• Sogndal, Norway
Recent publications
The automation of pork processing through robotics raises important societal concerns regarding working conditions of slaughterhouse workers and impacts on local communities. This article aims to evaluate the social performance and impacts of implementing an Autonomous Robotic System (ARS) for meat processing, comparing pre- and post-implementation scenarios. The methodology of Social Life Cycle Assessment (S-LCA) was applied to the European pork processing sector, focusing on stakeholder categories Workers and Local Community. These were assessed with nine social subcategories in total and 22 corresponding indicators, which were scored to assess the technology in question against a reference scale where each score level has clearly established criteria. The data collection strategy combined a survey, individual interviews, and focus group interviews as well as secondary data collected from desktop research and database data. The results suggest a considerable improvement in social performance and impacts when moving from the conventional meat processing scenario to the ARS. All subcategories from both stakeholder categories scored higher in the post-ARS scenario. The most improved social subcategories were Health and safety and Access to immaterial resources. A considerable improvement was identified in social subcategories Working hours, Freedom of association and collective bargaining, and Fair salary. A modest improvement was identified in social subcategories Equal opportunities and discrimination, Employment relationship, and Migration and delocalisation. The ARS is anticipated to mitigate injury risks that workers are exposed to in a conventional meat factory and to reduce sick leave but will also necessitate training and close collaboration between unions and management teams. Using a reference scale approach, we identified an improvement of the social performance in the pork processing industry post-ARS implementation, both for Workers and Local community. It is important to pay attention to social impacts and performances when introducing new technology such as automation, robotics, and artificial intelligence to ensure that these do not have unintended social impacts and/or poor social performance.
Melting glaciers and snow fields have become one of the strongest symbols of global climate change, instigating last-chance tourism and rallying cries for climate action from activists. In this sense, retreating glaciers act as charismatic entities, appealing to the public’s feelings and imaginations. The melting cryosphere is also a subject for scientific enquiry, providing the knowledge needed to establish the rates at which glaciers are declining and how they interlink and interact with other natural and human systems. Here, by applying a relational ontology rooted in human geography and science and technology studies, we show how melting glaciers and snow fields serve as charismatic boundary objects that enable tourism actors to raise awareness about climate change and push for action. Specifically, we conducted interviews and surveys with mountain guides and other actors involved in glacier tourism in local communities surrounding two of the major ice caps in Norway, Jostedalsbreen and Folgefonna, and found that the melting glaciers serve to reconcile different knowledge systems, allowing for the coexistence of affect, imaginaries, and scientific rationality. Thus, with mountain guides as the catalysts, melting glaciers contribute to a shift from a discourse of fear to one of care.
Women are underrepresented in information technology (IT) education and work across the western world. This chapter contextualizes the topic of the book by revisiting research literature about girls’ and women’s participation in IT. Among the widely recognized barriers are gender stereotypes and gender structures in IT education and work. The chapter further reviews studies into motivational factors as well as research investigating women entering IT through non-traditional training grounds. Finally, the question of why the situation has not improved faster in the Nordic countries is discussed in light of the metaphor of a Nordic gender equality paradox. This reflects a gap between theory and practice and a myth of gender equality already in place that reduces efforts to address gender inequality in technology.
What are the key factors and driving forces that make women enter the fields of information technology (IT), despite the many gendered barriers revisited in Chap. 2 ? This chapter analyses the narratives of 24 women’s chronological pathways from childhood to entering a university degree in IT. The chapter illustrates six different pathways that led the women to pursue a degree in IT, each analysed in terms of the positive drivers, including interest in IT, recruitment measures, an accidental choice, finding a safe platform in other disciplines, and a detour before discovering IT. Only one pathway identified the image of IT as suitable for women as a driving force. This, however, was shared by women from other countries, highlighting the specific cultural construction of the Norwegian women’s narratives.
The aim of this book was to answer the question: what makes women enter fields of IT? This final chapter will sum up the lessons from studying the women’s chronological pathways, space invader experiences, and reconstructions of IT, discussing the implications they might have for women, educational environments, and researchers. Learning points from barriers as well as turning points, and reconstructions that supported the women’s entries into a university degree in IT, can become guidelines for an ecosystem of supporters interested in making a more gender-inclusive digital future. This involves a discussion of how this field is riddled with a gender equality paradox and a counter-productive postfeminist reaction that results in a non-performative gender equality norm.
