Arctic Science in Policy

Science outputs from the Changing Arctic Ocean contribute to informing evidence-based decision making and policy.  One of the key aims of the programme is to understand how the Arctic Ocean functions in a quantitative way, and to use numerical models to identify the range and rate of change in the Arctic, now and in the future. This information contributes to the policy and decision-making process.

The activities of the investigators in communicating their science outputs to policy makers are described here.

8-9 October 2019: "Raising awareness and building capacity for science-based policy-making"

Johan Faust (ChAOS project) is taking part in the Science Policy Workshop 2019, organised by the Association of Polar Early Career Scientists, the German Arctic Office, the Alfred Wegener Institute, Rannis and the German Federal Foreign Office.

Taking place in Reykjavik, Iceland, from 8-9 October, the focus of this workshop is “Raising awareness and building capacity for science-based policy-making.”

The dialogue between scientists and policy-makers is crucial to ensure that climate and environmental policies are based on sound scientific knowledge. Therefore, the knowledge transfer from science to policy plays a major role in modern science and will be even more important in the future. Exposing researchers to the science-policy-interface is particularly important in an early career stage to develop an understanding of the tools and processes involved and a natural collaboration beyond science. Policy needs scientists who have consolidated knowledge and give objective and independent advice.

Communicating scientific information to policy-makers requires certain skills in translating the scientific information into information that can be understood by policy makers or non-scientists, as scientists and policy-makers very often speak different “languages”. This workshop aims to provide training to early career researchers to raise awareness of the need to communicate beyond the research community, to introduce new career paths for early career researchers outside academia and to lower “mental barriers” in the transition between politics and science.

The agenda will include invited introductory keynote presentations by both policy-makers and scientists experienced in knowledge transfer. Two breakout groups led by invited mentors will discuss specific elements of the science-policy-interface in more detail.

25 June 2019: Addressing the IPCC Findings Relevant to the Ocean and Climate Nexus

Addressing the IPCC Findings Relevant to the Ocean and Climate Nexus

Bonn, Germany, on 25 June 2019

The side event took place during the 50th session of Subsidiary Body (SB) of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). It was organized by the Global Ocean Forum; Roadmap to Oceans and Climate Action (ROCA) Initiative; Ocean Policy Research Institute of the Sasakawa Peace Foundation, Japan; Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (IOC/UNESCO); Plymouth Marine Laboratory; Ocean Pathway (Government of Fiji and Sweden), Government of Maldives; Embassy of the Republic of Indonesia, Berlin; Government of Chile; and Oceano Azul Foundation, Portugal.

Carol Turley (PETRA project) reported on the science addressed in the IPCC Special Report on The Ocean and Cryosphere in a Changing Climate

Carol Turley, Senior Scientist, Plymouth Marine Laboratory (PML), described how the progress of the forthcoming IPCC Special Report on Ocean and Cryosphere in a Changing Climate (SROCC) has been made to date. She noted that SROCC will address the ecosystems that are not in SR15, including the deep ocean, sandy beaches, rocky reefs, estuaries and kelp forests. In addition, she noted that the multiple impacts on the ocean are directly relevant to GHG emission reduction and the UNFCCC agenda, which is why she emphasized the UNFCCC’s responsibility for GHG impact on the ocean. She proposed to the hosts of COP25 and 26 the idea of adopting WMO global climate indicators, which include some key ocean-relevant factors, into the implementation of the Paris Agreement as part of the assessment under the global stocktake mechanism.

20 June 2019: Invited keynote to UK Government Department BEIS

Carol Turley (PETRA project) gave an invited keynote to the UK Government Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy on 20 June 2019 in London. The title of her talk was “Ocean acidification: the Other CO2 Problem or an Indicator of Global Climate Change?”

6-9 October 2018: Seminar on Ocean Acidification

Seminar on Ocean Acidification

Reykjavik, Iceland, on 6-9 October 2019

The seminar on Ocean Acidification held at the Marine and Freshwater Research Institute (MRFI, Iceland) was a collaboration between MRFI and the Iceland Nature Conservation Association. It was organised by Árni Finnsson (INCA), who is also a member of the Icelandic Climate Council.

Hrönn Egilsdóttir (MRFI) opened the seminar with a short summary of Iceland’s research on ocean acidification, including its 30 year long-term monitoring of ocean acidification around Iceland.

Carol Turley (Plymouth Marine Laboratory, PETRA project) was invited to give the global perspective.

By chance the IPCC Special Report on 1.5oC Warming was released just hours before the seminar, so not surprisingly this resulted in an excellent turnout as well as substantial media interest.

May 2018: Environmental Audit Parliamentary Committee Enquiry

Environmental Audit Parliamentary Committee Enquiry into “The Changing Arctic”

In May 2018 investigators from Arctic PRIZE submitted evidence to the Environmental Audit Parliamentary Committee enquiry into “The Changing Arctic”. The evidence addressed questions on how the Arctic is changing, the evidence for microplastics, UK Arctic policy and Arctic economic development.

Arctic PRIZE Co-I Mark Inall was invited to give oral evidence to the Committee with Arctic PRIZE contributions widely cited in the final Committee report (published 29 November 2018).

Read the full “The Changing Arctic” report here.