45 years of wandering – from processes to systems, through outer and inner seas
An interview by Hans von Storch and Marcus Reckermann with a foreword by Jüri Elken
This interview is part of a series of interviews that Hans von Storch, together with others, has conducted with outstanding scientists over the past decades, mostly in the field of climate research, meteorology and oceanography.
This is another account of an eminent and fine scientist on how our field and its community grew and matured in the past 40 and more years. As in the previous cases, we are not so much interested in institutional developments and related careers, but in how scientifically productive individuals perceive the course of science, knowledge, understanding and paradigms. Note that “perception” means subjective accounts, not claims of truth.
So far, all interviewed people have been “old white men” who do not feel the urge to convince others of their greatness, but who want to share their excitement about ideas, methods and concepts, without missionary dominance.Anders Omstedt fits really well in this description – a “nice guy”, modest but determined, who has contributed to our understanding of the interplay of ocean, sea ice and atmosphere in the Baltic Sea region – and who contributed significantly to the formation of a most successful egalitarian scientific community, namely BALTEX and Baltic Earth. A community with many different languages and very different scientific socialization of their members. A community, which contributed to overcome the unfortunate separation of the scientific realms in the East and West, and which is now overcoming disciplinary borders.
Anders Omstedt, himself a physically trained oceanographer, has been a key player in the process of building the paradigm of the Baltic Sea region as one geographical system, harboring many exciting challenges concerning processes, mechanism, monitoring and impacts. (Source: Preface by Hans von Storch and Marcus Reckermann)