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Blue-Action Summer Newsletter 2019


In the newsletter this summer, we share new publications from the Blue-Action team, delve into a climate service case study, highlight future events and review past ones, introduce new members of the team, offer new flyers and even share the results of an unexpected viral photo...

If you have anything you want to share in a future newsletter, from publication success to conference feedback, please get in touch.

Greenland photo goes viral

If you're active on social media, you may recognise the above photo!

Steffen Olsen, Blue-Action coordinator, was retrieving moorings in Greenland when he snapped this shot, and a colleague shared it on Twitter. Since then, the image has shared nearly 10,000 times, and been picked up by news outlets worldwide. Many have used it to highlight the extreme conditions occurring in Greenland this year, where rapid surface ice melt has caused flooding of the sea ice.

Deaths from heat-related cardiovascular diseases dropping

Temperature-related mortality has been dropping in Spain despite increasing mean temperatures, a recent paper including Blue-Action authors has shown.

The team, led by the Barcelona Institute for Global Health, analysed mortality data over the past 30 years and found that the proportion attributable to temperature-related cardiovascular diseases had dropped by over 38%. The authors suggest that this is due to adaptation through improved housing and healthcare systems, though these were not strategies designed specifically to mitigate the impacts of climate change. The full paper is available here.
"The Heat is on", image from European Space Agency. Contains modified Copernicus Sentinel data (2019), processed by ESA, CC BY-SA 3.0 IGO

Ocean heat transport predicts future Arctic sea ice loss

Ocean heat transfer will continue to be a key driver of sea ice variability, a recent paper including Blue-Action authors suggests.

A study in the Journal of Climate by  Marius Årthun, Tor Eldevik, and Lars Smedsrud used the Community Earth System Model large ensemble simulation to determine to what extent future Arctic sea ice variability is driven by ocean heat transport from the Atlantic. The results show that ocean heat transfer into the Barents sea is a good predictor of sea ice variability, and will remain so into the future, although the relationship weakens as the ice retreats from the area. The full paper is open access here.
The Arctic Ocean and its marginal seas. Colors show annual mean sea ice concentration and sea surface temperature in CESM-LE for 2010–19 (ensemble mean). From Arthun, Eldevik and Smedsrud 2019.

Assessment of Arctic Mediterranean ocean exchanges through observations

Data from observational arrays are now sufficiently comprehensive to be able to determine the volume and trends of inflows and outflows of the Arctic Mediterranean.

Using two decades of observations, an international collaborative team have shown that exchanges within the area have remained stable over the period. They provide estimates of the total inflow, and show a strong coupling between the Atlantic inflow and overflow. The full paper is available in Ocean Science here.
Oceanic flows in and out of the Arctic Mediterranean. From østerhus et al. 2019.
Important reminder

If you are part of the Blue-Action team, please don't forget to update the dissemination and publication documents on redmine.
Alan Fox, Scottish Association for Marine Science (SAMS), UK

I've recently joined SAMS as a physical oceanographer. My role in Blue-Action is coordinating work investigating the propagation of warm ocean waters from the subpolar gyre over the GSR and towards the Arctic. Since returning to scientific research four years ago, after a break of more than 10 years, my research interests are in North Atlantic circulation and variability and the implications for deep-sea ecosystem connectivity and conservation under changing climate conditions and increasing exploitation.
Yiguo Wang, Nansen Center (NERSC), Norway

I got my masters at University of Lille and PhD at École Polytechnique in France, where I was involved in developing the air quality forecasting system Polyphemus. Since 2014, I have been involved in the development of the Norwegian Climate Prediction Model (NorCPM). My main scientific interest is to develop/apply data assimilation techniques to improve the initialisation of dynamic systems. I have expertise in both theoretical and applied data assimilation, climate reconstruction and seasonal-to-decadal climate predictions.
Co-production of future scenarios for the Russian Arctic

One of the Blue-Action case studies highlighting the potential for climate services involved scientists and stakeholders developing forward-looking scenarios for the Yamal region in the Russian Arctic, as well as strategic options for stakeholders on how to prepare for the future.
Yamal is a region with substantial ongoing and planned petroleum and shipping activities. However, its future is highly uncertain due to a number of factors; the impacts of climate change are among the most important of these. The main goal of the project was to help stakeholders, i.e. those whose life and work is dependent on Yamal, to deal with these uncertainties and to adapt to possible developments in the future.
The scenarios “Yamal 2040” were developed together with stakeholders at a series of workshops, and incorporated cutting-edge climate predictions with environmental, social and cultural concerns, economic opportunities, and political and legal developments. Representatives of different stakeholder groups were involved from the beginning and acted as co-authors of the developed scenarios and the strategic options. Blue-Action scientists played an important role providing information about possible impacts of climate change on Yamal.

