Interdisciplinary cooperation on impacts of climate change in the Arctic

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Abstract

Impact of Climate Change on Resources, Maritime Transport and Geopolitics in the Arctic and the Svalbard Area; Svalbard, Norway, 21–28 August 2011 Drastic changes in the Arctic climate directly relate to resource and transport development and complex geopolitical challenges in the Arctic. To encourage future interdisciplinary cooperation among political, social, and climate scientists, 30 early-career researchers from varied backgrounds—including climate change, resources, polar maritime transport, and geopolitics—assembled in Svalbard, Norway. Ola Johannessen, president of the Norwegian Scientific Academy of Polar Research, led this diverse group to highlight the importance of collaboration across disciplines for broadening the terms in which assessments are defined, thus collapsing distinctions between the physical and the human Arctic. He also highlighted the feasibility of conducting effective assessment exercises within short time frames. The group was also mentored by Willy Østreng, author of Science Without Boundaries: Interdisciplinarity in Research, Society, and Politics, who aided participants in understanding the process of interdisciplinary collaboration rather than creating an assemblage of discrete findings.

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