Welcome to our EU-PolarNet 2 spring newsletter 2023! We are looking forward to an exciting 3rd year of our project. The first half of the year is dedicated to research prioritisation process of EU-PolarNet 2. The research prioritisation process will take place in a retreat in June with members of our Polar Expert Group and other high-level scientists and stakeholders.

We are happy to fund 3 exciting service contracts as an outcome of the last call for services, which are now starting their work.

In May, we have organised a well-attended policy briefing in Brussels together with the SO-CHIC project. The briefing focused on Antarctica and how the ongoing changes there influence our climate in Europe. You can view the policy briefing.



EU-PolarNet 2 at ASSW2023

We had a pleasantly full room at this early morning session. The session was co-convened by Annette Scheepstra (EU-PolarNet 2 stakeholder guardian) and Anneli Strobel (EU-PolarNet 2 project manager) and chaired by Renuka Badhe (EU-PolarNet 2 Work Package 6 lead). The session was targeted to a broad range of our stakeholders and introduced EU-PolarNet 2 and particularly our research prioritisation process. Find out more.

New activities at the Catalyst platform

Have you visited the Catalyst Platform yet? It is one of the main cooperation tools developed by EU-PolarNet 2 that shall improve the information flow within the European Polar community. The Catalyst platform collects all news and events from EU-PolarNet, the European Polar Board and the EU Polar Cluster. It thus provides an excellent overview of all information about the European polar research community in one place! More information here.

New EU-PolarNet 2 Service Contract funded!

Through the Service Calls, EU-PolarNet 2 is seeking support from the European research community to develop ideas for concrete research activities for the research needs defined in the Integrated European Polar Research Programme (EPRP). The third and last EU-PolarNet 2 Call for Services closed on 20 December 2022. We are supporting the Services "EA-MISI", "COLDwater" and "HILDAE", which will feed into our research prioritisation process. More information.

Webinar on permafrost research needs

On 21 March, EU-PolarNet 2 held one of its thematic webinars, together with the EU Polar Cluster project Nunataryuk. We had three excellent speakers for this webinar webinar on “Permafrost Research: current activity and future needs”, who provided an overview of EU Arctic permafrost research activities, current fields of study and future research needs in a policy relevant context. You can find a recording here.

Coming soon: Webinar "Governing and Protectinc the Antarctic and Southern Ocean"

This EU-PolarNet 2 webinar, hosted by the European Polar Board, gives an overview of Antarctic Governance and various actors involved – the Antarctic Treaty and its related agreements including the Madrid Protocol. The webinar will take place on 15 May 2023, 14:00 CEST. Register for the webinar here.


EU Polar Cluster news

The EU Polar Cluster held 2 events at ASSW2023 in Vienna. The “European Coordination of Polar Research” Community Meeting and the “Polar Research Communications Meeting”. The Communications Meeting fostered great discussion with many communication specialists of the EU Polar Cluster and external guests, and the initiatives will be continued in a Cluster Communications Working Group.

Furthermore, the EU Polar Cluster had a booth at AGU (American Geophysical Union) Fall Meeting 2022 in Chicago - one of the most influential events in the world dedicated to the advancement of Earth and space sciences.

The EU Polar Cluster welcomed a new permanent member, EuroGOOS/ Arctic ROOS. Furthermore, the projects HiAOOS and ACCIBERG became members of the Cluster beginning of 2023.

Since summer 2021, the EU Polar Cluster publishes its own regular newsletters. Read the latest edition of the EU Polar Cluster and sign up to the Cluster newsletter here.


Parner highlights on polar research

IPCC releases new Synthesis Report

Following lengthy negotiations, the IPCC presented the new Synthesis Report for its sixth reporting cycle in Interlaken, Switzerland, in March. In a press release on the report, the IPCC stresses that the speed and scope of the measures implemented and planned to date are insufficient to combat climate change. Find out more.

Record low sea ice cover in the Antarctic

There is currently less sea ice in the Antarctic than at any time in the forty years since the beginning of satellite observations. The melting has progressed since December 2022, especially in the Bellingshausen and Amundsen Seas in the West Antarctic, the former becoming virtually ice-free.
Find out more.

