The complex and multi-stakeholder nature of today’s maritime domain, combined with contemporary technology developments such as global connectivity has the potential to facilitate significant data collection within a realm which has been relatively untapped until now. When applied to remote areas such as the Arctic and High North, this potential amplified as a result of the limited exposure these regions have had to modern technologies.

EU-PolarNet

EU-PolarNet 2 is the world’s largest consortium of expertise and infrastructure for Polar Research. It brings together the expertise and knowledge of 25 partners from all 21 European and Associated Countries with substantial Polar activities. EU-PolarNet 2 – “Coordinating and co-designing the European Polar Research Area” will build on EU-PolarNet 1’s achievements. It will go several steps further to develop and work towards the implementation of a European Polar Research Area. 

APPLICATE

A team of experts in weather and climate prediction from 15 research institutes, operational centres and universities in eight European countries contributed to the success of APPLICATE – an AWI-led European project aimed at improving predictive capacity on polar regions and investigate the linkages between the Arctic and mid-latitudes.

European Polar Board (EPB)

The EPB is an independent organisation that focuses on major European strategic priorities in both the Arctic and the Antarctic regions. Current EPB membership includes research institutes, funding agencies, scientific academies and polar operators from across Europe.

The EPB envisions a Europe with a strong and cohesive polar research community and wherein decisions affecting or affected by the Polar Regions are informed by independent, accurate, and timely advice.

The goal of the ARCOS project is to design and implement an early-warning system named ARCOS (Arctic Observatory for Copernicus SEA Service) providing continuous monitoring of the Arctic region. Designed to generate actionable products in the security domain by processing and fusing multi-sensor data, the ARCOS system integrates available information from space, non-space sources and products available from Copernicus Services such as the Copernicus Marine Environment Monitoring Service (CMEMS) and the Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S).

FACE-It

The Arctic plays a crucial role in regulating the earth’s climate. Hence, the impact of climate change on the Arctic has serious consequences to high latitude ecosystems and societies. The EU-funded FACE-IT project hypothesises that the biodiversity of Arctic coastal zones is changing in line with the rates of cryosphere changes. It also theorises that these changes impact local communities, food production, livelihoods & other ecosystem services.

ARC-SAR

Innovation platforms for Arctic and North Atlantic security: The provision of new research and innovation programmes contribute substantially to successful interactions between security and emergency response institutions in the Arctic and the North Atlantic (ANA). In this context, the EU-funded ARCSAR project aims to establish international best practice and propose innovation platforms within safety and security in the focus region.

FORCeS

European scientists will come together to study the magnitude of aerosol radiative forcing caused by anthropogenic emissions. Understanding the role of aerosols and aerosol-cloud reciprocal action is instrumental for policymakers involved in the Paris Agreement. There is currently a level of uncertainty that needs to be cleared up as there is a comprehension gap between processes and pattern implementation on the climate scale. The EU-funded FORCeS project aims to detect essential processes that influence aerosol radiative forcing and study data related to aerosols and clouds’ impacts on climate during recent decades.

The Arctic is more affected by climate warming than any other region. To monitor the ongoing changes, to predict the evolution of the climate system and to develop mitigation measures, we need a coherent system of Earth Observation.

ICE-ARC

ICE-ARC (Ice, Climate, Economics – Arctic Research on Change) will look into the current and future changes in Arctic sea ice – both from changing atmospheric and oceanic conditions. The project will also investigate the consequences of these changes both on the economics of the area and globally, and social aspects such as on indigenous peoples.

ArcticHubs

The Arctic today faces extraordinary pressures, with globalisation and climate change combining to drive change at an unprecedented rate. The opening up of new economic sectors, including mining and mass tourism, alongside the industrialisation of many traditional livelihoods, such as fishing and forestry, are driving land use conflicts between competing sectors, and producing profound transformations on lives and communities at the economic, socio-cultural, political and environmental levels.

