Understanding climate
for the benefit of society

Ice and fjord at the Arctic Island of Svalbard. Photo: Jostein Bakke

From the Arctic to the Pacific: Ocean and Climate Connections

In the Arctic, ice on land and at sea is rapidly decreasing. In the Pacific, island nations are threatened by sea level rise. For people in the tropics and in the Arctic, climate change is real and close. In many ways, these two regions are the frontlines of climate change.      


At the UN climate top meeting in Katowice Poland, the COP24, the Bjerknes Centre of Climate Research is co-hosting Norway's official side event, together with the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affair and the University of the South Pacific. 

Time and place: 
Friday 14 December, 13:15-14:45
Cop24 arena, MCK - Katowice, room Bieszczady

Follow the event live webcast here


For this COP24 side event, Norway’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs joins the Bjerknes Centre for Climate Research, the University of Bergen (UiB) and the University of the South Pacific (USP) join forces to discuss the growing importance of ocean, climate and cryosphere interactions – to discuss climate change across the Arctic-Pacific connection.

Current research and policy initiatives will be presented and discussed with prominent policy makers and leaders in government, universities and civil society:

  • Ola Elvestuen, Minister of Climate and Environment, Norway
  • Cristelle Pratt, Pacific Islands Forum
  • Taholo Kami, COP23 Presidency
  • Morgan Wairiu, University of the South Pacific),
  • Tore Furevik, Bjerknes Centre for Climate Research University of Bergen
  • Mari Halse Einang, Norwegian Children and Youth Council
  • Edvard Hviding, University of Bergen

Join this discussion on the growing importance of interactions between the ocean, the climate and the cryosphere (ice and snow cover). We will ask how these interactions influence environments, countries and economies worldwide.

We will also ask: How do these processes influence the ability of states to meet the Sustainable Development Goals of the 2030 Agenda?  

Tapping into the SDGs

For ocean states like the countries of the Pacific Islands and Norway, accelerating processes that cause increased ocean temperatures, sea level rise, and intensified ocean acidification tap directly into the interface of SDG 14 (Life Below Water) and SDG13 (Climate Action).

These processes bring unpredictable interactions that in turn influence the human condition, quality of life, and the capacity for ocean stewardship in the context of global blue economy ambitions.

The Talanoa dialogue

Building on efforts made and lessons learnt during Fiji’s COP23 presidency and co-presidency of the 2017 United Nations Ocean Conference, the side event highlights the importance of science diplomacy to inform policy options in climate change and sustainable development, taking advantage of cutting-edge science. The ’best available science’ principle informs the urgent need for climate action in the context of the COP23 Talanoa Facilitative Dialogue, the IPCC 1.5° Report released in October 2018, the emerging science on the melting of Greenland and Antarctic Ice Sheets and the repercussions for the world’s oceans, and the anticipation of the 2019 release of the IPCC Special Report on Oceans and Cryosphere in a Changing Climate.