US ambassador visits CIRC and the Swedish Polar Research Secretariat in Abisko
Swedish and United States partnerships in science and the polar regions have a long history. This week the United States Ambassador Azita Raji and her team Michael J. Layne and Kristy Plan visited the Abisko Scientific Research Station to experience the Arctic in winter in Sweden first-hand.
Keith Larson (CIRC), Magnus Augner (Director of the Abisko Scientific Research Station), Azita Raji (US Ambassador), and Björn Dahlbäck (Director-General, the Swedish Polar Research Secretariat) in the dusk. There is no sunshine yet in this part of the Arctic. Photo: CIRC
Hosted by the Swedish Polar Research Secretariat, Ambassador Raji met with the heads of Polar, the Abisko research station, and Keith Larson project coordinator of the Climate Impacts Research Station, at Umeå University.
Strengthening Swedish-US partnerships, polar research, and climate change in the Arctic were a part of the conversation. Keith Larson gave a short presentation about the research and international cooperation the Climate Impacts Research Centre, EMG, and Umeå University have engaged in the Arctic.
“I think that the ambassador and her team enjoyed the experience at the research station. The first question I was asked by each person was “do you really live here year-round”. My response was that the Arctic and Abisko continually attracts interesting people, so yes!”, says Keith Larson.
Learning about climate change and the role of CIRC and the researchers in Abisko made a deep impression on the ambassador. The questions moved from particulars about the research program to how they as scientists are working with policy makers and decision makers to take action on climate change and the Arctic. Björn Dahlbäck, Director of Polar, further emphasized the role Umeå University was taking on Arctic issues and the importance of the science carried out by CIRC at the Abisko Scientific Research Station.
“I myself learned more about the strategic importance of Swedish and US relationships on issues in the polar regions, Arctic and Antarctica. Further, the role that Polar and the Swedish icebreakers play in US polar science”, says Keith Larson.
The Climate Impacts Research Centre, CIRC, conducts both research and education with focus on climate impacts on terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems in Arctic and alpine ecosystems. The aim is to integrate new knowledge in ecology and biogeochemistry to get a more thorough understanding of current conditions and making projections for the future. The operations are placed in the Abisko Scientific Research Station, 200 km northwest of Kiruna in the north of Sweden.