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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.

Strategiske prosjekt

Prosjekt under SKD - Senter for klimadynamikk
 

Bjerknessenteret finaniserer strategiske frittstående forskningsprosjekter.
 

Strategiske prosjekt

Over halvparten av bevilgningen fra Kunnskapsdepartementet brukes til strategiske frittstående forskningsprosjekter. Disse fungerer som såkornsmidler som bringer forskere fra alle partnerne sammen om felles aktiviteter, som igjen fører til nye ideer og metoder, i tillegg til at resultatene blir publisert i høyprofilerte tidsskrift.

De første strategiske prosjektene ble gjennomført i perioden 2011-2015. I alt ble det finansiert 7 forskningsprosjekter med et totalbudsjett på 62 MNOK.  De avsluttende rapportene kan lastes ned her.

En ny intern utlysning ble avviklet i 2014 for å velge nye stategiske prosjekter for perioden 2015-2018. Ut av 30 innkomne søknader ble det valgt 8 som fikk allokert 42 MNOK for hele perioden. Les om prosjektene under:

1. WACYEX - Water Cycle Extremes across Scales

Prosjektet vil samle forskere med ekspertise på flere skalaer, fra lokal topografi til planetære bølger, for å forstå nye aspekter ved ekstreme nedbørshendelser.

2. PARADIGM - Prediction and Regional Downscaling Models

I dag kan man varsle været over dager og klima over hundrevis av år, mens lite kan sies om utviklingen neste vinter eller neste tiår. Observasjonsdata kombinert med vår klimavarslingsmodell vil bli brukt for å prøve å minske dette kunnskapshullet.

3. FRESHWATER - Freshwater from the shelf to the interior ocean: effect on climate and water-mass transformation in the Nordic Seas

Formålet er å bedre kunnskapen om effekten av økt ferskvannstilstrømming til de Nordiske hav for å kunne varsle hva som vil være effekten av klimaendringer.

4. BIGCHANGE - Biogeochemical change and detection

Kjemiske oseanografer og paleoklimatologer vil samarbeide for å se på karbonsyklusen under fortidshavet. Prosjektet bygger på resultatene til DYNAWARM og BIOFEEDBACK.

5. BASIC - Boundary Layers in the Arctic Atmosphere, Seas and Ice Dynamics

Prosjektet skal se på utviklingen av fremtidens klimasystem, med fokus på den raske oppvarmingen av Nord Atlanterhavet og dets pan-arktiske implikasjoner.

6. iNcREASE - Northern European and Arctic Sea level

Havnivåstigning er hovedtema til dette prosjektet og til dette vil man se nøyere på de indre prosessene i havet som har vist seg å ha en stor betydning.

7. MARGINS - Greenland Margins: Glacial Ice, Ocean and Atmospheric Dynamics

Studien av dynamikken mellom havet og atmosfæren og dets påvirkning på den store iskappen på Grønland vil kreve mye interdisiplinær forskning i dette prosjektet.

8. MEDEVAC - Mechanisms of multi-Decadal Varibility in the Climate system

Paleoklimatologer vil blant mye annet studere ”årringene” til skjell på havbunnen, som for tre-ringer på land, til å beregne hvordan klimaet har variert siste tusen år.

 

1. Water Cycle Extremes across Scales (WaCyEx)

Quote: “Including people with knowledge of processes at all scales – from local topography to planetary waves – may allow us to understand completely new aspects of precipitation extremes.” Asgeir Sorteberg

In Norway, extreme precipitation events and flooding normally occur when strong low pressure systems enter the Norwegian Sea. How much rain there will be depends on how much moisture the air contains, and to what degree strong winds drive moist air in over land. Global warming will likely lead to more moisture in the air, and the number of extreme rainfall events has already increased in many parts of the world. WaCyEx will quantify observed changes in extreme precipitation events in Norway since 1900, as well as investigate the weather systems that caused them and how such systems may be influenced by the sea-surface temperature in the Gulf Stream and sea ice in the Arctic. Also, the project will use a model that combines meteorology and hydrology to investigate how rivers respond to various types of extreme events. With this project the scientists may finally be able to answer a question that has been asked for a long time: where does the water that rains down over Norway come from?

Facts:

Leader: Asgeir Sorteberg

Partners: NERSC, UNI, UiB

Duration: 2015–2017

Budget: NOK 4 mill.

