Annual Meeting, Bergen, 09-12 of May 2023

The EU-COMFORT project has successfully organized the last General Assembly, held in Bergen at Thon Hotel Rosenkrantzgaten on the 09th May to 12nd May 2023. The assembly was a hybrid conference gathered 43 attendees present on site and 41 participants have joined online. The first day was mostly covered by scientific presentations primarily about four-year reviews of the first three Core Theme (CT1-3) research outcomes (Link1). On the second day, the keynote speaker and the management Core Theme (CT4) presented their summaries and updates prior to the project’s conclusion. The third and fourth days primarily focused on breakout sessions among work packages and discussion on synthesis paper between Core Themes. The General Assembly’s agenda included poster session, Early Career Scientist presentations, and a productive gender inclusivity discussion. 

Presentations were recorded and now available on the following link Video. Moreover, all presentations from participants, posters, and notes are made available on our official COMFORT Website.
Since this was the final conference of the project, a few special and beautiful moments happened, which you can relive by clicking on the following link Video1, Video2. Find all pictures here: Photos

COMFORT has reached the end: “COMFORT’s highlight in one page”

(NYHETSBREV (Newsletter), Geofysisk institutt, Universitetet i Bergen, 1. September 2023, Page 7)

EU H2020 project COMFORT is an interdisciplinary EU Horizon2020 project consisting of four Core Themes (CT), ten work packages and 32 international partners, started in September 2019. The overall objective of COMFORT is to provide knowledge gaps on ocean tipping points, abrupt changes, regime shifts under global warming due to human-caused emissions of greenhouse gases

COMFORT has reached the finish line on 31.Aug.2023. COMFORT successfully overcome the stressful pandemic periods. It was possible due to the excellent collaboration between scientific partners and directors of the project, Christoph Heinze (UiB) and Thorsten Blecker (SU), and the project managers.

Today, COMFORT has not only closed knowledge gaps but deliver advancement beyond state-of-the-art in understanding the past and future of ocean biogeochemistry tipping elements as well as suggesting series of mitigation and decisions for policy makers.

COMFORT has issued an alert on the new emerging climate feedback due to ocean warming which is projected to occur in the near future and can be irreversible towards the end of the century. This includes reversibility of abrupt changes and regime shifts in the ocean. The climate-induced abrupt changes will critically affect marine species and ecosystems at different trophic levels. Findings stated that only substantial and immediate reduction of greenhouse gas emission would partially induce reversibility in the ocean, primarily for the AMOC weakening and Artic Sea ice. However, the triple threat of the ocean such as (1) warming, (2) deoxygenation, and (3) ocean acidification will still persist over centuries to millenia, even after greenhouse gas emissions will have stopped.

Accordingly, COMFORT also suggested series of mitigation strategies within their efficiencies and potential risks associated in order to avoid reaching the overshot temperature (1.5°C) target in the Paris Agreement, such as simulation and implementation of large-scale carbon dioxide removal in the Earth system and assessment of their impacts on the ecosystem afterwards.

COMFORT’s work has already contributed to increasing awareness to the scientific community, policy makers and the public concerning potential damage from imminent ocean tipping points. COMFORT’s recent results have reached large audiences and have already left a substantial societal and academic footprint. At this final stage of the project, four (04) synthesis papers, one per Core Theme, are in the process of publication in order to disseminate and pass on COMFORT’s legacy. These documents are critical in assisting mitigation efforts towards limiting damages of increased greenhouse gas emissions and contribute to the IPCC report.

Must-see article: “COMFORT project warns of irreversible damage to marine environment”

COMFORT project warns of irreversible damage to marine environment

Climate change, pollution and overfishing threaten our oceans. The EU-COMFORT project calls for imminent greenhouse gas reduction to limit irreversible damage. Check out more the integrality of the article:

English version:

Norwegian version:

Source: Linn Therese Nicolaysen Hauan, Kommunikasjonsmedarbeider, Universitetet i Bergen

Release of a Policy Brief and Key Findings from the H2020 COMFORT project: Tipping Points and Regime Shifts in Regional Marine Ecosystems

A new policy brief and key findings has been released focusing on tipping points and regime shifts in regional marine ecosystems (Rusiecka et al., 2023). This new policy brief document contains key findings from the EU-COMFORT project and complement them with available literature on human induced impacts on marine ecosystems, particularly in the Arctic, Atlantic, Pacific, and Southern
Oceans, as well as in three European seas: the Mediterranean, Baltic, and North Sea.

Workshop on marine tipping points and extreme events

COMFORT organized a successful workshop on 14th April 2023, focusing on ocean tipping points and extreme events, for key stakeholders in Norwegian society. The workshop was well-attended, with representatives from several important Norwegian organizations, including the Norwegian Environment Agency, the Research Council of Norway, Bergen Kommune, GRID-Arendal, CINEA/EU, Met Office Norway, and the Arctic Monitoring Assessment Programme, etc …

The event primarily aimed to clarify the concept of “Tipping Points,” and presented recent findings from the two EU Horizon 2020 projects, COMFORT and TiPACCs, as well as the Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Programme. Discussions covered various aspects of reversibility, time scales, uncertainties, mitigation pathways, adaptation options, and policy recommendations. Additionally, the event was objectively planned to communicate and involve Stakeholders to be aware of climate-induced imminent and future changes which may affect Norway and their related cascading effects. 

The workshop sessions were recorded and available just right here: Videos