Read the story from the start here
Read the story from the start here
Read from the start here
Couldn’t help but noticing the skewed numbers presented to the faculty board for natural sciences, UiB today… 75% of the permanent scientific staff hired last year were men, five out of six ERC consolidator grant to UiB in 2023 were won by men… at the same time, six out of seven ETPs (Excellent Teaching Practitions) announced by our faculty this spring were women… and so were eight out of ten board members present…
The temperature has been rising slowly since I arrived at the conference hall; there are too many people and too little oxygen. Trying the get through the crowd and back to my poster on the effects of climate change on Norwegian sill fjords, I can’t help but think of all the dead crabs I saw in one of the presentations this morning. In an attempt to escape the anoxic waters at the bottom, they were concentrating on the highest point of the coral reef, climbing desperately on top of each other to get into oxygenated water, to breathe – but as the deadly water expanded, there where nowhere to go, no higher ground to climb to.
There is so much knowledge gathered in Bergen this week: PhDs, Post Docs, and Professors; experts on every aspect of the ocean and those living there. Ecosystem modeling, fish behavior, ocean acidification, primary production, sustainable management – the program is full of new science, new insights, and conclusions. Yet I’m wondering if they – if we – are able to fully grasp the consequences of the results presented. Because if we did, would we then be standing here, calmly sipping our wine or a cold beer, talking about project proposals, fieldwork plans, and old colleagues? If we did understand, would we not be out on the streets screaming, calling for attention, for help?
When being in a lecture hall at a conference I’m used to being surrounded by men – a few female collegues would typically be sitting in the chairs closest by, but further away, mainly men.
Strangely enough, when attending UiB’s conference on Gender equity, the mean hair length in the audience is significantly higher than I’m used to. The line of (very interesting) speaker has also (until now) been exclusively female…. I’ll leave you to think about why that is, and share my favorite slide so far:
It’s here! The translated and “peer-reviewed” version of “Ninja goes south” is now printed… and about 2000 books are waiting (together with Petra Langebroek’s “Ninja goes to Groenland”) in the basement of the Bjerknes Centre to be distributed to school libraries in Vestland (as soon as the third and final book* is ready).
The project is financed by the Norwegian Research Council – and Petra and I are getting help from the communication office at Bjerknes, the “climate club” at Landås skole, Bergen municipality, and of course, the invaluable assistance from UiB-student Marte Klemetsdal, who is putting it all together!
I’m so excited to see this come through, and to actually hold the physical book in my hands! Slightly less excited about the typos that my daughter found in the book… but fingers crossed for a second edition where we can correct those – and there might be one! Bryggen museum has picked up on the Lego idea, and they are planning an exhibition later this year where Ninja (and I) will be part of a historical walk through Bergen and its scientific hubs. Ninja in a museum monter – I do look forward to seeing that!
* where Ninja dives into the Norwegian fjords
While on sabbatical in France, I finally had the time to read all (or at least most of) the papers in my “looks_interesting”-folder on the desktop… one of them was “Warm Circumpolar Deep Water transport toward Antarctica driven by local dense water export in canyons” by Morrison et al (2020). The title tells it all: their model results showed that where cold, dense water flows down the slope, warm water was flowing in the opposite direction, i.e. up the slope and onto the continental shelf! About half-way through the paper, where the authors stated that they were “unaware of direct observations that can be analyzed to test our modeling results”, I stopped reading – not because the paper was not interesting, but because I was aware of such observations!
During my PhD (a decade and a half ago!) I worked with “local dense water export in canyons” and I knew very well that a ridge downstream of the Filchner Trough in the southern Weddell Sea is steering dense water down the slope – I also knew that this is a (relatively) well-sampled region of the Southern ocean… would the old (and not so old) data show the upslope flow of warm water suggested by the model?
I had just spent time downloading and organizing Southern Weddell Sea CTD-data from data bases and archives for another project, so I was set to go… and it did not took long before I sent an e-mail with figures to Jean Baptiste Sallée (whom I was visiting at LOCEAN in Paris) asking if he was in. It all fitted together so nicely – the temperature-profiles collected over the last fifty (!) years clearly showed that, above the slope, we found warm water higher up in the water column in the vicinity of the ridge than elsewhere. Water on the continental shelf in that region was warmer than the warm water intrusions further the east. While I had studied mooring data from the region for months, if not years, to learn about the flow of dense water on the slope, I had never really cared to look at the records from the instruments higher up, those that were placed above the dense plume. Now, these were the ones that mattered – and sure enough, the mean current had an up-slope component! We had observational evidence supporting the mechanism suggested by the numerical model! It took us a while to write it up – and some extra analysis and modelling to convince the reviewers – but the paper was finally published in Nature communications earlier today: “Observational evidence for on-shelf heat transport driven by dense water export in the Weddell Sea”!