This chapter explores how women navigate and challenge gendered stereotypes defining IT as a masculine space. Most of the women had approached IT with limited insights. This made gender stereotypes, including a male-dominated storyline of gamers, geeks, and hackers, central to their early perceptions of the field. However, once they learnt more about IT, they started defining their own strengths and belonging in the field. The women’s experiences are analysed in light of Puwar’s metaphor of “space invaders”, highlighting how women appear as “bodies out of place” in a masculine space of IT. The space invader identity is also productive, and the women reconfigure the notion of IT as a wider and more open space where also women can be considered insiders.
Schools have an important role to play in making youth choose less gender-stereotypical educations. Schools can also play a significant role in opening the door to IT as a potential education for a wide group of young women. Through interviews with representatives from 12 Norwegian lower and upper secondary schools, this chapter explores how they consider their role in encouraging girls and women to become familiar with, and to consider studying, IT. Gender equality is a treasured value in Norwegian educational policy; however, schools have diverging views on what gender equality means in relation to IT, and also how to achieve it. The analysis demonstrates a lack of regulation and conformity in how schools address issues of motivating and encouraging girls to consider IT as a field of study.
Despite the increased importance of technology, at current rates it will still take hundreds of years to achieve gender equality in technology across western countries, even in the Nordic countries, which are recognized as some of the most gender-egalitarian nations in the world. Challenging this situation requires knowledge about how women in fact come to participate in fields of information technology (IT), which is the topic of this book. This chapter presents the framework for the book, including the overview of the theoretical and methodological perspectives, the empirical material from a series of studies in Norway, and some of the relevant debates that the book engages in. The research presented here is rooted in a tradition of feminist technology studies and inspired by feminist studies of contexts where women face gender barriers and challenges in identifying their belonging.
Transportation is affected by weather and extreme weather events, and there is evidence that heatwaves, heavy precipitation, storms, wildfires, and floods increasingly affect transport infrastructures, operations, and travel behavior. Climate change is expected to reinforce this trend, as mean weather parameters change, and the frequency and intensity of extreme events increases. This paper summarizes interrelationships of weather and transport for different transport modes from both supply and demand side perspectives on the basis of a literature review. To further explore the complexity of these interrelationships, it also evaluates news items (n = 839) in a sample of global media news outlets covering the world and population-dense world regions. Results confirm that extreme events have become disruptive of transport systems at the micro and macro scale, also affecting transport behavior. There are implications for environment, economy, technology, health, and society. Interrelationships are illustrated and discussed: Climatic impact drivers can be expected to increase transport vulnerabilities and risks, and have relevance for transport planning and adaptation.
Responses to sustainability challenges are not delivering results at the scale and speed called for by science, international agreements, and concerned citizens. Yet there is a tendency to underestimate the large-scale impacts of small-scale, local, and contextualized actions, and particularly the role of individuals in scaling transformations. Here, we explore a fractal approach to scaling sustainability transformations based on "universal values." Universal values are proposed as intrinsic characteristics that connect humans and nature in a coherent, acausal way. Drawing on the Three Spheres of Transformation framework, we consider how enacting universal values can generate fractal-like patterns of sustainability that repeat recursively across scales. Fractal approaches shift the focus from scaling through "things" (e.g., technologies, behaviors, projects) to scaling through a quality of agency based on values that apply to all. We discuss practical steps involved in fractal approaches to scaling transformations to sustainability, provide examples, and conclude with questions for future research.
The Sixth Assessment Report (AR6) of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change represents the state of knowledge of anthropogenic disruption to the climate system, its diverse ecosystem and societal impacts, and the imperative for and challenges of mitigation and adaptation responses. It is foundational for global climate policymaking. This paper examines the place of tourism in AR6 and reviews its key findings for tourism’s future. Overall, tourism related content declined relative to previous assessments. While notable improvements in content occurred for Africa, visible knowledge gaps remain in the tourism growth regions of South America, Middle East, and South Asia. There remains limited discussion of many impacts, and very limited understanding of integrated impacts and the effectiveness of adaptation strategies at the destination scale. The contribution of tourism to global emissions was omitted, however tourism was discussed in the context of luxury emissions and just transitions. Tourism is repeatedly identified in solution space discussions, particularly for ecosystem protection, but without consideration of the future of tourism in a rapidly decarbonizing and climate disrupted economy. With only 21% of published climate change and tourism literature in the AR6 review period cited, tourism academics should elevate tourism content and engagement in future assessments.