The ArcticHubs Project is an ambitious, multi-disciplinary international collaboration that aims to develop research-led, practice-based solutions to the urgent challenges faced in the Arctic

iCUPE

iCUPE – Integrative and Comprehensive Understanding on Polar Environments – answers to ERA-PLANET (European network for observing our changing planet) thematic strand 4 (Polar areas and natural resources). The project is motivated by the fact that the role of polar regions will increase in terms of megatrends such as globalization, new transport routes, demography and use of natural resources. These megatrends have environmental effects and will drastically affect e.g. regional and transported pollutant concentrations. As a consequence, the polar areas face interconnected grand challenges.

ARICE

ARICE (Arctic Research Icebreaker Consortium: A strategy for meeting the needs for marine-based research in the Arctic) is a project financed by the EU HORIZON2020 RIA Research and Innovation action on the topic “Integrating Activities for Starting Communities”. ARICE joins the efforts of 15 partners from 12 different countries (Germany, Sweden, United Kingdom, Norway,  France, Italy, Spain, Poland, Finland, Denmark, Canada and the United States of America). The project started on the 1st of January 2018 and will run until the 31st of December 2022. ARICE is an international cooperation strategy aiming at providing Europe with better capacities for marine-based research in the ice-covered Arctic Ocean.

INTAROS

INTAROS aimed to develop an integrated Arctic Observation System (iAOS) by extending, improving and unifying existing systems in the different regions of the Arctic. INTAROS has a strong multidisciplinary focus, with tools for integration of data from atmosphere, ocean, cryosphere and terrestrial sciences, provided by institutions in Europe, North America and Asia. INTAROS is assessing strengths and weaknesses of existing observing systems – both satellite and in-situ – and contributes with innovative solutions to fill some of the critical gaps in the in situ observing network.

beyond EPICA

Using ice-core information of the past to face climate change of the present and the future. To design effective mitigation and adaptation strategies to the current man-made climate change and improve our ability to predict future climate changes, we need to carefully study the past. The Antarctic ice sheet contains a unique record of the Earth’s climate history. The air bubbles embedded in the ice preserve a record of the Earth’s atmosphere through time. The EU-funded Beyond EPICA project set up a camp at Little Dome C in East Antarctica, with the aim to obtain quantitative, high-resolution ice-core information on climate and environmental changes over the last 1.5 million years. This includes a major transition in the rhythm and intensity of the ice age cycles. Its investigation is vital to understand the processes governing our climate system.

INTERACT

Climate change affects the Arctic more than twice as much as any other region on Earth. Moreover, the impact of climate change in the Arctic is not geographically limited but causes hazardous events worldwide. Understanding and predicting potential events requires international research and monitoring. The EU-funded INTERACT project is based on an especially successful transnational access programme aiming to achieve best practices for lucrative research, monitoring, education and outreach to address societal challenges caused by the rapid climate change in the Arctic.

BLUE-ACTION

The overall objective of Blue-Action was to actively improve our ability to describe, model, and predict Arctic climate change and its impact on Northern Hemisphere climate, weather and their extremes, and to deliver valued climate services of societal benefit. In its 5 years of activities (2016-2021), Blue-Action has provided fundamental and empirically-grounded, executable science that can quantify and explain the role of a changing Arctic in increasing the predictive capability of weather and climate of the Northern Hemisphere.

JUSTNORTH

New framework for Arctic economic activities: from fossil fuel & mineral extraction to transport, the Arctic is experiencing a marked increase in human activity. It is also experiencing an unprecedented level of economic prosperity. JUSTNORTH will study the viability of Arctic economic activities in view of the area’s social, economic and environmental complexities.

CAPARDUS

The focus of the project is to support the development of standards, guidelines and practices for environmental protection, economic development and other activities in the Arctic. There is growing human presence and footprint in the Arctic combined with a dramatic change in the climate and environment.

KEPLER

KEPLER was a multi-partner initiative, built around the operational European Ice Services and Copernicus information providers, to prepare a roadmap for Copernicus to deliver an improved European capacity for monitoring and forecasting the Polar Regions.

CHARTER

CHARTER is a research project that is funded by the European Union Horizon 2020 Programme. CHARTER grew out of a desire to better understand the processes that have been driving rapid climate and land use changes in the Arctic. The name comes from the project title: Drivers and Feedbacks of Changes in Arctic Terrestrial Biodiversity. The project started in August 2020 and will run for 4 years. CHARTER involves 21 research institutions across 9 countries (see the full list here). CHARTER is coordinated d by the Arctic Centre, University of Lapland and the project leader is Research Professor Bruce Forbes.