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2. Prediction and Regional Downscaling Models (PARADIGM)

Quote:  “In addition to the potential of achieving realistic short-term climate predictions for regions on land, I find it extremely exciting that we may be able to use climate predictions in future fisheries management.” Anne Britt Sandø

Weather forecast models provide detailed charts for the coming days, whereas global climate models project the large-scale climate for the coming century. PARADIGM steps into the gap in-between, aiming to provide predictions for the next decade, sufficiently detailed to be useful for society in our region. 

The prediction model has given promising results from technical tests. The results from 2015 show good possibilities for predictions in the northern Norwegian Sea outside Lofoten, an area important for Norwegian fisheries. Assimilation of sea ice is the main activity in the project now. Different evaluation tools have been made and are ready to be applied at different steps in the prediction model development. A new publication on model evaluation is in progress. Assessment of different downscaling models, with quantification of errors and uncertainties due to resolutions jumps and spin-up is a parallel activity in the project.

Facts

Leader — Anne Britt Sandø

Partners — NERSC, IMR, UNI, UiB

Duration — 2015–2018

Budget — NOK 6 mill.

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3. Freshwater from the shelf to the interior ocean: effect on climate and water-mass transformation in the Nordic Seas (Freshwater)

Quote: “With the objective to improve process understanding of the role of "Freshwater" in the Nordic Seas, this project has a particular importance for the prediction of future response to a warming climate.” Øystein Skagseth

Freshwater from the Arctic Ocean and the Greenland ice sheet is transported southward by the East Greenland Current along the western boundary of the Nordic Seas. Some of this freshwater is diverted into the Iceland Sea, where wintertime formation of dense water provides a source to the lower limb of the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation. This process is very sensitive to the salinity of the surface layer. In the Freshwater project we will combine sea-shell records and historical observations of sea-ice drift with instrumental observations and models to investigate how freshwater from the East Greenland Current impacts dense-water formation in the Iceland Sea as well as the composition and exchange of water masses between the various basins of the Nordic Seas. The expected increase in the freshwater loading of the East Greenland Current due to global warming makes the Freshwater project particularly timely and important.

Facts:

Leaders: Øystein Skagseth og Kjetil Våge

Partners: NERSC, IMR, UNI, UiB

Duration: 2015–2017

Budget: NOK 4 mill.

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4. Biogeochemical change and detection (BIGCHANGE)

Quote: “I am really excited about the collaboration between Bjerknes biogeochemists and palaeoceanographers that this project makes possible.” Are Olsen

Circulation strongly affects the ocean’s capacity for taking up CO2 from the atmosphere. A good understanding of this relationship is thus essential for projecting the uptake of fossil-fuel CO2 emissions and to allow the interpretation of carbon-based proxies in palaeo records that can then be used to study the ocean circulation of the past. BIGCHANGE will investigate the Atlantic carbon cycle and related circulation for the present-day, the recent past, past inter-glacials and the mid-Pliocene, about three million years ago. As a period when the global mean temperature was 2–3°C higher than today, carbon records from the mid-Pliocene can say something about what may be expected in a warmer future. BIGCHANGE will also improve a climate model’s representation of ocean acidification, as well as methane and CO2 in permafrost ground.  

Facts:

Leaders: Are Olsen and Jerry Tjiputra

Partners: NERSC, IMR, UNI, UiB

Duration: 2015–2018

Budget: NOK 6 mill.

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5. Boundary Layers in the Arctic Atmosphere, Seas and Ice Dynamics (BASIC) 

Quote: “We are excited to look at Earth’s future climate already today. As the Atlantic Arctic is warming faster and stronger than the rest of the world, we have the opportunity to observe environmental shifts which will happen in 20–40 years on the pan-Arctic scale.” Igor Ezau

The boundary between the ocean and the atmosphere in the Arctic is changing. Observations show a “new Arctic”, with thinner sea ice, stronger storms and turbulence, enhanced precipitation, increased ecosystem productivity and thawing permafrost. BASIC focuses on complex boundary processes in the marginal ice zone, a zone that is becoming more widespread, and where the exchange of heat, moisture and CO2 between the air, sea and ice has a strong influence on both the ocean and the atmosphere. Specific attention is given to interacting air-sea boundary layer processes, which are key to controlling the sea-ice extent. The project will use data from several field campaigns, as well as high-resolution models that include turbulence.

