EGU: Seasonal climate forecasts found wanting

It’s a warm and sunny spring day today in Vienna can you guess then whether the coming summer will be colder or warmer than usual? Well, if you think that you hardly have more – though certainly not less – than a 50% chance of getting it right you’re, uhm, right. But guess what: Supercomputer-powered seasonal climate forecasts don’t do much better.  Read more

Arctic Frontiers: The fish are allright

The talk that in some sense stood out this morning was deliverd by Einar Svendsen, research director at the Norwegian Institute of Marine Research. While the general feeling here is one of grave concern, about the future of fragile Arctic environments, Svendsen told the surprised audience that climate change so far has been good to Norway, namely as far as fisheries are concerned. Economically important fish stocks off Norway (the world’s second-largest exporter of fish) and in the Barents Sea have fully recovered from a dramatic collapse in the late 1960s, to which overfishing and a temporary cooling of the North Atlantic seem to have equally contributed. Cod, haddock and saith populations are currently all in good shape, he reported.  Read more

Arctic Frontiers

The University of Tromsø, an ancient Norwegian city 350 kilometres inside the Arctic circle, this week hosts the 3rd ‚Arctic Frontiers’ conference. The meeting, a two-day policy conference, followed by a three-day science conference, not only celebrates the return of the Sun to this part of the world, but also the end of the International Polar Year 2007-2008, which wraps up next month.  Read more

On board the Amundsen: Goodbye and adieu

On board the Amundsen: Goodbye and adieu

Spending one week on board the CCGS Amundsen has been a humbling, inspiring, and altogether amazing experience for me. As I said before, it has been a great privilege, too – not even Nature’s science reporters often get to see spots as grandiose and pristine as the Canadian Arctic.  Read more

On board the Amundsen: Radars and wizards

On board the Amundsen: Radars and wizards

“The scatterometer is purring like a kitten“, Randy Scharien proudly told the sea ice team when we came back from the ice today, just in time for lunch (Tuna Salad, Italian Sausages with Rosée Sauce, Queen Elizabeth Cake – have I mentioned that Jacques Beaudet, our chef cook from Shawinigan, Québec, is a true wizard?)  … Read more