Friday 12 March 2021, No 5, Week 10
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Director's note

Historical wildcards

I am a big fan of Dan Carlin’s Hardcore History podcast series. Some of the long stories, sometimes exceeding 20 hours, are awesome. He often talks about major historical wildcards, where a random event can completely change the course of history. Many of these events, from the dawn of civilization until present, have been related to earthquakes, tsunamis or pandemics.

Today, it is one year since Norway followed the rest of Europe and essentially closed down society. While many of us believed it was a matter of weeks or perhaps a few months before life would be back to normal, the pandemic is still taking its toll. An interesting question is how the pandemic will influence climate. While short-term effects on atmospheric CO2 concentrations are small, long-term effects of new ways to work and interact will probable be much larger.  

Yesterday, it was ten years since the Tōhoku earthquake off the coast of Japan. Being close to 9,1 on the Richter scale, it is among the most powerful in instrumental records. In less than 10 minutes, the first tsunami waves hit the coast, devastating everything along their paths several kilometers inland, and causing close to 20 000 deaths.  
Power shutdown and flooded backup systems led to nuclear meltdown in the Fukushama power plant, and subsequent leakage of radioactive materials both to the atmosphere and the ocean. More than hundred thousand people were evacuated, many permanently.  Total costs of the earthquake are estimated to 360 billion US$, making it the costliest natural disaster in history. 
The event led to a shutdown of nuclear power plants in Japan and many other countries, power supplies that to a large extent are replaced by coal. One way to illustrate this, is that while CO2 emissions per capita were almost the same in Japan and Norway in 2010, 9,44 versus 9,46 tons, the Japanese emissions were 13 percent higher than Norway’s two years later. 
From historical wildcards to something completely different. Flavia Boscolo-Galazzo and colleagues have published a compelling study in Science showing how the cooling of the oceans during the last 15 million years has increased the biological carbon pump, that is the transport rate of organic matters from the surface to the depths of the oceans, triggering deep plankton evolution and ecosystem changes in the mesopelagic twilight zone. It was interesting to read!

Save the dates!
The dates are set for the Bjerknes Annual Meeting 2021. The meeting will take place from 27-29.September 2021. Please mark your calendars!
The Bjerknes Survey
Dear all
Thanks a lot for participating in the Bjerknes survey some weeks ago.  The results of the survey, with all your valuable comments, provide important input to the ongoing strategic discussions.  
Please join us on Teams (link will be provided before the meeting) for a presentation of the results on Friday March 19 at 10:00.
Best wishes,
Gudrun Sylte and Tore Furevik
Would you like to participate in Forsker Grand Prix?
Forsker Grand Prix is a competition where ten PhD students from Bergen are competing in front of an audience and a panel of judges, to become the best presenter of their research. In the first round, the students will have four minutes to present their research and its up to the audience and the judges to decide which top three will proceed to the second round. Here they will have another four minutes to captivate the audience and the judges. Deadline for application is 30 April.

Apply here
Vacant positions
Direktør ved Bjerknessenteret for klimaforskning – åremålsstilling
University of Bergen
New deadline: 16 March 2021
PhD Research Fellow in Climate Dynamics at the Department of Earth Science
University of Bergen
Deadline: 1st April 2021

World Climate Research Programme (WCRP) News

The digital revolution of Earth-system science

Computational science is crucial for delivering reliable weather and climate predictions. However, despite decades of high-performance computing experience, there is serious concern about the sustainability of this application in the post-Moore/Dennard era. In this article published in Nature Computational Science, WCRP authors discuss the present limitations in the field and propose the design of a novel infrastructure that is scalable and more adaptable to future, yet unknown computing architectures.

Bauer, P., Dueben, P.D., Hoefler, T. et al. The digital revolution of Earth-system science. Nat Comput Sci. 1, 104–113 (2021).

Public Review of 2021 Status Report on the Global Climate Observing System
GCOS invites everyone interested to take part in a public review of the draft of the 2021 Status Report on the Global Climate Observing System.

This important report provides an overview of the adequacy of the observing system as a whole and considers the status of observations of each Essential Climate Variable (ECV). It covers atmospheric, oceanic, terrestrial, cryospheric and hydrological variables. Its publication will be followed by an implementation plan in 2022 that will address gaps and new and developing needs. The report will be considered by the UNFCCC, sponsors of GCOS and other international observing systems.

The public review of the 2021 GCOS Status Report is open to all. Your input will help shape the global climate observing system in the next 6 years. Comments will be considered by the GCOS expert panels (atmosphere, ocean and terrestrial as appropriate) who will adjust the document accordingly. After addressing all the comments, the revised draft will be considered by the GCOS Steering Committee for approval and publication. GCOS aims to publish this report in July 2021 and submit it for consideration by the UNFCCC and the GCOS sponsors.

