Welcome to our EU-PolarNet 2 Autumn Newsletter 2023! We have now completed the 3rd year of our project. This summer was dedicated to the definition of priorities for future European Polar Research, which took place in June at a retreat with members of our Polar Expert Group and other high-level scientists and stakeholders.

Furthermore, as a result of the last call for proposals, we are now pleased to be able to fund three interesting service contracts that will now start their work. You can read more about the EA-MISI, COLDwater and HILDAE projects here: https://eu-polarnet.eu/services/.

In May, together with the SO-CHIC project, we have organised a well-attended policy briefing in Brussels. Find more about it in our newsletter. From October, EU-PolarNet 2 will enter into its final year. Keep following us to learn about our activities and the exciting results of the project.



EU-PolarNet 2 research prioritisation

In June, representatives of the EU-PolarNet 2 Executive Board Group met in San Servolo (Venice) to elaborate the future research priorities for European polar research. The prioritisation was based on the European Polar Research Programme, the current scientific state of the art, as well as future research needs collected from the EU Polar Cluster and the EU-PolarNet 2 Polar Expert Group.
During the 3 days in San Servolo, scientific experts discussed the priorities of the following 4 priority areas: 1) Polar Climate System, 2) Polar Biodiversity/Socio-Economic Systems, 3) Human impacts on polar systems and 4) Prospering Communities in the Arctic. For each priority area, the workshop participants were able to identify and elaborate several research topics that should be addressed at European and international level in the coming years. The specific topics and the research prioritisation methodology will be published on our EU-PolarNet 2 website at the end of this year.
Watch videos of our research prioritisation activities here.

Policy briefing on recent changes in the Antarctic

The policy briefing “Recent changes in the Antarctic and their impacts on Europe” was held in Brussels on 3 May 2023 as a two-hour hybrid event. This policy briefing was organised by the Horizon2020-funded EU polar cluster projects SO-CHIC, EU-PolarNet 2 with TiPACCS and PROTECT. The briefing started with two keynote talks, followed by a moderated panel discussion with five panellists. We are pleased that the attendance was high and included many officials from European institutions, participants from related projects and research institutions, and other interested academics and civil society actors. Here you can watch a recording of the policy briefing.

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.

Webinar: governing and protecting the Antarctic and Southern Ocean

This EU-PolarNet 2 webinar, hosted by the European Polar Board, took place in May 2023. It gave an overview of Antarctic Governance and various actors involved – the Antarctic Treaty and its related agreements including the Madrid Protocol, other international agencies and organisations that provide advice and support the work of the ATS, and other conventions that are relevant for the Southern Ocean. Watch this interesting webinar on our YouTube channel: https://youtu.be/6WibAOPiV20

EC-ESA Science workshop in November in Frascati, Italy

With the aim of strengthening the collaboration between ESA and the EC funded polar projects under the joint RTD-EOP Earth System Science initiative, this workshop is a great networking and collaboration opportunity for polar scientists. The EC-ESA Science Workshop will take place in Frascati, Italy, from 22 - 24 November 2023.
The workshop will focus on identifying key scientific challenges and research needs, as well as key scientific priorities for joint research and future project funding by ESA and the EC. The results of the discussions will feed into future ESA funding programmes, which will also explicitly include funding for joint scientific consortia.
Read more about the event here: https://essi2023.esa.int/


EU Polar Cluster News

EU Polar Cluster booth at the Arctic Circle Assembly 2023:

This year, the EU Polar Cluster will again have a booth at the Arctic Circle Assembly 2023 in Reykjavík. The booth is organised and managed by members of EU-PolarNet 2 and the European Polar Board. We will show a slide show and video of all our members, and have a lot of information material available. We are looking forward to meeting you and all interested colleagues at our booth at the Arctic Circle Assembly and to introducing the great EU Polar Cluster network to you!

