Senter for klima og energiomstilling (CET)

Climate research should be interdisciplinary

CET is happy to announce the upcoming seminar with Erik W. Kolstad (Uni Research/UiB) on Wednesday May 16!


Climate research should be interdisciplinary

Natural science climate researchers are often dismissive about the need for collaboration with social scientists. But while "hard" quantitative science is certainly needed, it has become increasingly clear that hitting people on the head with numbers doesn't lead to real societal change. It is (obviously for some) important to shape the information according to the context. I will talk about my experiences in the Hordaklim project, where we aimed to help planners prepare their municipalities for climate change. We quickly realised that the original project plan, which involved creating new climate scenarios and handing these over to the planners, was overly naive. First we had to understand how the planners work, things like: what are their day-to-day tasks, who do they report to, and what is the political climate in their municipalities. We also found that it took a long time to build trust; with all the information out there already, why should they listen to us? Another important finding was that the planners often do not know what they need. It was only through sustained two-way dialogue that we figured out what kind of information they can actually use. I will summarise by sketching out how I think we can move forward, with natural and social science researchers ideally creating a common "language" and methods aimed at achieving real change.

Erik W. Kolstad is a research professor at Uni Research and the Bjerknes Centre for Climate Research, and an adjunct professor at CET. He is leading the HordaKlim project, and is, among other things, involved in HordaFlom, the Seasonal Forecasting Engine (SFE) and the European Commission project Blue Action. Erik's main research interests are seasonal forecasting, climate change impacts and solutions, and polar research. 

The seminar is open to all interested!

Lunch will be served, so please let us know if you are coming by sending an e-mail to johan.elfving@uib.no