COP26 EU Pavilion side event: “Polar warming, global warning”

Much of the Arctic has already surpassed the Paris Agreement’s 1.5C target. The Antarctic ice sheet is a potential game changer for global sea-level rise.

At the “Polar Warming, Global Warning” session that will occur as a side event of the COP2 on the 3rd November 2021, we provide scientific facts and community knowledge of polar change from EU Polar Cluster Members to protect and support adaptation, resilience, & sustainability, of communities and habitats, and the Polar Regions impact on European society.

The EU Polar Cluster is a network of European projects and organisations with a focus on polar research, observations, infrastructure, and/or modelling activities. We merge a broad spectrum of activities to bring insights together in order to provide one entry point to EU-funded Polar research. 

This session is organised by Cluster Members EU-PolarNet 2, SO-CHIC, PROTECT, TiPACCs and the EPB, and representatives from the Alfred Wegener Institute, British Antarctic Survey, the Université libre de Bruxelles, and the University of Grenoble.

Our presentations from world-leading Arctic and Antarctic climate scientists from within the Cluster projects and European research institutions, are framed in the context of the new EU Arctic Policy, the Antarctic Treaty and COP26.  Polar Regions are experiencing faster changes than most of the regions in the world.  They will further drastically change in the future, with tremendous impacts on ecosystem affecting the whole world through, for example, sea-level rise, with possible tipping points that might lead to irreversible collapse of ice sheets. We further highlight essential knowledge gaps to better understand relevant mitigation and adaption strategies.


Nicole Biebow, Alfred Wegener Institute and EU-PolarNet 2 coordinator


Topic Presenter Institute
How does the European research policy support polar research and international assessments such as the IPCC?
Larisa Lorinczi
European Commission
Sea level rise: what is at stake beyond 2°C?
Prof. Frank Pattyn
Université libre de Bruxelles
How much can we limit losses from the ice sheets this century?
Dr. Tamsin Edwards
King’s College London
Antarctic biodiversity under pressure: a race against time
Asso. Prof. Bruno Danis
Université libre de Bruxelles
Tipping points and sea-level rise
Prof. Ricarda Winkleman
Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research
Polar science highlights policy needs
Prof. Dame Jane Francis
Director of the British Antarctic Survey

The recording of the event is available to rewatch here: