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Arctic Council

Climate idea

Can we preserve scientific collaboration in times of conflicts for the greater good?

The conflict in Ukraine has effects beyond its borders, impacting scientific collaboration and data sharing critical for understanding climate change in the Arctic region. Since the invasion of Ukraine in 2022, access to vital environmental data from the Russian Arctic has become increasingly challenging already leading to significant gaps in climate science research.

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The Arctic, experiencing up to four times faster warming rates than the global average, has a pivotal importance in understanding climate dynamics. With Russia possessing the largest Arctic landmass, its exclusion from scientific collaboration exacerbates the limitations of climate models. As a result, accurate predictions regarding the region's future become compromised.
"Suddenly we don't have access to data from half of the landmass in the Arctic region. Our study reveals that the exclusion of the Russian stations severely decreases our ability to track Arctic changes," says Dr. Efrén López-Blanco from Aarhus University. One of the authors of the paper Towards an increasingly biased view on Arctic change, published in Nature.
Before the war, 21 Russian research stations shared their data with the international consortium INTERACT, which is a scientific collaboration between the eight Arctic countries.
Excluding Russian research stations and the valuable ground-based knowledge they offer is a real disruption in our understanding of climate change. This bias in data from the Arctic region not only impacts local ecosystems but also undermines global efforts to combat climate change. Without access to vital information on permafrost degradation, vegetation shifts, and carbon emissions, our ability to accurately track and address the effects of climate change worldwide can be compromised, potentially hindering the effectiveness of our solutions.
The absence of robust collaboration and data sharing inhibits scientific progress and poses challenges for future generations of researchers. The authors of the papers suggest the opening of new research stations in Canada and Scandinavia. And of course, resolving geopolitical tensions will be essential to reinvigorate scientific cooperation and address the urgent climate challenges facing the Arctic. But what if we could keep scientific collaboration above some geopolitical considerations for the greater good?
Are the Russian scientists excluding themselves? Or are we? And on what motives? Maybe we can rise above conflicts for the greater good and the preservation of the planet. What do you think?

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28 more agrees trigger contact with the recipient

  • Jane Wangui

    8 w

    Violence is never a solution to any kind of crisis..other measures could be used to solve conflicts...we should all come together and help save what is important i.e our planet.

    • Elizabeth Gathigia

      8 w

      We only have one planet and For the sake of our planet, we should put our differences aside and forcus on creating solutions and the collaboration between the scientists is very important in finding the solutions

      • George Kariuki

        8 w

        This situation requires collaboration and innovation from the scientific community, policymakers, and the public.

        • walter lungayi

          8 w

          Yes, preserving scientific collaboration during conflicts is crucial for the greater good. It allows for the sharing of knowledge and resources to address global challenges, regardless of political tensions.

          • Joseph Githinji

            8 w

            I think it is time we stop limiting ourselves to geopolitics and work around the clock to create a solution to climate change issues for the sake of our planet. Scientists from either side must be ready to cooperate in creating this solutions, keeping in mind that we have only one planet for us all.

            • Munene Mugambi

              8 w

              I think we ought to know when to put our differences aside for the sake of scientific knowledge and research, which will lead us to understand climate change and help us find better ways to stop it or mitigate its effects.

              • Rukia Ahmed Abdi

                8 w

                Amazing piece. There is a need to rise above geopolitical considerations and embrace a shared responsibility for our planet.

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