Sustainable development is a challenging field of research, colored by the paradoxes of modernity and development, and the trade-offs involved in balancing the “sustainable” and “development” sides of the various sustainable development goals. We must take these overarching challenges into account when entering a more specific discussion of what a concept of sustainable climate change adaptation may entail. This article reviews the history of this concept, including insights provided by the recent publications composing a special collection of Weather, Climate, and Society on the topic of sustainable climate change adaptation. This collection reflects on why and how the term sustainable development should be included in our understandings of and efforts toward climate change adaptation and proposes a preliminary framework for distinguishing between conventional and sustainable adaptation. Significance Statement This article reviews the history of the term “sustainable climate change adaptation” and reflects on the relationship between sustainable development and climate change adaptation efforts. It ends by proposing a framework for distinguishing between conventional and sustainable adaptation.
Recent years have seen vivid debate on decarbonizing aviation. Carbon-neutral flight is characterized by various barriers, however: Key transition technologies are in early stages of technology readiness, their scalability is uncertain, and airlines are not profitable. The replacement of fossil fuels will demand drop-in quota legislation at a global scale. This paper discusses the implications of continued growth in light of the sector's financial situation. It models the cost of biomass-based and non-biogenic synthetic (electric) fuels in combination with carbon taxes. Findings serve as a basis for the assessment of aviation's likelihood of achieving net-zero emissions without addressing growth. If the current business model – volume growth with very small profit margins – is continued, it is likely that aviation's contribution to climate change will grow, due to constraints in biofuel production, cost, and an increase in non-CO2 warming. To stay within 1.5 °C warming, the sector has to reassess capacity and its relationship with profitability; and to possibly embrace an altogether different business model.
Norway exemplifies a number of paradoxes in relation to the just transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy provision. We investigate these paradoxes by focusing on key controversies from the oil and gas sector and onshore wind power. Despite the widespread interest in avoiding conflict and increasing public acceptance, this article sees controversies as useful sites for uncovering justice issues in possible transition pathways. The controversies reveal competing interpretations of just transition amidst an inadequate cross-cutting policy response. Conventional solutions for restructuring petro-maritime industries involve taking controversies out of sight from the public and internalizing the issue of just transition to the sector’s needs. This achieves only shallow engagement with broader society regarding the scope of societal transition needed to meet climate policies. Controversies around onshore wind installations are on the doorsteps of communities themselves and call attention to the difficult social aspects of transition that require a much broader public debate and policy response. We conclude that just transition should not be interpreted sectorally in competing energy futures but rather should infiltrate both the fossil and renewables sides of the Norwegian energy provision paradox. • Key policy insights • Policies must take stock of controversies and acknowledge and unravel them to understand justice issues rather than seek to minimize them for political expedience. • Just transition policies should not be limited to directly affected sectors and locations to minimize controversies but should reach broader aspects of society to enable the deepest scope of transition (from the industrial sector to community and society). • Just development of renewable energy in Norway requires consideration of procedural, distributional, recognition and restorative aspects of energy development. • Energy policy targets need to be both long-term and inclusive. • More attention is needed to the oil and gas supply-side and energy demand reduction to connect the energy transition with ambitious climate policies.
Fjord systems are transition zones between land and sea, resulting in complex and dynamic environments. They are of particular interest in the Arctic as they harbour ecosystems inhabited by a rich range of species and provide many societal benefits. The key drivers of change in the European Arctic (i.e., Greenland, Svalbard, and Northern Norway) fjord socio-ecological systems are reviewed here, structured into five categories: cryosphere (sea ice, glacier mass balance, and glacial and riverine discharge), physics (seawater temperature, salinity, and light), chemistry (carbonate system, nutrients), biology (primary production, biomass, and species richness), and social (governance, tourism, and fisheries). The data available for the past and present state of these drivers, as well as future model projections, are analysed in a companion paper. Changes to the two drivers at the base of most interactions within fjords, seawater temperature and glacier mass balance, will have the most significant and profound consequences on the future of European Arctic fjords. This is because even though governance may be effective at mitigating/adapting to local disruptions caused by the changing climate, there is possibly nothing that can be done to halt the melting of glaciers, the warming of fjord waters, and all of the downstream consequences that these two changes will have. This review provides the first transdisciplinary synthesis of the interactions between the drivers of change within Arctic fjord socio-ecological systems. Knowledge of what these drivers of change are, and how they interact with one another, should provide more expedient focus for future research on the needs of adapting to the changing Arctic.
