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Norwegian researchers key in IPCC’s synthesis on climate change

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) recently presented its report synthesising the reports of the three Working Groups in 2014. For the first time, Norwegian researchers have been involved in working on the Synthesis Report itself.

Professor Karen O’Brien of the Department of Sociology and Human Geography at the University of Oslo and Research Director Jan Fuglestvedt at the Center for International Climate and Environmental Research – Oslo were the Norwegian representatives on the Core Writing Team of 74 researchers from 35 countries.

In addition, 20 Norwegian researchers have been members of the writing teams for the three Working Group reports that form the basis for the Synthesis Report, while another eighteen have contributed to this work in other ways.

“Climate researchers in Norway are among the best in the world,” asserts Arvid Hallén, Director General of the Research Council of Norway. “Their efforts are rooted in strong scientific traditions, and in the past ten years they have had ample, long-term funding enabling them to build outstanding research environments.”

According to Mr Hallén, there are other research groups in Norway that also have great potential to achieve a position in the international research front. “If we are to make further strides, national funding for climate research must be stepped up,” he says.

Knowledge-building must continue

The two researchers recently presented the Synthesis Report to Norwegian Minister of Climate and Environment Tine Sundtoft, who emphasised the importance of expanding knowledge about the climate.

“That is completely in alignment with the Research Council’s input to the national budget for research,” says Mr Hallén. “The climate challenge is our greatest societal challenge, and a great deal of new knowledge will be needed to be able to deal with and reduce the impact of the changes we are facing.”

More integrated research

“Climate-related knowledge must be made more applicable and relevant,” the Director General goes on to say. “Research must therefore incorporate social science and humanities perspectives and be closely linked to research questions in adjacent fields and to relevant sectors and industries.”

According to Mr Hallén, the new Synthesis Report clearly underlines the importance of interdisciplinary collaboration. Researchers such as Karen O’Brien and Jan Fuglestvedt have made contributions from widely different fields. Thus this year’s Synthesis Report offers new, more unified perspectives which have not been part of previous reports.

Download the Synthesis Report of the IPCC Fifth Assessment Report on the IPCC website.

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