The Nansen-Zhu Centre 5 years

The five years anniversary of the Nansen-Zhu International Research Centre (NZC) was celebrated with a scientific colloquium in Beijing on November 3rd and 4th. The Norwegian Minister of Research and Higher Education Tora Aasland and the Vice-president of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) Prof. Zhongli Ding visited the Nansen-Zhu Centre during the anniversary. NZC is located at the Institute of Atmospheric Physics (IAP) of CAS and named in the honour and spirit of the Norwegian scientist, humanist and diplomat Dr. Fridtjof Nansen and the Chinese atmospheric scientist and founder of IAP Prof. Kezhen Zhu.

Director Prof. Huijun Wang Director of IAP and NZC opened the scientific colloquium with a review of the scientific and educational highlights from its first five years. The research achievements of the Centre was presented and included operational monitoring and forecasting of the air quality in Beijing during the Olympic Games in Beijing in August 2008, teleconnections between climate change at high and low latitudes as well as decadal variation of the impact of the summer North Atlantic Oscillation on the Northern Hemispheric surface air temperature. During the week prior to the NZC anniversary the 3rd summer school of the NZC was organized in Beijing, gathering more than 100 lecturers and students from China, Norway, Russia and India. The staff of NZC has since the foundation in 2003 grown from 18 to 73 persons in 2008, including 24 Ph.D. and 13 Master students who have published 198 scientific publications during this period.

The initiative to establish the NZC in 2003 was taken by Prof. Ola M. Johannessen at NERSC and Prof. Wang at IAP. The NZC co-founding institutions are Institute of Atmospheric Physics/Chinese Academy of Sciences, Nansen Environmental and Remote Sensing Center – Bergen, Norway, Peking University, University of Bergen and Bjerknes Centre for Climate Research in Bergen. The co-founders agreement was revised in conjunction with the anniversary and expanded to also include the Nanjing University. The renewed Agreement was signed in the witness of the Minister and the Vice-President and includes eight prioritized research themes for the research and educational cooperation:
1. Reconstruction of past climate
2. Melting of glaciers
3. Decadal time-scale climate predictability and teleconnections
4. Air quality observations and forecasting
5. Terrestrial and oceanic uptake of carbon dioxide
6. Data assimilation and operational oceanography
7. Environmental and climate observations from space
8. Development of Earth System Model

NZC also received greetings from National Science Foundation of China, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Peking University, Research Council of Norway, the Nansen Centres in Russia and India as well as its three co-founding partners in Bergen.

The President of Peking University appointed Prof. Ola M. Johannessen as Guest Professor during the visit of Minister Aasland to the University.

Further information about the NZC is found in the annual report for 2007:

http://www.nersc.no/main/about/annual_reports/NZC_2007.pdf

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