•            The review can be accessed at:
•            Registration is live now, and the review will start on the 15 February. Documents will become available to download from 12 February. The deadline for comments is 2 April 2021.

WCRP Climate Research Forums
WCRP leads the way in addressing frontier scientific questions about the coupled climate system — questions that are too large and too complex to be tackled by a single nation, agency, or scientific discipline. For almost 40 years WCRP has coordinated international climate research to advance our understanding of the climate system and how it is affected by human activities. The decades ahead will bring challenges that can only be addressed through a worldwide coordinated effort, involving co-design and stakeholder engagement conducted by a prepared scientific workforce, to support mitigation strategies and adaptation planning.

As part of our commitment to meet these challenges, we are embarking on a series of regionally-based Climate Research Forums. These Forums will provide a chance to exchange ideas, discuss new activities and opportunities being developed by WCRP, and explore ways that our community of scientists, partner programs, funders and end-users of our climate science can engage. In the longer-term, it will contribute to building “a world that uses sound, relevant, and timely climate science to ensure a more resilient present and sustainable future for humankind” (our vision).

The WCRP Climate Research Forums are being held on a regional basis, but everyone is welcome to attend. You can register your interest here
For more information on WCRP activities, contact:
Beatriz Balino, science coordinator
Coordinating Office for WCRP Regional Activities
BCCR/GFI Seminars
Next upcoming seminar:
Date: 19.04.2021 14:15 – 15:00
Seminar talk: The abyssal origins of North Atlantic decadal predictability
Name of speaker: Stephen Yeager. Affiliation: National Center for Atmospheric Research
New faces
A warm welcome to new members of the Bjerknes community!
Agnes Weiner is German and has just started as a new postdoc at NORCE Research. She has a PhD in marine micropaleontology and her field is paleogenomics. She will be affiliated with the Polar Climate research theme.
Tristan Cordier has recently been appointed as senior researcher at NORCE Research. He is French and has a PhD in microbial community ecology. His field is microbial  ecology, sedimentary DNA, environmental genomics, bioinformatics. The Carbon System research theme has got a new member!
Suzette Flantua, who comes from The Netherlands, is a scientist at BIO, UiB. She has a PhD in Biological Sciences and her field is biogeography, paleoecology, paleoclimate, macroecology and neotropics. She will be affiliated with the Global Climate research theme.
News from the Bjerknes PhD Forum
The PhDs of the BCCR Forum were busy working on their individual projects the past two weeks. Meanwhile Elina is actively integrating the new PhD students who started recently.
Our next online PhD Forum meeting will take place on Monday 15.03.21 at 4pm, when Friederike will outline funding opportunities for PhD students before and after they have defended.

The Bjerknes PhD Forum is open for all PhDs affiliated with the Bjerknes Centre.
The Forum intends to create a community for international and Norwegian PhD students from different research areas during their time in Bergen.
Our aim is to facilitate exchange among new and advanced PhD students as well as to distribute and preserve knowledge about “the way things work”.
We meet about once a month to network and discuss different aspects of the academic career and/or life in Bergen. Visiting PhD students and interns are welcome to join our activities.
The current PhD Forum Board members are:
Sonja Wahl (leader) –
Maaike Zwier (co-leader) -
Elina Efstathiou (contact person for new PhDs) -
The portrait

Kjersti Konstali

PhD candidate

How long have you been at BCCR?
Since October 2019

MSc in Climate Dynamics from GFI
I grew up in a small village outside of Lillestrøm (just outside of Oslo), but was ready for a change of scenery after high school. I had a million plans of what I wanted to do when I was done in school but ended up starting at Meteorology and Oceanography in Bergen. After finishing my master’s, I wasn’t quite ready to leave GFI, so after a summer interlude gardening at a cemetery at home (my favorite summer job), I accepted a PhD position at GFI.

What is it you do exactly at work?
My project is on extreme precipitation. These days, I try to figure out why the precipitation has increased as much as it has in Norway, particularly in Western Norway, over the last century.

Why climate research?
I started studying at GFI because the study program had the prettiest picture in the study catalogue ;). My plan was to give it a try for a year until I figured out what I wanted to do, but when Helge Drange showed a picture with a lenticular cloud and an equation next to it in a lecture, I was sold. The more I learn, the more fascinated I become by how everything is connected to everything else.

What extracurricular activities do you have?
When it's not raining too much, I like to spend my time outside going hiking, biking, skiing or running. I also play football at a local team. But when the weather is too dire to go outside, I like to use my hands rather than my head and keep myself occupied with knitting, sewing or baking.

Do you have a favourite song, band or artist?
Depends on the mood I’m in. I listen to everything from Croatian punk rock (Hladno Pivo) via Pink Floyd and Rammstein to Tønes. Modern Talking’s Cheri Cheri Lady never fails to cheer me up (you should try 😉).

Your favourite food?
Anything with potatoes really, but Hellekaker (a type of lefse based on potatoes) with butter and sugar, are hard to beat.

The best and worst about Bergen?
Bergen is beautiful. I like the variety of landscapes surrounding it, with a rough coast, fjords, lush forests and of course mountains. Worst? The pathetic biking infrastructure.
New publications 
Lee, H. Muri, H., Ekici, A.,Tjiputra, J. and Schwinger, J.(2021):The response of terrestrial ecosystem carbon cycling under different aerosol-based radiation management geoengineering, Earth Syst. Dynam., 12, 313–326,

Mangini, F, Chafik, L., Madonna, E., Li, C., Bertino, L. & Nilsen, J.E.Ø. (2021):The relationship between the eddy-driven jet stream and northern European sea level variability, Tellus A: Dynamic Meteorology and Oceanography, 73:1, 1-15, DOI: 10.1080/16000870.2021.1886419

Send us information about new publications:
Upcoming CHESS courses 
Communication skills in outreach and teaching 
Writing successful project proposals – From idea to project: preparing a draft proposal 
Ocean/Atmosphere Time Series Analysis: Theory and Practice 

Our first call for CHESS activities is open, here is the post on our website: 
1st Call for CHESS Activities 2021 is open until April!
Bjerknes in the news
Zero gir Sp kritikk for å skjerme bilistene
Nationen 12.03.2021, Tore Furevik
Noe å tenke over når man skal plante trær             09.03.2021, Hanna Lee
Vil forbedre varslingen av de små, men farlige lavtrykkene                     
Meteorologisk Institutt 09.03.2021, Matilda Hallerstig
Golfstrømmen: - Langt utenfor naturlige variasjoner                  
Dagbladet 01.03.2021, Ulysses Ninnemann, Tore Furevik, Marius Årthun
Skap ditt eget laboratorium med frø fra kjøkkenskuffen!                 01.03.2021, Anne Bjune, Ragnhild Gya
Svakere havstrømmer i Atlanterhavet kan gi mer ekstremvær i Europa              
NRK Troms og Finnmark 28.02.2021, Tore Furevik
Upcoming events
PhD defense: MSc. Lisa Griem. Title: Ocean circulation changes off southern Greenland during the abrupt climate events of mid-to-late MIS3 
18. March 2021,10.15, via  Zoom
Arctic Science Summit Week
23-26 March 2021, Online
vEGU21 : Gather Online
19–30 April 2021
Polar Early Career Conference
5th-6th May, online
The 52nd International Liège colloquium on Ocean Dynamics
17 - 21 May 2021 Liège, Belgium
International workshop for mid-latitude air-sea interaction
June 8-9 online,  June 12-14 online and in-face, Sapporo, Japan
6th Conference on Modelling Hydrology, Climate and Land Surface Processes
September 14–16, 2021, Lillehammer, Norway.
Ocean Sciences Meeting 2022
27 February– 4 March 2022 Honolulu, Hawaii, USA
Bjerknes Annual Meeting 2021 
27-29 September 2021, Bergen
14th International Conference
on Paleoceanography

29 August–2 September 2022, Bergen, Norway
SOLAS Open Science Conference 2022 
25 - 30 September 2022, Cape Town, South Africa
Funding opportunities
NFR: Hosting Events
Deadline: Open-ended
NFR: Support for communication and dissemination
Deadline: Open ended
NFR: Personal overseas grant for Doctoral and Post-Doctoral Fellows
Deadline: Open-ended
NFR: Personal overseas grant for Researchers
Deadline: Open-ended
NFR: Support for hosting a research visit of 1-12 months
Deadline: Open-ended
ERC Consolidator Grants
Deadline:20 April
ERC Advanced Grants
Deadline: 31 August
Peder Sather Grant Program
Deadline: 8 April 2021
Contribute to the Bjerknes Times!
Bjerknes Times is our internal bi-weekly newsletter. Send an email for all registering of lectures, publications, meetings, and other tips to

Join the Bjerknes Outreach Group!
Would you like to be involved in outreach activities? Join the Bjerknes outreach group, and you’ll get the opportunity to discuss your ideas with other enthusiastic outreachers. Whether you have plans for big or small projects, large or small audiences, traditional or innovative formats – or so far no specific plans at all – you’re very welcome.
Please, send an e-mail to or if you would like to have more information about the group.

BCCR on Flickr for photo sharing 
We have many good photographers here at the Bjerknes Centre.We have a Flickr account for sharing good photos and possibly also illustrations. This can be useful when you need an illustrative photo. Check out our photostream 
Send an e-mail to or if you would like to contribute.

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