Automatic human activity recognition has numerous applications, especially in elderly support and healthcare. Several approaches for human activity recognition using a variety of sensors are available in the literature. While such frameworks are effective, each has limitations related to privacy, convenience, cost, and performance. In this paper, a robust framework for automatic human activity recognition is proposed that uses depth sensors that preserve privacy and are cost-effective. The depth sensors provide two data modalities, namely depth maps and skeleton sequences, used together for activity recognition. Two novel descriptors, Joint Position Descriptor (JPD) based on the position of joints; and Bone Angle Descriptor (BAD) based on bone inclination, are generated from the skeleton sequence data. The descriptors convey both spatial and temporal information and are scale and view-point invariant. Depth video clips are used along with the descriptors to deal with the issue of noisy and missing skeleton sequences. The data modalities and descriptors are fused using a two-level fusion strategy for a multi-channel Convolutional Neural Network (CNN) framework. The proposed system is validated and shown to be superior to the existing state of the art through comparisons over four widely used public datasets. A computational complexity analysis of the system confirms its efficacy in real time. A prototypical implementation of the proposed system further validates its practicability.
We analyse whether and how current municipal climate policies can be characterised as transformative and which factors and pathways may lead to transformative change at the municipal level. Based on 13 in-depth case studies of Norwegian municipalities, we address the transformative potential of climate planning and policy measures as defined and implemented by municipal authorities. We argue that municipalities’ engagement in transforming towards a low-emission society must be seen as a continuous process. Our investigation shows that municipal transformative actions are both “broad” and “in-depth”. Our study has identified several frontrunner municipalities whose “green pathways” towards transformation have emerged through historical events. We also identify how these transformative aspects are emphasised by networks and entrepreneurial actors. However, in the majority of municipalities studied, transformative climate policies are challenged by the need for job and business development along with competition over limited resources to fulfil mandatory public service tasks.
As the inclusion of youths in decision-making around their media use is increasingly normalized in the family context in the Global North, one could ask how media literacy support can be adjusted for youths in vulnerable situations, situations where their family cannot be involved in regulating their media use, such as gaming. Drawing on interviews conducted in 2021 with 13 unaccompanied refugee youths (16-25 years old) and 10 social actors working in eight organizations, this study investigates the gaming habits of such youths in Norway and the ways in which relevant social actors are involved in guiding their gaming practices. This study shows that social actors' views on gaming vary according to their level of involvement in the youths' housing arrangements. Whilst those working directly with such arrangements are involved in direct or indirect rule-setting for gaming practices, others struggle to find their role within this context. The youths, however , emphasize the importance of gaming in building relationships with other unaccompanied refugees, learning about the culture of socialization, and mitigating trauma. Moreover, there is a lack of a dialogical approach to welfare services' regulation of these youths' gaming practices. Employing such an approach could not only give these youths a voice but also expand gaming's democratization ability beyond the family context.
Drought is one of the most serious natural disasters exacerbated by climate change. Changes in precipitation and temperature in the future increase the likelihood of drought in China. In this study, a stepwise cluster ensemble downscaling (SCED) model was developed to bias‐correct projections of temperature and precipitation from multiple RCM outputs, and further characterized the drought hazards. The developed SCED model was used to aggregate and correct the results of multiple regional climate models, and its performance was proved to be reliable by comparing with the observed results. The proposed SCED method has been applied for drought projections over the Fujian province, China. The results showed that the changes of precipitation and temperature in Fujian would have obvious spatial heterogeneous characteristics. The temperature in the southeast coastal areas will increase by up to 4 °C and the precipitation will decrease by 3.1% in the late 21st century, whilst the temperature rises and precipitation increases in the southwest. Temperature in inland areas will be lower and precipitation will be less. The drought hazards were also characterized by both SPI and SPEI based on biased‐corrected projections from SCED model. According to the SPI and SPEI indices, although the number of dry months in Fujian province will not change significantly in future, the spatial and temporal heterogeneity may become more explicit. Moreover, the moderate drought (from SPI) may increase while the general drought may decrease (from both SPI and SPEI). For extreme droughts, there would not be visible changes detected by SPI, but an increasing trend characterized since the impact of temperature was included in SPEI. In addition, there would be an increasing trend on drought when increasing temperature and precipitation occurred simultaneously. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
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26 members
Otto Andersen
  • Environmental Research
Halvor Dannevig
  • Environmental studies research group
Svein Ølnes
  • Department Science and Technology
Ingjerd Skogseid
  • Applied Information Tecnology
Hilde G. Corneliussen
  • Technology and Society
Sogndal, Norway