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The cream of climate experts meets in Norway

At the same time as there have been recent news releases about increased global warming, leading climatologists meet in Bergen to work on the IPCC Fourth Assessment Report.

The Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change (IPCC) gets together in Bergen, Norway, 26-29 June, as part of their preparation for the Fourth Assessment Report. The Bjerknes Centre for Climate Research (BCCR) at the University of Bergen will host the event. As this is the last meeting before the report will be published in early 2007 what is to be decided here are of great significance for those involved in climate change and climate policy decisions.

The IPCC assessment reports are the result of a comprehensive process including reviews from both experts and governments. The reports are recognized as the central scientific document used by politicians all over the world in local and international negotiations.

- We are happy that IPCC has chosen Bergen as the site of this event. It contributes to consolidate Norway’s position as a leading nation concerning climate research, says Dr. Eystein Jansen, the director at BCCR. He is also one of the Coordinating Lead Authors for the forthcoming IPCC report.

3 Celsius hotter

Both British and Canadian newspapers have reported leaks from IPCC drafts that have been available on the Internet as part of the review process. It is reported that the world will warm by 3C within 2050.The pattern of warming ocean, surface and lower atmosphere temperatures, with melting ice at the poles and falling temperatures at the stratosphere make it unlikely that natural changes could be responsible. However, the media reports are premature as the final assessment is not to be published before February 2007, and the authors still have much work to do to finalize their conclusions.

In the Bergen meeting, IPCC Working group 1 is in the last round of the review process. The authors have received 17 000 comments on the last draft of their report. Each has to be responded to, so the time in Bergen has to be used efficiently.

The key to the future is to be found in the past

For the first time, a separate chapter is devoted to paleoclimate (climates of the past) in the IPCC report, which reflects upon the increased focus on paleoclimate studies which are needed for distinguishing natural and man made changes. One of the two coordinating lead authors for this chapter is Dr. Eystein Jansen from BCCR.

- We are happy to have this role. Bjerknes Centre of Research has a strong emphasis within the field of paleoclimate studies, which are essential to understand past, present and future climate changes. A number of recent studies of past climate changes have provided scientific evidence underlining the uniqueness of the ongoing climate changes which can only be understood as a result of both human activity and natural variations, says Jansen.


The meeting is first and foremost an internal working meeting for the IPCC report authors (Working Group 1 Physical Science Basis for Climate Change), but the opening will be open and followed by a press briefing with questions. Henriette Westhrin, State Secretary, Ministry of the Environment, Norwegian Government shall open the event, which takes place at Solstrand Hotel, Monday 26 June, 9.00 am. Press briefing and questions, approximately 10.00 am.

Among the participants: IPCCs leder Dr Pachauri from India, Dr. Susan Solomon from USA and Dr. Qin Dahe from China who lead IPCC-Working Group 1, Coordination Lead Author and Director of Centre for Climate Research Dr. Eystein Jansen and Lead Author Dr. Christoph Heinze also from BCCR.

Dr. Jill Johannessen | alfa
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