Policy briefing: Recent changes in the Antarctic

EU-PolarNet 2 organised a policy briefing on behalf of the EU Polar Cluster, to be held in Brussels on 3rd of May from 14:00 - 16:00, titled “Recent changes in the Antarctic and their impacts on Europe". This event was jointly organised by the Horizon2020-funded EU Polar Cluster projects EU-PolarNet 2 and SO-CHIC, with TiPACCS, and PROTECT. The goal was to present relevant insights to European policy makers on the importance of the Southern Ocean and the rapid melting of sea ice for sea level and Europe. The recording of the event is available here.

European Polar Board accepted as UNFCC observer

The EPB has been accepted by the 27th Conference of the Parties (COP) of the UNFCCC as an Observer organization. The UNFCCC (United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change) has the objective to “estabilize greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that would prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system”. Find out more.

Arctic Ocean: Greater Future acidification in summer

Over the past 200 years, our planet’s oceans have absorbed more than a quarter of all anthropogenic carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. In this regard, the water’s pH value isn’t constant; it varies both seasonally and regionally. But that could soon change, as experts from the Alfred Wegener Institute report in the journal Nature. Find out more.

Policy Brief on the Impacts of High Fuel Prices on Polar Research

The Policy Brief on the Impacts of High Fuel Prices on Polar Research took place in November 2023 by the Policy Advisory Group of the European Polar Board. Find the whole Policy Brief here.

SO-CHIC webinars hosted by the European Polar Board

Southern Ocean Carbon and Heat Impact on Climate (SO-CHIC) is an EU-funded project (and member of the EU Polar Cluster) that aims to unlock understanding of some of the key Southern Ocean processes. The EPB organised 3 successful webinars introducing specific work packages of the project. Find out more.

The eleventh Portuguese flight supporting the Antarctic Summer season 2022-23

On the 17th of February 2023, the PROPOLAR chartered flight, transported researchers and technicians between Punta Arenas (Chile) and the airfield Teniente R. Marsh in King George Island (South Shetlands, Antarctica), to support the austral summer season’s scientific field activities. Find out more.

A nicely conducted campaign

The 36th Spanish Antarctic Campaign (2022/23), funded by Science and Innovation Ministry, has successfully concluded on the 21st March. The Spanish Antarctic program hosted 8 research projects of Portugal, Chile, Canada, Germany and Colombia. About 230 people have participated, including scientists, technical personnel and crews, in the Spanish facilities: Juan Carlos I station and Byers Camp (Livingston Is.), Gabriel de Castilla station (Deception Is.) and the Hesperides vessel. Find out more.

Dutch research on Antarctic tourism

What is the impact of tourism on Antarctica, and how do you deal with this in policy? Ships are getting bigger, travel further and more often, and companies offer a growing range of activities. How does this impact Antarctica, and how can we continue to protect it? This is what the Dutch Research Agenda programme “Polar Tourism - Research Programme on Assessment of Impacts and Responses” (PT-REPAIR) aims to investigate with four compliant research projects. Find out more.

New chair of IASC SHWG / New Horizon project underway

Dr. Catherine Chambers was elected chair of the IASC Social and Human Working Group during ASSW. There is exciting work ahead for SHWG related to the updated strategic plan with new scientific priorities, and SHWG will play a lead role in addressing social and human research needs for ICARP IV. Through the Stefansson Arctic Institute, Catherine is now working on an Arctic fisheries case study in a new EU Horizon Europe project called MarineSABRES. Find out more.

Polar Museum opens in Poland at the end of March

The documentation of polar activities has always been close to the heart of Polish polar explorers. And now, there is finally a place to store souvenirs and show them to the world - the Polar Museum (Muzeum Polarne) in Puławy, sponsored by the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage, Republic of Poland. Find out more.

The power of ice that sculptured Fennoscandia's landscape

New research from University of Oulu in Nature Communications reveals that the immense ice sheet that covered Fennoscandia during the last ice age excavated the equivalent bedrock volume of over 500 “Mount Everests”. A study by researchers Alun Hubbard and Henry Patton of Oulu and Tromso universities brings a new perspective on the impact of this ice during the last glacial. Find out more.

12 million euros from the Academy of Finland to strengthen the research profile areas at the University of Oulu

The University of Oulu was granted 12 million euros to support its strong research areas, which are related to sustainable materials and systems, digitalisation and climate change in the northern environment. The University of Oulu received PROFI funding for three research themes: Hydrogen Future as a Climate Change Solution (H2Future), Hybrid Intelligence: Human-AI Co-evolution and Learning in Multi-realities (HI) and Frontiers Arctic and Global Resilience (Front). Find out more.

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