Climate change on the agenda in Illinois and Wisconsin

Wegger Chr. Strommen, Ambassador of Norway. Photo © Berit Hessen.

The Norwegian Embassy organized seminars on “Climate Change in the Arctic: Global Implications,” in Chicago, Ilinois and Racine, Wisconsin on Sept. 29. The discussions come against a backdrop of rapid and continuing warming of climate in the Arctic as reflected by the shrinkage of the extent and thickness of Arctic sea ice, and melting of glaciers and permafrost.

The conferences were held in collaboration with Clean Air-Cool Planet, the Johnson Foundation at Wingspread, and Natural Resources Defense Council.

The purpose of the events were to acquaint opinion leaders with the challenges and opportunities facing the United States and the international community regarding the rapidly warming Arctic climate.

As the northern part of Norway, and the islands of Svalbard, are located above the Arctic circle, Norwegians experience climate change directly. And while the shores of Lake Michigan are far from the Arctic, changes in the Arctic are harbingers of changes that may affect natural resources, commerce and public health in our region. The event will highlight the dramatic changes in the Arctic, as national and international leaders grapple with efforts to combat global warming, including debate on climate legislation in the U.S. Senate and the next round of major negotiations in Copenhagen in December.

A panel of experts, were moderated by His Excellency Wegger Chr. Strommen, Ambassador of Norway to the United States, will discuss major issues involved in Arctic warming. “Norway is pursuing the issue of climate change – but cannot do it alone. The United States must lead this effort,” he said.

The panel included Dr. Eugenie Euskirchen, Research Assistant Professor of Terrestrial Ecology at University of Alaska, Fairbanks, Dr. Nalan Koc, Director of the Norwegian Center for Ice, Climate and Ecosystems in Tromso, Norway, Adam Markham, Chief Executive Officer of Clean Air-Cool Planet, and Dr. R. Steven Nerem, Professor of Aerospace Engineering Science at the University of Colorado.

Source: Norway.org.

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