Exploring the Nordic electric aviation horizon
Nordic countries have ambitious plans and commitments to promote sustainable flight solutions by introducing electric aircraft for short-haul domestic and cross-border flights. How far is it becoming a reality? What infrastructure, policies, interests and concerns are a help or hindrance? Join the discussion about the Nordic electric aviation development, inspired by three newly conducted Nordregio studies in collaboration with Nordic Energy Research and the University of Akureyri. Which Nordic routes will be the first to go electric? Earlier this year, Nordregio published an accessibility study that identified over 200 potential electric aviation routes in the Nordics. This would significantly cut travel time compared to those going by both car or public transportation and yet be a more sustainable mobility solution. However, the feasibility of introducing the necessary infrastructure crucially depends on energy demands and availability. What stands in the way of electric aviation in the Nordics? The Nordic countries are known for their low population density, breathtaking geography with fjords, lakes, and mountains, and a strong focus on sustainable energy. However, each country’s context varies. Take Finland, for example. Electric aviation could improve connections to remote areas and improve regional competitiveness and tourism, yet substantial investments will be needed. Norway could reduce the environmental impact of travels connected to medical care, family and recreation. In Iceland, support for electric aviation is strong, both for environmental reasons and to further regional development. At the same time, an important concern is electrical safety. “It is exciting how soon electric aviation could become a reality in domestic flights in the Nordic countries. For instance, Icelandair has stated that the 30-seat electric airplane, developed by Heart Aerospace, could be used on all domestic routes, and it is estimated that it will be used for passenger transport in 2028,” says Sæunn Gísladóttir, Researcher at the University of Akureyri Research…
Nordregio presented three research projects on remote work, community resilience, and infrastructure at the Arctic circle conference
Nordregio researchers Ágúst Bogason, Anna Karlsdóttir, and Timothy Heleniak presented at the Arctic circle conference on 13-16 October in Reykjavík. They participated in several sessions and shared Nordregio’s research on remote work and arctic issues. Bogason presented in the session “Remote Areas: A Window Of Opportunity” organized by NORA (the Nordic Atlantic Cooperation), with speakers from the Faroe Islands and the islands of Scotland. The researcher introduced the results of Nordregio’s project on remote work and multilocality. According to Bogason, the preliminary results do, in many ways, fit the narrative we heard first-hand from the peripheral areas and remote places: they have vast opportunities. Optimism and innovative solutions are paving the way for a future where traditional challenges of rural communities are being re-defined as strengths and benefits. “Nordregio’s research results suggest that there is optimism among the planners and policymakers in the rural regions that increased remote work and multi-local living can contribute to developing more sustainable peripheral regions. While the results also show an increased willingness of people to move to more remote areas while continuing their work, either remotely or by dividing their time between two or more places. In this way, remote work gives rural regions more possibilities as they can often offer different things than urban areas”, said Bogason. Heleniak presented a publication, “Island hopping: infrastructure development in the Faroe Islands,” in the session “Arctic transport infrastructures and sustainable communities.” “The building of bridges and especially sub-sea tunnels have linked outer-lying settlements to the capital of Tórshavn, making it much easier to live outside Tórshavn and travel there for work or other purposes. However, the population has become quite car-dependent, as is the case in many periphery regions of the Arctic”, said Heleniak presenting the research. Karlsdóttir participated in a session “The Revenge of Geopolitics:…
- 2022 October
- Arctic issues
- Remote work
- Sustainable development
Permafrost thaw in the Arctic and sand extraction in Greenland – new articles from Nordregio researchers
Senior Research Fellow Leneisja Jungsberg and Research Fellow Justine Ramage have published an article examining permafrost perceptions in three Arctic communities. Jungsberg has also written a comment for a study examining opportunistic climate adaption in Greenland. The article ‘No longer solid’: perceived impacts of permafrost thaw in three Arctic communities, published in Polar Geography, is written by Nordregio researchers Dr. Justine Ramage and Dr. Leneisja Jungsberg. The article examines local communities’ perceptions of permafrost change. The study, carried out between 2019 and 2020 in Aklavik (Northwest Territories, Canada), Longyearbyen (Svalbard, Norway), and Qeqertarsuaq (Qeqertalik Municipality, Greenland), shows that the majority of the 237 participants are well aware of the consequences of permafrost thaw on the landscape as well as the connection between increased air temperature and permafrost thaw. – Permafrost thaw is perceived as a major cause for challenges in subsistence activities, infrastructure, and the physical environment. Different perceptions within the three study communities suggests that perceptions of thaw are not solely determined by physical changes but also influenced by factors related to the societal context, including discourses of climate change, cultural background, and land use, Dr. Jungsberg states. What do you think is interesting to point out for a broader audience? – Permafrost characterizes ground conditions in most of the Arctic and is increasingly thawing. While environmental consequences of permafrost thaw are under intense scrutiny by natural and life sciences, social sciences’ studies on local communities’ perceptions of change are thus far limited. This hinders the development of targeted adaptation and mitigation measures. Read the article here. What are the economic opportunities for glacially-derived sand extraction in Greenland? Senior Research Fellow Leneisja Jungsberg has also recently published Turning Greenland’s sand into gold – a comment for a study examining opportunistic climate adaptation in Greenland. With the warming climate an…