Facts:

Leader: Igor Esau

Partners: NERSC, UNI, UiB

Duration: 2015–2017

Budget: NOK 6 mill.

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6. NoRthern European and Arctic Sea lEvel (iNcREASE)

Quote: “With this project we have the opportunity to focus on the largest and most uncertain component of sea-level change along our coasts that also has immediate potential for improvement in the climate models, the internal processes of the oceans!” Jan Even Øie Nilsen

iNcREASE seeks to improve projections of future sea level in the North Sea and along the Norwegian coast. Global warming causes sea-level changes in several ways. Obviously, melting of ice sheets adds more water to the oceans, but the temperature itself also has an effect: warmer water takes up more space. With more water to heat and expand, the effect will be larger in the deep oceans than on shallow shelves around the continents. As a result, water will flow towards land to level out the difference. In the North Sea and on the Norwegian continental shelf, variations in the speed of the Norwegian Atlantic Current also affect the sea level. iNcREASE will take into account these effects and provide updated projections of coastal sea level for the coming century.

Facts:

Leader: Jan Even Øie Nilsen

Partners: NERSC, UiB

Duration: 2015–2017

Budget: NOK 4 mill.

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7. Greenland Margins: Glacial Ice, Ocean and Atmospheric Dynamics (MARGINS)

Quote: “MARGINS represents an exciting opportunity for real cross-disciplinary research on one of the hottest topics out there – and one of the coolest places there is.” Martin Miles

The small ice caps, mountain glaciers and outlet glaciers along the margins of Greenland respond more quickly to climatic changes than the vast Greenland ice sheet. MARGINS seeks to understand how these glaciers interact with the atmosphere, ocean and Arctic sea ice. Glaciers that calve into the fjords of southeast and west Greenland are exposed to sea water, and affected differently depending on whether this is temperate water from the Atlantic or polar water from the north. This means that sediment cores and other glacier-related geological data can be used to detect circulation changes in the ocean and atmosphere in the past. As such interpretations require knowledge of how the glaciers respond to circulation changes today, satellite data, and models of glacier dynamics, fjord circulation and hydrology, will be used to investigate how the glaciers vary in the present time. Importantly, MARGINS is organised across components (glaciers, ocean, atmosphere), rather than along disciplinary lines.

Facts:

Leaders: Jostein Bakke and Martin Miles

Partners: NERSC, IMR, UNI, UiB

Duration: 2015–2017

Budget: NOK 6 mill.

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8. Mechanisms of multi-Decadal Variability in the Climate system (MEDEVAC)

Quote: “It will be particularly exciting to find out what sea-shells can teach us about climate in the past millennium. They can be considered the ‘tree-rings of the ocean’ , and can give us climate information back in time on seasonal to annual time scales, which is truly amazing.” Odd Helge Otterå

In the MEDEVAC-project we will use climate models to study and better characterise the mechanisms of climate variability on a decadal to centennial scale. We will study instrumental and proxy data from various sources, such as tree-rings, seashells, ice cores, glaciers, and lake and ocean sediments, to learn about the climate in the past. One particular goal of MEDEVAC is to assess the relative role of poleward atmospheric and oceanic heat transport and their coupling through the so-called Bjerknes compensation mechanism. Thus far, meridional heat transports in NorESM have been calculated and analyzed. There is a peak anti-correlation in the high latitudes as expected. There is a slightly higher peak that occurs at around 39.25 N, likely related to the North Atlantic storm tracks.

Further model sensitivity experiments using NorESM are planned later in 2016. In terms of sclerochronology, a total of 148 specimens of the bivalve species Arctica islandica from the Faroese Shelf have been analyzed (see picture on page 40). Preliminary geochemical analyses indicate that a seasonal temperature signal is preserved in the delta-O-18 composition of the growth increments. Furthermore, the reconstructed temperatures correlate best with observed sea-surface temperatures from around April to July. This is in agreement with the main growing season of phytoplankton on the Faroese Shelf and further suggests elevated primary productivity to be one of the most important driving factors for the shell growth in A. islandica. In the coming months more samples will be extracted for geochemical analyses.

Facts

Leader — Odd Helge Otterå

Partners — NERSC, UNI, UiB

Duration — 2015–2017

Budget — NOK 6 mill.

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