Bjerknessenterets mål er å forstå klima
til nytte for samfunnet.

Nansen Center director Tore Furevik kicking off the symposium. Photo: Henni Wilborn/Nansen Center

Symposium to honour the memory of the late Prof. Yongqi Gao

The Nansen Center is organizing a symposium in the name of colleague and friend Yongqi Gao who passed away in the summer of 2021. His legacy lives on in many ways, bringing together researchers from China, Norway and elsewhere.


Written by Henni Wilborn, Nansen Environmental and Remote Sensing Center

The Symposium to honour the memory of Prof. Yongqi Gao is happening this week with scientists physically gathered in Bergen, Beijing, Nanjing, plus more than 100 others online participants from Europe and Asia. In total, around 200 scientists are participating. We are filling three days with fond memories of Yongqi and current research inspired by him or otherwise tied to his work and scientific legacy. Many of the contributions to the symposium will be published in a Special Issue of Advances in Atmospheric Sciences, subject to standard peer-review processes. 

Yongqi Gao started his stellar career at the Nansen Center in 1996 and obtained his PhD in December of 2002. His research focused on different fields within climate science: the climate in the high mountains, the oceanic circulation, the atmospheric circulation at mid- and high latitudes, prediction of the climate in the North Atlantic and the Arctic, and the influence the Arctic has on climate and society. The six sessions of the symposium essentially follow Yongqi’s research interests. 

Gunn Mangerud, Jie Huang and Helge Drange. (Photo: Hennie Wilborn/NERSC)
Gunn Mangerud, Jie Huang and Helge Drange. (Photo: Hennie Wilborn/NERSC)

Aside from focusing on climate science, Yongqi pursued to increase national and international scientific collaboration within and between Norway and China. He held the Co-Deputy director position at the Nansen-Zhu Centre in Beijing, China until his passing in 2021. Throughout his career Yongqi supported young researchers in different ways. He supervised many Master students and PhD candidates in both Norway and China throughout his life. Other important activities have been biannual summer schools, bringing together students from both China and Norway. Yongqi was a unique bridge-builder between the scientific communities in China and Norway, and his impact will resonate with many people in both countries.     

We thank Yanchun He (NERSC) and Shengping He (UiB) for leading the organisation committee, with support from Francois Counillon (NERSC), Noel Keenlyside (UiB) and others, and with contributions from the University of Bergen and NORCE.