- 2022 September
- Nordic Region
- Arctic issues
Climate Coffee with Dr. Jungsberg: How to manage permafrost thaw in Northwest Greenland
On the 2nd of June, Nordregio Senior Researcher Dr. Leneisja Jungsberg will participate in a Climate Coffee to share about her study examining the adaptive capacity for managing permafrost degradation in Northwest Greenland. The study focuses on three aspects: community awareness, institutional organisation, and scientific knowledge to inform decision-making. “Permafrost degradation is a big challenge for many Arctic communities. Results from this study illustrate the impact of permafrost degradation on the physical environment, hunting and harvesting, housing, and the economy in Northwest Greenland. House owners are mending damage caused by ground movement, and local institutions are concerned with the maintenance of roads and other public infrastructure impacted by permafrost,” says Dr. Jungsberg. The empirical material is informed by questionnaire and interview data from fieldwork, frozen ground temperature records, and published data forecasting the deepening of the active layer. Results illustrate that much of the adaptation practices are carried out ad-hoc and due to a lack of human and financial resources there are currently no long-term solutions. The research leading to this study received support from the Nunataryuk project, funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Program. Climate coffees are relaxed meetings for scientists to exchange ideas, discuss about their latest results and new methods with their fellow scientists. Climate coffees are an initiative of ECRA and Blue-Action. Read the article here. Register for the Climate coffee here.
- 2022 May
- Arctic issues
Nordregio at the “Population Dynamics and Climate Implications in the Arctic” webinar
Nordregio researchers Timothy Heleniak and Justine Ramage will present at the “Population Dynamics and Climate Implications in the Arctic” webinar. They will participate in a panel discussion on Arctic Population Dynamics and share their insights based on Nordregio projects ”Polar Peoples in the Future: Projections of the Arctic Populations” and “Atlas of population, society and economy in the Arctic”. The webinar will provide a forum for experts and attendees to: Identify human geography data which provides a foundation for examining the changing environment in the Arctic Explore Arctic demographic trends, including outmigration, urbanization, and settlements, and their broader impacts Discuss participatory and other local mapping processes conducted with indigenous peoples to better understand human security issues in the Arctic region Webinar speakers and the WWHGD Working Group Support Team will highlight and share relevant methods and data during the event. You will also have the opportunity to collaborate with other participants, share data, and pose questions to the speakers. The webinar is sponsored by the World-wide Human Geography Data Working Group and hosted by the Office of the Geographer of the U.S. State Department. The WWHGD is co-led by the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency and the U.S. Department of State. Find more information and registration here.
- 2022 April
- Arctic issues
Nordregio’s position regarding the funding of research and research collaboration with Russia and Belarus
The Council of Nordic Ministers decided as of March 4, 2022, to immediately discontinue all collaborative efforts with Russia and Belarus. The Nordic Ministers for Cooperation stand united in this decision. This means that programs, projects, and activities in Russia and Belarus are discontinued until further notice. In light of the stance put forth by the Nordic Ministers for Cooperation, Nordregio issues a moratorium as regards the disbursal of project funds, the acceptance of applications, the execution of projects, and the entry into agreements and the like that involve Russian and Belarusian parties. The intention is to end all contacts and collaborative efforts with governmental and public institutions of Russian or Belarusian origin. “Intellectual and cultural engagement between individuals is an important prerequisite to creating cohesion and mutual understanding between countries. It is devastating that this war in this way will affect cooperation in academia, research and culture – fields that are meant to serve as tools for mitigating conflicts, building global understanding across borders and supporting people-to-people contacts. The Director reserves the right to decide whether specific contacts and collaborative efforts are appropriate on a case-by-case basis if the circumstances change in the future,” says Nordregio Director Rolf Elmér. Nordregio has been involved with four projects with one or several Russian counterparts: FemArc, Semper Arctic, WANO and Accelerating wood construction across Nordics and Russia. All of these projects have been halted.