Pär Ahlberger and Anna Wåhlin in front of the Skagerak
Swedish Ambassador to Iceland Pär Ahlberger visited the University of Gothenburg's research vessel Skagerak and Anna Wåhlin, Professor of Oceanography, in Reykjavik’s harbour.
Photo: Sigurbjörg Hjörleifsdottir

Sweden's ambassador to Iceland visits research vessel Skagerak


The Swedish ambassador to Iceland, Pär Ahlberger, has visited the University of Gothenburg's research vessel Skagerak, currently located in Reykjavik’s harbour. The ambassador met with Anna Wåhlin, Professor of Oceanography, who is testing instruments before an upcoming research expedition to Greenland.
“I understand that the Skagerak is a state-of-the-art vessel, that does unique research. The vessel and the team impressed all visitors,” says Pär Ahlberger.

The R/V Skagerak has been off the coast of Iceland for a few weeks to study meltwater from the Vatnajökull glacier, but is currently in Reykjavik harbour for a change of crew and researchers before a research expedition to Greenland. This was a good opportunity for Sweden's Ambassador to Iceland, Pär Ahlberger, to visit the ship and learn more about ship-based research.
During the visit, the Ambassador was given a presentation of the underwater robot Ran, which will be sent under the Greenlandic ice sheet in a few days. He also helped unscrew Ran's shield to see the high-tech inside of the robot.

Ambassador with screwdriver
It takes two people to unscrew Ran's shield. Ambassador Pär Ahlberger helps Ran's technician Filip Stedt.

“It was very impressive to see Ran and learn how it complements satellite measurements made of the glaciers. Ran made a big impression on me,” says Pär Ahlberger.

Important research

The Ambassador was on board for an hour and a half. The weather did not permit a trip along the Icelandic coast, as the wind was blowing 18 metres per second at the time, and there are currently earthquakes in the area. A group of researchers and students from the Faculty of Earth Sciences at the University of Iceland also took part in the visit.

Researchers onboard the Skagerak look at instruments
Master’s student Maja Billman and researcher Adam Ulfsbo talk about the chemical analyses that will be carried out during the upcoming Greenland expedition.
Photo: Anna Wåhlin

“I am really looking forward for collaboration with other groups to observe and study the Oceans around Iceland in a global context,” says Angel Ruiz Angulo, associate professor of Physical Oceanography, University of Iceland. 

“I hope that Skagerak can come back to Iceland, and that we at the embassy can contribute to the dissemination of knowledge. The research conducted on the Skagerak is one of the most pressing issues of our time, which also involves Iceland and Europe's largest glacier, Vatnajökull,” says Pär Ahlberger.

Text: Annika Wall

The R/V Skagerak in Reykjavik’s harbour with mountains in the background
The R/V Skagerak is currently in Reykjavik’s harbour, after a few weeks studying meltwater from the Vatnajökull glacier.
Photo: Maja Billman