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You are here July 31, 2021  

International Summer School
Svalbard, Norway 27 June - 4 July 2009

Applications are now closed. Programme updated & lecture synopses uploaded - keep checking website for updates

Download the brochure here.



Climate change is widely regarded as the greatest challenge to mankind, with the Arctic one of the key “trigger regions”, changing fast under both human pressures and climate change impacts. 

The Norwegian Institute for Air Research (NILU in Norwegian), Norwegian Spacecenter (Norsk Romsenter) and The University Centre in Svalbard (UNIS) are organizing an International Summer School on “Observing the Arctic: A window to climate change” to address this challenge by bringing together the various elements that comprise the Arctic and how they provide information on climate change. This Summer School has the support of Konsberg Satellite Services (KSAT), the European Space Agency (ESA) and the World Meteorological Organization (WMO).

This one week course held at The University Centre in Svalbard (UNIS) in Longyearbyen (the main settlement in Svalbard) aims to train students in the fundamentals of Earth Observation, Earth System Models and Climate Change, and the latest developments, with a focus on the Arctic. The school will be integrated with the UNIS IPY Summer School. It will provide students with contacts with world-class scientists and their peers. Courses include lectures on Earth Observation, climate change and climate modelling, the various elements of the Arctic system (atmosphere, ocean, land cryosphere and biosphere), Numerical Weather Prediction and the International Polar Year (IPY). There will be a keynote lecture on the Arctic and climate by Prof Johnny Johannessen (NERSC), who is the ESAC Chair.
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Svalbard is a beautiful place, but students should realize that they will be travelling to a high Arctic location in mid-summer. Although there will be midnight sun, the temperature is unlikely to get above 10oC, so appropriate clothes must be worn. This is especially so for travel outside Longyearbyen. The well-known Svalbard traffic sign warning of polar bears is no joke. People travelling outside Longyearbyen must either carry a gun or travel in a group where someone carries a gun. Polar bears are bigger than you, faster than you and likely to consider you as food. Also, remember that polar bears are protected in all of Svalbard.

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