"This is fascinating research," said HRH Crown Prince Haakon on his tour of the Bjerknes Centre for Climate Research March 15th.
There he analysed the snow he sampled himself on his visit to EastGRIP on the Greenland ice last summer.
At EastGRIP an international team of scientists has drilled deeper and deeper into the 2500 meter thick ice. This summer they are expected to hit the bottom. The ice cores brought up are a climate archive of precipitation and air bubbles, as far back in time as 100,000 years.
During the visit at the Bjerknes Centre the Crown Prince met UiB and Bjerknes researchers Kerim Nisancioglu, Hans Christian Steen-Larsen and PhDs Karita Kajanto and Laura Dietrich, all working on different aspects of the Greenland ice sheet.
Royal lab assistant
On his visit to Greenland last summer, he also met Nisancioglu and Steen-Larsen, and contributed to the research project SNOWISO. He made 10 snow samples in the material sent back to the Bjerknes Centre.
In the advanced isotope laboratorium at the Bjerknes Centre, the snow samples were ready to analyse.
"Has the Crown Prince ever used a pippette before?" asked SNOWISO project leader Steen-Larsen.
"I don't think I have!" replied the Crown Prince, before taking on the role as lab assistant.
The samples are used to improve climate models used to reconstruct former climate. PhD Laura Dietrich showed the Crown Prince how research from Greenland already has contributed to existing models, and got several follow-up questions from the climate interested Crown Prince.
PhD Laura Dietrich in conversation with HRH Crown Prince Haakon on her research on variations of water molecules in snow and ice.
Ole M. Kvamme, UiB
"Snow is one of the best sources for reconstructing a precise temperature line going back in time. It's like reading a book," explains Steen-Larsen.
The samples can tell us the temperature on Earth more than a hundred thousand years ago, and can be used to track periods with climate similar to ours to better understand climate changes.
"It has been a pleasure working with the Crown Prince. He is very interested in the research, and we will thank him in our next publication for helping the sampling," says Steen-Larsen.
HRH Crown Prince Haakon and Hans-Christian Steen-Larsen with the samples the Crown Prince collected on Greenland, and will go in to the data set of ERC project SNOWISO.
Ole M. Kvamme, UiB
Bjerknes Centre Director, Kikki Kleiven, says the Crown Prince engagement for climate and climate research is important.
"He has been an eye witness to the climate changes on Greenland, and it is very valuable to us researchers that he is approaching new knowledge in this way. The Crown Prince has a large influence in the Norwegian society, she says.