Find out more

EU Polar Cluster newsletter

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

20 YEARS AWIPEV: the French - German Arctic Research Base

A successful cooperation in international polar research celebrates its 20th anniversary. In 2003, the German Alfred Wegener Institute (AWI) and the French Polar Research Institute Paul-Émile Victor (IPEV) merged their stations Koldewey and Rabot on Svalbard to form the AWIPEV base. Since then, scientists from both countries have jointly been conducting research there on the effects of climate change in the Arctic as part of the Ny-Ålesund research station coordinated by Norway. Find out more.

New Publications by the European Polar Board

The European Polar Board (EPB) has released several publications in the past few months: 1) New Strategy for the period of 2023–2027, 2) Synthesis Report on the Environmental Impacts of Research and Logistics in the Polar Regions, 3) Best Practice Recommendations for Polar Research Communications. Find out more.

EPB & SO-CHIC - Southern Ocean Summer School 2024

OCEAN:ICE and SO-CHIC projects (that the European Polar Board is part of) are organising The Southern Ocean Summer School 2024 to be hosted in Corsica, at the Institut d’Études Scientifiques de Cargèse (IESC) from 7-18 May 2024. The summer school aims to empower the next generation of scientists with the knowledge and skills necessary to tackle the pressing challenges associated with the Southern Ocean. Deadline is 31 October 2023. More information here.

Biological soil crust microalgae research in Svalbard

In summer of 2022, a field study focused on the resistance of biological soil crust microalgae to stress associated with seasonal conditions and climate change began, with three study sites established along the elevation gradient in Svalbard. Information from field measurements and molecular data will be combined with a series of ecophysiological experiments that focus on the resistance of microalgae to desiccation and cryoinjury. Find out more.

New avenues of collaboration opportunities between the Swiss and Canadian polar and high-altitude science communities

On 13 April 2023 in Montréal, the Swiss Polar Institute (SPI), Université Laval (ULaval) and the Institut Nordique du Québec (INQ) signed a Memorandum of Understanding for collaborative research in sub-polar and polar regions. Later that month, a joint online info event inaugurated their shared vision and goal towards concerted projects and complementary expertise. Find out more.

A new partnership at the service of climate and natural hazards management

In April 2023, The Swiss Polar Institute (SPI) signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Greenland Research Council (NIS). This partnership aims at sharing expertise and bringing together stakeholders from both countries concerned with natural hazard risks and sustainable development of areas affected by climate warming and changes in the cryosphere. Find out more.

Meltwater is hydro-fracking Greenland's ie sheet through millions of hairline cracks

Glaciologist Alun Hubbard describes new research on the emerging processes that speed up ice loss and sights on the Greenland ice sheet: the gaping hole that’s opening up at the surface is the beginning of the meltwater’s journey through the guts of the ice sheet. It is suggested that Earth’s remaining ice sheets in Greenland and Antarctica are far more vulnerable to climate warming than models predict, and that the ice sheets may be destabilizing from inside. Find out more.

Photobioreactor for the Arctic

In summer of 2022, a novel rotary flat-panel medium-scale (20L) photobioreactor was tested in Svalbard. During the cultivation, environmental parameters (air and suspension temperature, photosynthetically active irradiance, and pH) were recorded. The growth of the local green alga Neocystis strain was monitored by measurement of the optical density.  Find out more.

The mechanisms of microalgal resistance to desiccation and cryoinjuries in biological soil crusts of High Arctic

The biological soil crusts are one of the most important communities in deglaciated regions and have microalgae in their composition. All microalgal species have specific physiological and molecular mechanisms of resistance to unfavourable conditions, but it was supposed that polar species could differ, however, differences are still poorly understood. Find out more.

Studying the biodiversity of cyanobacteria and microalgae of Enderby Land, Queen Maud Land, and Deception Island (Antarctica)

The researchers from the Phycology Centre of the Czech Academy of Sciences (Třeboň, South Bohemia) are studying the species diversity of microalgae and cyanobacteria in Antarctica. Identification of organisms in this research is carried out using a polyphasic approach, which involves combining morpho-ecological features of the species with DNA barcoding/metagenomics. Find out more.

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