New building to help boost cooperation for Arctic research center in Northern Norway

Rector Anne Husebekk with UiT – Norway’s Arctic University receives the key to the new Fram Centre from Minister of Environment Ola Elvestuen. (Thomas Nilsen/The Independent Barents Observer)
Arctic Council secretariat and Institute of Marine Research team up under the same roof as other key Norwegian Arctic science- and management stakeholders.

Phase II of the Fram – High North Research Centre for Climate and Environment – was officially opened this week in Tromsø by Norway’s Minister of Environment, Ola Elvestuen.

Scientists from 21 institutions in the fields of natural science, technology and social sciences now share 24,500 square meters of office space and laboratories. The new building is connected with the old office wing via a glassed-in atrium.

The artium is designed to become a lively arena for communication, not just between the different institutions, but also between researchers and the public.

Fram Centre opening team: Director of the Norwegian Polar Institute Ole Arve Misund (left), Rector at the University of Tromsø Anne Husebekk, Minister of Climate and Environment Ola Elvestuen, Director of the Institute for Marine Research Sissel Rogne and Mayor of Tromsø Jarle Aarbakke. (Thomas Nilsen/The Independent Barents Observer)

Moving in with state-of-the-art laboratories are the Institute for Air Research (NILU), Institute of Marine Research (IMR) and the Radiation Protection Authorities (NRPA). Others, like the Barents Watch, the International Centre for Reindeer Husbandry and the Arctic Council secretariat will benefit from sharing space with the researchers.

The Fram Centre, with about 500 employees, is now by far the largest Arctic science community located north of the circumpolar Arctic Circle.

Laboratory at the Institute of Air Research (NILU). (Thomas Nilsen/The Independent Barents Observer)
Changing climate, upgraded building

Ground level of the Fram Centre’s building phase II is built 90 centimeters higher then the first building that opened in 1998.

The impacts of climate change have been more dramatic than even Norway’s best climate researchers in Tromsø could predict when the first office-arm was planned. The shock came some years ago when the polar library, located on the ground floor, nearly got flooded due to extraordinary high tide during a storm. The library holds some of the most valuable records of historic books by Norwegian polar explorers like Amundsen and Nansen.

Higher sea level and more storms made the centre decide to build the new arm higher from ground. Also, the 20-year old office arm gets a 90-centimeter protection level increase against sea water.

Related stories from around the North:

Canada: Ottawa, Quebec announce $53-million for construction at northern research institute, Eye on the Arctic

Finland: Finland to headquarter Europe’s new atmospheric research center, Yle News

Norway: Arctic Europe’s July records melted under extreme temperatures, The Independent Barents Observer

Russia: Landmark international science agreement comes into effect in Arctic, Eye on the Arctic

Sweden: Swedish icebreaker reaches North Pole for climate study, Radio Sweden

United States: Rapid Arctic warming is increasing the frequency of blizzards in U.S. Northeast: study, Radio Canada International

Thomas Nilsen, The Independent Barents Observer

For more news from the Barents region visit The Independent Barents Observer.

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