NRB 23, August 2023

Welcome to the 23rd Northern Research Basins Symposium 'Northern Hydrology in Transition'!

The history of NRB

In 1975, the International Hydrological Program (IHP) National Committees of Canada, Denmark/Greenland, Finland, Norway, Sweden, the United States of America, and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR)  established the IHP Working Group on Northern Research Basins, now called the “NRB Working Group” . In 1992, Iceland joined the group and Russia took over the responsibilities of the former USSR.  

Objectives

The overall objective of the NRB Working Group is to encourage research in hydrological basins in cold regions where snow, ice and frozen ground have a dominant role in the hydrological cycle. 

Over the years, the objectives of the NRB Working Group have evolved to include the following:

  • Gain a better understanding of hydrological processes, particularly those in which snow, ice, and frozen ground have a major influence on the hydrological regime, and to determine the relative importance of each component of the water balance.
  • Provide data for the development and testing of transposable models which may be applied to regional, national, and international water and land resource programmes.
  • Relate hydrological processes to the chemical and biological evolution of northern basins.
  • Assess and predict the effect of human activities on the hydrological regime in northern environments.
  • Encourage the exchange of personnel (technicians, scientists, research officers, students, and others) among participating countries.
  • Provide information for the improvement and standardisation of measurement techniques and network design in northern regions.
  • Encourage exchange of information on a regular basis, and
  • Set up task forces to promote research initiatives on topics of special interest to northern research basins.

 Focus on Climate Warming

Since the NRB’s inception, climate warming has developed as a major scientific issue of direct importance to cold regions hydrology and water science throughout the circumpolar region. From the perspective of the Indigenous communities of cold regions, climate warming has introduced new and troubling uncertainties in regards to the future quantity and quality of water resources.  In recent years there is a growing realization that climate warming adaptation strategies are most successful if the communities directly affected play a leading role in their development and application. 

About NRB23 

In August 2022, we held a short version of the NRB23 symposium as a hybrid side meeting of the Cryosphere2022 conference. For 2023, we plan to hold the full 5-day symposium in Sweden (see information below). In line with the theme “Northern Hydrology in Transition” we will address a wide range of topics relevant to high-latitude regions.

Main themes:

  • impacts of global warming on the water cycle in northern environments, e.g., changes in the snowpack, glacier recession, permafrost thaw and wildfires 
  • land-use changes, e.g., mining, logging, dam building
  • long-term effects of past legacies and remediation strategies, e.g., peatland drainage/restoration
  • impacts of environmental changes on the livelihoods of indigenous Sámi people

The 23rd NRB“Northern Hydrology in Transition”will provide an engaging conference experience with excursions, outdoor poster sessions and discussions on the status and future of northern hydrologic systems. The symposium aims to assemble scientists and stakeholders from all disciplines relevant to water cycle changes and associated biochemical cycling in high-latitude regions.

Registration for the 5-day NRB23 meeting in 2023 will open in the beginning of 2023.

Dates and venues

The 23rd NRB will start on a Sunday, in the Krycklan catchment—globally, one of the most instrumented watersheds located in the boreal region not far from the Baltic Sea. After a northern travers, the conference will end in the Stora Sjöfallet National park, in the cross-road between melting glaciers and competing needs of the industrialized society and the Sámi people (see map below).

Notes: 

The meeting was initially planned for 2021 but was cancelled due to the Covid-19 situation. 

We, the Swedish organizers of the NRB, condemn the Russian attack on Ukraine and we express our full support for Ukraine and its scientific community. We are aware that many Russian scientists have spoken out against the war and/or are condemning it the same way we do. We believe that the scientific community is a way to build and maintain bridges. We thus decided that people affiliated with a Russian or Belarusian institute are welcome to participate in NRB23 but only as private citizens (i.e., without their affiliation).

Map of the two conference locations: 1) Krycklan catchment and 2) Stora Sjöfallets nationalpark

Part 1: Krycklan catchment

View over the Krycklan catchment, credit: https://www.slu.se/globalassets/ew/org/inst/esf/forsoksparker/vindeln/krycklan/krycklan-field-guide2.pdf

Part 2: Stora Sjöfallet National park

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
Stora Sjöfallet National park, credit: https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nationalpark_Stora_Sj%C3%B6fallet

Objectives of the Northern Research Basins Working Group:

The overall objective of the NRB Working Group is to encourage research in hydrological basins in cold regions where snow, ice and frozen ground have a dominant role in the
hydrological cycle.
Over the years, the objectives of the NRB Working Group have evolved to include the following:

  • Gain a better understanding of hydrological processes, particularly those in which snow, ice, and frozen ground have a major influence on the hydrological regime, and to determine the relative importance of each component to the water balance.
  • Provide data for the development and testing of transposable models which may be applied to regional, national, and international water and land resource programmes.
  • Relate hydrological processes to the chemical and biological evolution of northern basins.
  • Assess and predict the effect of human activities on the hydrological regime in northern environments.
  • Encourage the exchange of personnel (technicians, scientists, research officers, students, and others) among participating countries.
  • Provide information for the improvement and standardisation of measurement techniques and network design in northern regions.
  • Encourage exchange of information on a regular basis, and
  • Set up task forces to promote research initiatives on topics of special interest to northern research basins.

Local Organising Committee

This meeting is jointly organized by David Gustafsson (SMHI, david.gustafsson[at]smhi.se),  Andrea L. Popp (SMHI), Hjalmar Laudon (SLU) and Ninis Rosqvist (SU) in Sweden.