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Scientists positive about Arctic meeting

Researchers are often cynical about global political conferences. Ministers from all over the world frequently fly to summits seemingly just to reaffirm the magnitude of a given problem, and then avoid making any real commitments to solve it.

But the latest such agreement might buck this trend. Polar scientists Research Europe spoke to were positive about a joint statement that resulted from the Second Arctic Science Ministerial in Berlin on 26 October. The document was signed by representatives of the eight Arctic countries, 15 other nations and six indigenous groups.

“With such an inclusive and high-level setting-out of common aspirations of Arctic science and research, it is likely that this will influence governmental action,” said Timo Koivurova, director of the Arctic Centre at the University of Lapland in Finland. “It was also significant to highlight the need to understand better the global consequences of Arctic warming.”

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