Three different scenarios were developed showing how different the future of the region may be. In one of the scenarios, Yamal petroleum business is shrinking as a result of global energy transition. In another Yamal gas is, by contrast, booming and acknowledged worldwide as a “transition fuel”. In two of the total three scenarios, Yamal experiences severe consequences of climate change, such as rain-on-snow events, or anthrax outbreaks and mercury releases out of thawing permafrost which create life-threatening challenges for indigenous communities. The third scenario, however, projects cooling instead of warming for Yamal and Europe as a result of interaction of a number of unexpected factors.

Participation in the scenario construction helped stakeholders to deepen their knowledge about the impact of climate change and its interaction with other factors influencing the future of Yamal, and to reflect on their cognitive biases, accepting the uncertainty of the future. The second part of the project, development of the strategic options, showed them how they can act in face of such an uncertain future, and proactively prepare for possible developments.

Vilena Valeeva, IASS Potsdam
IUGG Assembly,
8th - 18th July

The 27th International Union of Geodesy and Geophysics General Assembly will be held July 8-18, 2019 at the Palais des Congrès in Montréal, Québec, Canada. The full programme for the conference is available here, and registration is still open here.
EU Arctic Forum Meeting,
3rd - 4th October

The high-level EU Arctic Forum will take place in Umeå, Sweden, in October this year. The event will bring together key Arctic players and stakeholders, including the Arctic Council,  to assess recent developments in the region and to discuss the new challenges ahead.
Arctic Circle Assembly,
10th - 13th October

Arctic Circle will happen again in Reykjavik, Iceland, in October. This is is the largest annual international gathering on the Arctic, and registration will open later this year. 
Blue-Action General Assembly,
15th - 17th October

The next annual meeting for Blue-Action will take place in Edinburgh, UK, on 15th - 17th October 2019. Further details will be released closer to the time, but please save this date in your diaries now. 
ASOF meeting, 24th - 26th April
ASOF is an international program on the oceanography of the Arctic and Subarctic seas and their role in climate. Blue-Action and ASOF organised a joint workshop on "Representativeness of ocean observations and flux calculations", held at the Danish Meteorological Institute in Copenhagen, Denmark.
Over 30 attendees presented work, and there were open discussions on key topics within the field. The presentations from the meeting are available on the ASOF website here.
ECCA, 28th- 30th June
Over 1100 attendees from academia, industry and government gathered in Lisbon in June to participate in the fourth European Climate Change Adaptation conference.
Blue-Action contributed to ECCA through partnering with JPI Climate and other relevant projects, hosting a booth where attendees could visit throughout the three days. Mark Payne from the Technical University of Denmark also presented the Blue-Action case studies via a pre-recorded video presentation.
EU Climate Modelling Cluster Workshop, 5th - 7th June
The EU Climate Modelling Cluster collects together a number of H2020 projects working on modelling topics such as Blue-Action, APPLICATE and PRIMAVERA. This was the second workshop of the cluster, and was jointly organised by the Bjerknes Climate Prediction Unit and the EU Climate Modelling Cluster in Bergen, Norway.

There were an interesting range of presentations, and time for focused discussions on ocean and atmospheric modelling. A panel discussion on the first day allowed for a range of topics, from funding to computing infrastructure, to be explored in depth. Reports and presentations from the workshop will be available shortly.
Updated Blue-Action flyers are now available. If you are involved in Blue-Action and would like some copies, please email
If there is anything specific you would like to have for future dissemination, please get in touch.
Remember to acknowledge Blue-Action in your publications!

To acknowledge Blue-Action, include this sentence in the acknowledgements section:

"This study/paper was supported by the Blue-Action project, which has received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No  727852."

Are you struggling to upload to ZENODO?

All presentations, documents, and outputs should be uploaded to the Blue-Action Zenodo community. You can find instructions here: Zenodo Instructions
The Blue-Action project has received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 727852
Copyright © 2019 Blue-Action, All rights reserved.

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