Nunataryuk

Most human activity in the Arctic takes place along permafrost coasts, making them a key interface. They have become one of the most dynamic ecosystems on Earth because permafrost thaw is now exposing these coasts to rapid change: change that threatens the rich biodiversity, puts pressure on communities that live there and contributes to the vulnerability of the global climate system. NUNATARYUK will determine the impacts of thawing coastal and subsea permafrost on the global climate, and will develop targeted and co-designed adaptation and mitigation strategies for the Arctic coastal population.

CRiceS: Climate relevant interactions and feedbacks: Sea ice is an integral, changing part of the global Earth system. The polar climate system affects lives and livelihoods across the world by regulating climate and weather; providing ecosystem services; and regulating the ability of humans to operate (hunting, shipping, and resource extraction).

OCEAN:ICE

OCEAN:ICE will assess the impacts of key Antarctic Ice Sheet and Southern Ocean processes on Planet Earth, via their influence on sea level rise, deep water formation, ocean circulation and climate. An innovative and ambitious combination of observations and numerical models, including coupled ice sheet-climate model development, will be used to improve predictions of how changes in the Antarctic and Greenland ice sheets impact global climate.

ECOTIP

ECOTIP is a flagship Horizon 2020 research project focusing on understanding and predicting changes in Arctic marine biodiversity and implications for two vitally important marine ecosystem services: fisheries production and carbon sequestration.

Running for the period 2020 to 2025, and led by the Technical University of Denmark (DTU), ECOTIP brings together leading scientists from 15 institutes across Europe, Japan and Canada.

The project combines state-of-the-art field and laboratory studies, analysis of historical and paleo-oceanographic data and trait-based modeling to predict the potential tipping points of key biological ecosystem functions in Arctic seas in the face of climate change and other pressures. ECOTIP works closely with fishing communities in Greenland and other stakeholders to understand the effects of biodiversity and ecosystem changes on society, and how best to reduce, mitigate and adapt to the changes.

PolarRES (Polar Regions in the Earth System) is an €8 million project, financed by the EU’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation programme for a period of 4 years beginning in September 2021. The PolarRES consortium consists of 17 partners from 11 different countries (Belgium, China, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Netherlands, Norway, Russia, Sweden, Ukraine, and the United Kingdom).

EPOC will generate a new conceptual framework for the Atlantic meridional overturning circulation, to understand how it functions in the Earth system and impacts weather and climate. The AMOC is a key component of the climate system, responsible for ocean heat and freshwater transport, associated with the ventilation of anthropogenic carbon, and anticipated to experience or drive climate tipping points.

 

SO-CHIC

A closer look at the interactions between atmosphere, ocean and ice sheets: Sea level rise (SLR) due to climate change is a serious global threat that can result in land ice loss and ocean thermal expansion. It also results in catastrophic consequences for the future of coastal regions. As land ice contribution is increasing, policymakers are concerned about the threats ice sheet change represents. The EU-funded PROTECT project will drive SLR projections beyond the state of the art and provide a long-standing scientific and social contribution.

EU-PolarNet

EU-PolarNet is the world’s largest consortium of expertise and infrastructure for polar research. Seventeen countries are represented by 22 of Europe’s internationally-respected multi-disciplinary research institutions.

From 2015-2020, EU-PolarNet will develop and deliver a strategic framework and mechanisms to prioritise science, advise the European Commission on polar issues, optimise the use of polar infrastructure, and broker new partnerships that will lead to the co-design of polar research projects that deliver tangible benefits for society. By adopting a higher degree of coordination of polar research and operations than has existed previously the consortium engages in closer cooperation with all relevant actors on an international level.

SO-CHIC

SO-CHIC (Southern Ocean Carbon and Heat Impact on Climate): To understand and quantify variability of heat and carbon budgets in the Southern Ocean through an investigation of the key processes controlling exchanges between the atmosphere, ocean and sea ice using a combination of observational and modelling approaches.

The EU Polar Cluster website is hosted by the European Polar Board, and managed by the British Antarctic Survey.