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He will present research at the UN Climate Change Conference in Madrid


Sebastiaan Swart, marine scientist at the University of Gothenburg, will present current marine research at COP25, the UN's major climate change conference in Madrid.

What is your role at the meeting?

– I represent the Southern Ocean Observing System ( as co-chair of the organization. I will present broad research on the Southern Ocean and SOOS on December 3rd.

What are your expectations?

Sebastiaan Swart– I hope to be able to engage with and inform decision-makers and role-players at Cop25 and involved with the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) on the role of the ocean in climate and its associated change now and into the future. I will also exchange knowledge and information with key people in the global ocean research community and with the public at large. This meeting is one of the most important ways for us researchers to be able to inform society and influence political decisions with the knowledge we have about the ocean and climate.

What will you communicate about your research?

– I will attempt to provide two important messages. One is that the ocean and especially the Southern Ocean are changing and acutely susceptible to climate change. The Southern Ocean absorbs about 70-90 percent of all ocean heat and half of all ocean carbon. The second message is that we still know so little about the Southern Ocean because we have so few observations in this remote and harsh region. This means we know little about how the South Ocean will respond to climate change and, vice versa, how the climate will respond to a warmer Southern Ocean.

– We really need to improve coordination in how observations are made in this part of the polar region because it plays such a big role in our global climate system. Our lack of observations in the Southern Ocean make it a "climate blind spot" in our understanding of how the earth works and how climate change will develop now and into the future.

The United Nations Climate Change Conference 2019 (COP25) is the UN's largest climate conference to be held in Madrid, Spain, December 2-13, 2019, under Chilean leadership.

Sebastiaan Swart, associate professor at the Department of Marine Sciences, University of Gothenburg, Co-Chair of SOOS,, 031-786 5628, 0723-667672