Vaisala teams up with Unu Mondo Expedition to learn more about climate change
Blog by Samuli Hänninen, Vice President, Products and Technologies, Weather and Environment, Vaisala
Year 1979 marks the beginning of raising climate awareness. The First World Climate Conference was held in Geneva, and with the first satellite measurements more data was available of the climate than ever before. Since then we have learned a lot. We know the Arctic is the part of the world where the impact of climate change is the most visible: average temperatures there have risen twice as fast as anywhere else, and a number of scientists predict that 70% of the permanent Arctic ice cover will be gone by 2050.
Climate change is undeniably a key global challenge today, visible outcomes of the changing climate are the increasing extreme weather events: 38 degrees Celsius in arctic Siberia last summer or the new potential temperature record 54.4 degrees Celsius in Death Valley, US.
As of today we can measure a lot, we can model a lot and the speed of development is ever increasing with the help of AI/ML and advanced physics, but still there are a lot of things that we do not know.
Unu Mondo in action
In the autumn of 2020, Unu Mondo Expedition delivered and installed three units of Vaisala Automatic Weather Stations to measure wind and air temperature in Greenland. The University of Liège teamed up with Unu Mondo to transport the weather stations by boat. Unu Mondo did a four-month sailing expedition from France into the Arctic to gather scientific data and testimonies from local communities to better anticipate climate change and promote concrete actions. They will continue to Alaska through the famous Northwest Passage this year.
For thousands of years, people in these regions have developed a close connection with their environment. This fragile balance is now being disrupted by the melting ice, leading to many changes in social, economic, and cultural behavior. On the road to the Northwest Passage, the Unu Mondo Expedition will visit eight indigenous communities to understand how they are adapting. They will conduct interviews to investigate their perception of climate change to help us learn more.
The Unu Mondo team is composed of two skippers, Tobias and Sophie, and a handful of scientists. The Unu Mondo Expedition aims to raise awareness among the general public but also to support scientific research that allows a concrete and measured study of current phenomena.
We at Vaisala are committed to create solutions that help to tackle the most crucial challenges of our time. We do this by providing reliable, accurate, and high-quality means to observe, model, understand and act on weather and environmental phenomena and their impacts.
My blog post started with the year 1979, which happens to be the same year I was born. I remember well the discussions my parents had in the 80’s about greenhouse effect (it was not called a climate change back then). At that point of time nobody really knew if it was potentially caused by humans or not. Now we know, but as said there is always so much more to learn, when your mind is curious. Solution to any problem starts by understanding the problem. To understand, you need to be able to quantify it, in order to quantify you need to measure. I am proud of us being a partner of the Uno Mundo Expedition and always staying curious.