in 2016, a substantial number treat subjects related to the polar regions.

Researchers from the University of Bergen are the seventh most cited among the 170 largest research institutions performing Arctic research, according to a recent study commissioned by the University of the Arctic. Among Norwegian institutions, it is the highest ranked, both in terms of citations and the number of publications on Arctic science. Bjerknes Centre scientists are part of this. 

At the polar science frontier new knowledge is hard to obtain but critical, as it becomes evermore clear that changes in the polar regions impact not only areas above 65 degrees north or south, but also lower latitudes. The connectivity of polar climate has long been underestimated, and it is becoming increasingly clear that knowledge of the climate system as a whole is more often than not a pre-requisite for understanding local observations.

Given the harsh environment of the Arctic and Antarctica, extensive collaborations with other institutes and nations are pivotal for success. The Bjerknes Centre collaborates with universities and research institutions globally, and we attract young, talented polar scientists to come and work with us.

The publications presented in our annual report for 2016 highlight some of the insights we have gained from working in these tough environments. Several of the papers have been spearheaded by young and upcoming scientists with a unique overview of the physical processes at play in these cool regions where climate is changing faster than most other places on Earth.

Read the annual report here (pdf). 

One of our selected publications explains why climate change warms nights more than days, two treat the connection between a warm Arctic and mid-latitude weather, and one the influence of Arctic climate change on the circulation in the Atlantic Ocean.

Despite the attention given to the future, understanding climate and climate change is as much about exploring the world as it is today. One of our selected studies shows that warm water reaches much farther south than previously thought; possibly influencing Antarctic ice sheets in ways we are not aware of. Another documents the case of a storm that mixed surface water three times as deep as normal. The last of our selected publications goes way back in time, using algae to find out how Arctic temperatures have varied over the last 12,000 years.

The complete list of Bjerknes publications for 2016 can also be found here