NORRUSS CLIMARC: Climate variability and change in the Eurasian Arctic in the 21st century

NORUSS CLIMARC will strengthen the scientific cooperation between Russia and Norway in climate change analysis, modelling and assessment for the 21st Century focusing on the Arctic regions – the Barents Sea and Northern Sea Route.


To expand the Norwegian-Russian strategic cooperation in the High North on integrative climate research, including observations, state-of-the-art climate modeling, down-scaling, validation and future projections, focusing on the Barents Sea and Northern Sea Route for practical application to the society.

Specific scientific objectives:

  1. To collect, analyze and share existing observations (field and satellite data) and reanalysis data for the Eurasian Arctic for the last 100 years.
  2. To analyze all the CMIP5 global climate models (25 models available) for the 20th and 21st centuries focusing on surface air temperature and sea ice, validate them for the last 100 years and select the best one for projection for the 21st century, including estimates of uncertainties.
  3. To downscale the selected CMIP5 models, and use them for regional climate projections focusing on the Barents Sea and Northern Sea Route regions, including quantification of uncertainties, for practical applications for the society.
  4. To develop a set of quantitative Arctic climate scenarios based on climate model projections on decadal scale (until 2035) and long-term scale (end of the 21st century) with a special focus on the Barents Sea and Northern Sea Route regions to be used for strategic advise for decision makers for the future development for these regions.

Specific bilateral cooperation objectives:

  1. To expand and institutionalize the bilateral Russian-Norwegian cooperation in climate research with focus on the high latitude Arctic of common interest.
  2. To expand scientific education (at Ph.D. level) through bilateral exchange of the curriculum, exchange visits for students and scientific staff - including guest lectures and short-term training courses, as well as hosting of PhD summer schools.
  3. To disseminate the scientific results towards Russian and Norwegian stakeholders and policy makes involved in / responsible for the Arctic to be used as advice for further development of the region.

Project Summary

CLIMARC will capitalize on ongoing joint research projects between the Russian and Norwegian partners. This will be done through the involvement of key senior staff in scientific education and training as well as direct recruitment of young scientists.  In particular CLIMARC will address some “unsolved” research tasks that are essential for improved modelling of the Arctic climate projections during this century. These four main Tasks are:

Task 1 – Validation of CMIP 5 climate models for the Eurasian Arctic in the 20th century and analysis of the selected models for the 21st century

Task 2 – Down-scaling of selected CMIP5 models for the Barents Sea and Northern Sea Route

Task 3 – Collect and analysis of data records used for validation of climate model results and estimation of the reliability of regional Arctic climate projections

Task 4 – Development of Arctic regional climate scenarios for the 21st century, with focus on the Barents Sea and the Northern Sea Route

Major expected results from CLIMARC:

  • Assessment of the reliability of the simulated Arctic climate variability and change in 20th century and recent years.
  • Estimate the uncertain of the projected Arctic climate variability and change for the 21st century.
  • Develop a set of regional climate scenario projections for the Arctic basin, the Barents Sea and the Northern Sea Route area for short (≈ 2035) and long-term (≈2100) changes during the 21st century.
  • Projections of change in patterns of key climate parameters (e.g. surface air temperature, sea ice coverage, wind speed) relevant for shipping, oil and gas industry and other activities in the Arctic.
  • Improved bilateral Russian Norwegian cooperation in climate research, through exchange of data, methodology and scientific results.
  • Bilateral exchange of climate research scientists in order to strengthen the bilateral scientific cooperation in climate research.
  • Mutual exchange and teaching of 3 young PhD climate scientists for the future.
  • Dissemination of the CLIMARC scientific results for practical applications to the benefit of the society, with focus on the bilateral Russian Norwegian interests in the Barents Sea and the Northern Sea Route.

Peer Review Publications

  1. Suo L, Otterå OH, Bentsen M, Gao Y, Johannessen OM. External forcing of the early 20th century Arctic warming. Tellus. Series A, Dynamic meteorology and oceanography. 2013;65.
  2. Meleshko VP, Johannessen OM, Baidin AV, Pavlova TV, Govorkova VA. Arctic amplification: does it impact the polar jet stream?. Tellus. Series A, Dynamic meteorology and oceanography. 2016;68.
Project Details
Project Deputy Leader at NERSC: 
Lasse H. Pettersson
Coordinating Institute: 
Nansen Environmental and Remote Sensing Center
Project Status: