July 2021

Welcome to the July edition of the quaterly EU-PolarNet 2 newsletter!

Welcome to the July edition of the quarterly EU-PolarNet 2 newsletter! Over the last few months, the project activities focussed on gathering information for a catalogue of national Polar programmes and European Polar Research funding programmes. Furthermore, EU-PolarNet 2 has opened its first Call for Services, searching for support from the scientific community in defining applicable research activities. These services will be an important piece of our research prioritisation process. The other important piece is our newly formed Polar Expert Group and we are very pleased that so many excellent experts volunteered to become members of this group. A big thank you to all these helpful colleagues.

Newsletter content

News from EU-PolarNet 2

A key objective of EU-PolarNet 2 is to prioritise polar research themes of high societal relevance and to support and advice European decision makers on topics related to the Polar regions. To work towards this aim, EU-PolarNet 2 collected more than 200 nominations for its Polar Expert Group over the last months, to form a group of internationally recognised experts in all kinds of Polar Research, including different sector representatives. The Polar Expert Group will be the expert forum for implementing European Polar research internationally, by specifying overarching priorities, research needs and specific actions.

The final composition of the Polar Expert Group will be available on our website soon.

Call for Services

One of the core objectives of EU-PolarNet 2 is to prioritise and specify the key societally relevant Polar research themes, which have been defined in the European Polar Research Programme (EPRP), the EU-PolarNet White Papers and in European Polar strategies. For this purpose, EU-PolarNet 2 now offers financial support and opened a Call for Services on July 1st, 2021. With this Call, EU-PolarNet 2 seeks support from the European Polar Community to develop ideas for concrete research activities. The Call will stay open for the submission of proposals until September 30th, 2021.

EU-PolarNet 2 invites you to submit an offer related to one of these two research needs of the European Polar Research Programme:

  1. Prospering communities in the Arctic
  2. Inclusive creation, access and usage of knowledge

Calls for services for the other four research themes of the European Polar Research Programme will follow in the consecutive years, each with two of the research needs.

Complete guidelines for preparing an offer for the Call for Services are available on this website.

On July 7th, EU-PolarNet 2 held a webinar on “How to apply for an EU-PolarNet 2 Service Contract”. The webinar detailed the expectations on the applications, the definition of EU-PolarNet 2 Service Contracts, as well as the application guidelines. A recording of the webinar is available on the project YouTube channel.

All-Atlantic2021 side event on Polar Research

On Wednesday, 2nd June 2021, EU-PolarNet 2 and the European Polar Board held a virtual meeting side event on Polar Research Networking from Pole to Pole: Facilitating Access for Research and Infrastructure”, as part of the All-Atlantic2021 – All-Atlantic R&I for a Sustainable Ocean: Ministerial High-Level & Stakeholders Conference. The side event started with All-Atlantic partners from Brazil, South Africa, Canada and Europe introducing their Polar Research Programmes, followed by best practise examples for cross-border access to infrastructures and sharing of logistics. 138 participants joined the event to follow the presentations and the discussion on how we can better cooperate in Polar Research (Arctic and Antarctic/Southern Ocean) and infrastructures.

We also contributed with the first polar pledge to the All-Atlantic pledging campaign to better collaborate in infrastructure access for a better understating of the Atlantic polar regions.

A recording of the side event is now available on the EU-PolarNet YouTube channel .

ICASS X Panel on Co-creation of knowledge and co-design in Arctic research projects: rethinking calls, seed money and evaluation criteria of funding organisations

A discussion panel on Co-creation of knowledge and co-design in Arctic research projects: rethinking calls, seed money and evaluation criteria of funding organisations, was held on the 19th June 2021 within the International Conference on Arctic Social Sciences (ICASS X). The session had 30 participants and was moderated by Gunn-Britt Retter, with the contribution of eight panelists. Equity-based research collaboration between Indigenous rights holders and Arctic researchers from the natural sciences, social sciences and humanities has been intensely debated. As a result, ethics and research principles have been developed, but extensive implementation is still lacking. Funding organisations play a crucial role in steering Arctic research into an inclusive direction through setting the terms for the implementation of co-creation and co-design principles in Arctic research. The session discussed how funding agencies can better support the co-creation of Arctic research projects by asking these questions: How can formulation of calls foster co-creation? What are suitable criteria for evaluating this approach in applications? Do we need specific means to support this process, e.g., providing seed-funding for jointly designed applications?

First European Polar Science Week report is now available!

The report of the first European Polar Science week 2020, organised by the European Space Agency the European Commission and EU-PolarNet, is now released. EU-PolarNet and the EU Polar Cluster projects actively participated in this event. This report is the result of a process involving many players identifying key research and knowledge gaps, feeding into the European Commission’s policy making. The launch of the new EU-PolarNet 2 project during the conference showed the willingness of the EU to sustain these coordination efforts.

You can download it here!

Contribute now to our survey on “Polar Observing Assets”!

The EU-PolarNet 2 survey on Polar Observing Assets is open now open for contributions. The survey targets representatives from institutions, countries, initiatives and organisations that have an interest in polar observing.

The purpose of this survey is to provide an overview of existing sources of information on polar observing facilities, systems and activities. This will allow the definition of procedures that can access these sources and compile the information from the various sources. Furthermore, it will seek to establish whether this information is already being coordinated and what interest there is in (further) developing the coordination of information about observing assets.

Completing the survey takes no more than 10 minutes.

Link to survey!

Background of the survey: The diverse and distributed nature of observing systems in polar regions presents a fundamental challenge for assessment, planning, integration, and synthesis. There is an interest in creating overviews of these systems, since this, among other things, will allow more efficient use of facilities and allow for the understanding of where gaps in observation capacities exist. There is an interest in knowing answers to questions like “Who is going where? When are they going? What will they observe? What observing equipment will they have there? Who is responsible for organising logistics?”, etc.

EU Polar Cluster News

The EU Polar Cluster is happy to welcome ARCTIC PASSION as a new project in the Cluster. Arctic PASSION stands for ‘Pan-Arctic observing System of Systems: Implementing Observations for societal Needs’. The project is coordinated by AWI and has 35 partners from 17 countries. It aims to enhance integration of international environmental observing systems for the Arctic. The consortium will put efforts to tailor the observation systems to match better with the needs of diverse user groups, which range from the local people and academia to industry and decision-makers. More information is available here.

Partner highlights on polar research

First results of the MOSAiC expedition: Climate Change makes Arctic Ozone loss worse

In spring 2020, the MOSAiC expedition documented an unparalleled loss of ozone in the Arctic stratosphere. As an evaluation of meteorological data and model-based simulations by the Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research (AWI) now indicates, ozone depletion in the Arctic polar vortex could intensify by the end of the century unless global greenhouse gases are rapidly and systematically reduced. In the future, this could also mean more UV radiation exposure in Europe, North America and Asia when parts of the polar vortex drift south. With their new findings, the experts call into question the commonly held assumption that, thanks to the ban on the production of chlorofluorocarbons (-CFCs), ozone loss would grind to a halt in just a few decades.

Link to article »

For further science highlights »

Launching an ozone sonde during MOSAiC (credits: Alfred-Wegener-Institut)

Meteorite impact over Antarctica 430,000 years ago

An international research team of planetary scientists found new evidence for a meteorite airburst just above the Antarctic ice cap 430,000 years ago. Extra-terrestrial particles, known as condensation spherules, were recovered during the 2017-2018 Belgian Antarctic Meteorites expedition funded by BELSPO from the Princess Elisabeth Station. The particles, found near the top of Walnumfjellet in the Sør Rondane Mountains of East Antarctica, indicate an unusual touchdown event where a jet of melted and vaporised meteoritic material resulting from the atmospheric entry of an asteroid at least 100 m in size reached the surface at high velocity. The study underlines the importance of mapping the threat posed by medium-sized asteroids as accurately as possible, since future objects of similar size are likely to explode in the atmosphere and generate a shockwave. If this explosion occurs too close to the Earth’s surface, the damage could be severe, especially in densely populated areas.

Link to article »

Van Ginneken et al. A large meteoritic event over Antarctica ca. 430 ka ago inferred from chondritic spherules from the Sør Rondane Mountains. Science Advances 7, eabc1008. DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.abc1008

Touchdown impact: Artist’s impression of a touchdown impact event (credit: Mark Garlick/

Glacial melt shifts benthic metabolism of an Antarctic fjord

The fjords along the West Antarctic Peninsula experience pronounced disturbance from climate-change related glacial retreat. The work of the Marine Biology Research Group (UGent, Belgium) in Potter Cove demonstrates that glacial melt plumes of fine particles bury the microalgae at the shallow seafloor, making them less productive and in the end shifting the metabolism of the seafloor community from a net sink to a net source of carbon dioxide. The next decennia, climate change will drive further melting of the glaciers along the WAP. This research shows that the consequences of melting glaciers have the potential to enhance global climate change. This research is the result of a fruitful collaboration with the Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research, the Max Planck Institute for Marine Microbiology, Universities of Bremen, Buenos Aires, Gothenburg, and Ushuaïa, the Argentine Antarctic Institute, CONICET and the Centro Austral de Investigaciones Cientificas, Ushuaïa.

Link to article »

Glacial melt disturbance shifts community metabolism of an Antarctic seafloor ecosystem from net autotrophy to heterotrophy

Scientific diver (Pasotti Francesca, Ghent University) taking subsamples of the water enclosed in a benthic chamber deployed at the seafloor in a fjord on the West Antarctic Peninsula. Note the microalgal mats covering the seafloor (credits: Anders Torstensson, University Gothenburg)

New strategy for the Netherlands Polar Programme

PolePosition-NL 3.0 is the new strategy for the Netherlands Polar Programme (NPP), the long-term funding programme for polar research in the Netherlands. The strategy outlines opportunities for thematic rounds, strategic priorities and optimal use of our own polar infrastructure, and that of our partners in Germany and the UK. With these plans, Dutch polar science can contribute to our knowledge of the vulnerable polar regions and advise government on the implementation and development of its polar policy. More attention will be paid to strengthening the connection between polar science, policy and NWO.

Link to the new strategy for the Netherlands Polar Programme »

Pole Position-NL 3.0 Strategy for the Netherlands Polar Programme 2021-2025 (credits: NWO)

The Fifth Turkish Antarctic Expedition (TAE-V)

The fifth Turkish Antarctic Expedition (TAE-V) was organised in 2020-2021 Antarctic season with a limited number of researchers by taking all necessary health measures. The researchers were vaccinated (two doses) for COVID-19 and used FFP3 masks, face shields, and hands sanitizers during their flights to Antarctica from Turkey. Besides, they were isolated on their arrival for 14 days as a quarantine procedure. After this period, no symptoms were observed and the expedition started to Horseshoe Island in West Antarctic Peninsula. During the expedition, data retrieval and maintenance operations of automatic weather station and Global Navigational Satellite System (GNSS) stations were carried out on Horseshoe and Dismal Islands of Marguerite Bay. In addition to these, biodiversity observations were made on the Island and physicochemical characteristics of the water bodies were measured.

Expedition was held onboard M/Y Australis (credits: Ozgun Oktar)

The Turkish Academy of Sciences Young Scientists Award Programme Polar Studies Prize

“TÜBA AWARDS” consisting of International Academy Prizes, Young Scientists Award Programme (GEBİP) and University Textbooks Award Programme given by Turkish Academy of Sciences (TÜBA) under the auspices of the Presidency have been awarded. This year, TÜBA-GEBİP Prize winners included 4 young scientists with high achievements from 4 different universities and institutions winning the “TÜBA-GEBİP Polar Studies Prize” for the “Antarctic Scientific Research and Science Base Project” which was determined as a strategic and national priority field. In the field of Polar Studies, Assoc. Prof. Burcu Ozsoy, Director of TÜBİTAK MAM Polar Research Institute and Faculty Member of Istanbul Technical University Maritime Faculty, was awarded the TÜBA GEBİP Prize for her high achievements. All the prizes were handed to winners by the President of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan with a ceremony in the Presidential Complex on January 28, 2021.

Find out more:




President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Minister of Industry and Technology Mustafa Varank handed Award (credits: Turkish Academy of Science)

Arctic architecture and environmental adaptation research group

This research in the Oulu School of Architecture, the University of Oulu covers a broad set of expertise that are pertinent in providing sustainable solutions for urbanisation, rural settlements and human wellbeing. science across disciplines to support responsible land use, planning, and architecture by linking interdisciplinary research on environmental practices, cultural studies and design research. Their work contributes to the scientific discussion by giving a new perspective on Arctic place identity and methodologies for understanding it. By studying the features in the built environment that strengthen the identity of the place and the people, it clarifies the meaning of identity in the planning processes and defines its various components which is helping to determine how relevant the Indigenous perspective is to the way we understand place and spaces in the Arctic.

Links to the publications:

Soikkeli, A. (2020). Standardised housing concepts in the North: Sámi housing meets Western hygienic norms in twentieth-century Finland. In In Pursuit of Healthy Environments (1st Editio, p. 19). Routledge.

Soikkeli, A. (2019). Finnish Planning and Housing Models Molding Skolt Culture in the 20th Century. Arctic Anthropology, 56(2), 84–99.

Soikkeli, A. (2020). Reviving the Legacy of Reconstruction-Period Type-Planned Houses. In Reconstructing Minds and Landscapes (1st Editio, p. 16). Routledge.

Hakovirta, J. (2021). Building a case for indigenous architecture with mixed-use Anarâškielâ language nest and home for elderly. Oulun yliopisto, arkkitehtuurin tiedekunta, arkkitehtuuri.

Research activities conducted by the University of Oulu (credits: Anu Soikkeli)

Highlights of Polar programmes

A glimpse on AMAP, the Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Programme

AMAP was established in 1991 and is one of six Working Groups under the Arctic Council. The membership comprises the eight Arctic nations and six Indigenous Permanent Participants. A large number of non-Arctic countries and relevant international organisations also contribute to its work as Observers. The AMAP Secretariat is based in Tromsø, Norway.

AMAP’s mission is to monitor and assess the status of the Arctic region regarding pollution and climate change issues. AMAP documents levels and trends, pathways and processes, and effects of pollution and climate change on ecosystems and humans. AMAP coordinates monitoring programmes for pollutants in various environmental media and is served by external data centres for data on atmospheric contaminants, contaminants in marine organisms, and radioactivity. The trend data and other results compiled in these data centres are used together with results of research and other activities to prepare independent, science-based and peer-reviewed assessments of the status of pollution and climate change in the Arctic. These reports also provide the basis for sound policy and decision-making for the benefit of ecosystems and human health in the Arctic. AMAP assessment reports on pollutants have served as important contributions to the establishment of the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants, which regulates or bans the production of a number of persistent organic chemicals that are subject to long-range transport, and more recently the Minamata Convention on Mercury. Among other major reports is the ground-breaking Arctic Climate Impact Assessment of 2005, which was the first broad documentation of the extent of climate change occurring in the Arctic and its impact. Since 1991, AMAP has produced 34 scientific assessments and works with hundreds of experts across the Arctic region and beyond.

The AMAP Secretariat also hosts the SAON Secretariat. SAON (Sustaining Arctic Observing Networks), a joint initiative of the Arctic Council and the International Arctic Science Committee (IASC), works to strengthen multinational engagement in pan-Arctic observing systems and facilitate appropriate access to Arctic data.

AMAP assessment reports and related outreach materials are made available on the AMAP website ( as open access documents.

Areas of work

From its inception, AMAP was mandated to monitor pollutants in all compartments of the Arctic environment, starting initially with the study of Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs), heavy metals-with a particular focus on mercury, hydrocarbons and radioactivity, including also contaminant exposure of humans living in the Arctic and the health effects. These areas of work were soon expanded to include climate change and its impacts. Important areas of work also include the impacts of short-lived climate forcers and, more recently, the development of a new monitoring plan and monitoring guidelines on litter and micro-plastics that will be implemented across the Arctic.

AMAP Secretariat involvement in EU-PolarNet 2

The AMAP Secretariat participated in the first EU-PolarNet coordination and support action, holding international stakeholder workshops on research needs in the Arctic that included strengthening Trans-Atlantic cooperation. The AMAP Secretariat also contributed an inventory of existing monitoring and modelling programmes, a roadmap for optimisation of monitoring and modelling programmes as well as data management recommendations for polar research data systems and infrastructures in Europe.

A compilation of the reports of the four international stakeholder workshops on research needs has been published at AMAP / EU-PolarNet International Stakeholder Workshops on Research Needs | AMAP

In EU-PolarNet 2, the AMAP Secretariat will contribute to webinars, coordinate and report on a trans-disciplinary workshop, and prepare a procedure for ongoing collection and collation of European Polar observing capacities and activities. Facilitating stakeholder involvement, particularly of Indigenous representatives, is also an important aspect of participation in this coordination and support action.

Recent research highlights:

AMAP produced five new assessments and a monitoring plan and guidelines during the Icelandic Chairmanship of the Arctic Council addressing the state of Arctic pollution and climate change, and their impacts on ecosystems and human health.

Key findings are highlighted in a 12-minute long movie

The summary reports are available on:

For more information about AMAP, please visit:

A glimpse on French Polar Research

French polar research has a long history in both poles. In Antarctica, France had major contributions in the fields of ice core studies as well as monitoring of marine birds and mammals. In the Arctic, since the early 2000’s, France has contributed, to a large extent through large European and international projects, in modelling and observational monitoring of Arctic climate change. France has also a long tradition of Arctic research in social and human sciences. With more than 600 researchers working on subpolar and polar regions, France has developed an internationally recognised expertise on the poles in many research domains including climate and atmospheric sciences, oceanography, biogeochemistry, marine and terrestrial ecosystems, ecology, astrophysics and astronomy, geophysics, geology, marine and terrestrial cryosphere, human and social sciences, ice coring technologies.

The French partner in EU-PolarNet 2 is the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, the largest national (and European) research institution. CNRS covers all research fields and is organised into 10 thematic institutes, several of them developing research relevant to the poles. CNRS will co-lead two tasks in EU-PolarNet 2. It will contribute to support development of large-scale Polar initiatives (Task 3.2), by first building an overview of coordinated largescale Polar initiatives at international level (D3.7), and define ways of improving the coordination between European Polar research funders (T4.2) through a synthesis of activities towards improved dialogue between national funding agencies, polar research operators, the EU and international initiatives (D4.8). CNRS will be assisted in these tasks by IPEV and ANR (see below).

The national polar research community is distributed across several public institutions with the largest contribution from CNRS and universities. France does not have a dedicated polar research framework programme. At the request of its Prime Minister, the country is currently developing a new polar strategy. At the national level, polar research is mainly funded through competitive open project calls of the National Research Agency (ANR). Thematic calls are also issued by, e.g., CNRS internal programmes, support to national infrastructures, or bilateral and international programmes. The French Polar Institute (IPEV) is the major support and coordinating body for polar research implementation and logistics and maintains the national polar infrastructures, e.g., in Antarctica, the Dumont d’Urville Station and, together with Italy, the Concordia Station; in Svalbard, together with Germany, the AWIPEV Station; and the patrol-supply icebreaker, L’Astrolabe on her Antarctic voyages.

French polar research covers a wide range of themes related to (i) past, present and future polar climate, including all related disciplines, (ii) human impacts including pollution, trajectory of socio-ecological systems, paleoenvironments and adaptative strategies, urbanisation in the Arctic, social and cultural anthropology in the Russian Arctic, social geography, (iii) polar marine and terrestrial ecosystem functioning, biodiversity, ecophysiology and ecotoxicology of marine birds, adaptation, invasive species and conservation. Research is very active in remote sensing, Earth System Modelling, long-term monitoring of the polar environment and development of new polar observing capacities (biologging sensors, new vehicles for mobile observations on the ice sheet, observatories for astronomy, seismology and atmosphere, autonomous ocean platforms). France’s research also supports conservation of Antarctic marine environment and the creation of a new East Antarctic Marine Protected Area.

This year the 43rd Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meeting (ATCM) took place in Paris from 14 to 24 June, and was the occasion to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Antarctic Treaty. On this occasion, the medal commemorating the 30th anniversary of the Madrid Protocol was awarded to the famous Australian scientist, Prof. Steven Chown, former SCAR president. More information, including a video of the closing speech by the French President Emmanuel Macron, can be found at

France has been a pioneer in the use of biologging on marine animals, recently contributing to large circumpolar databases ( and to ocean surveillance (

French research in Antarctica (credits: Marie-Noelle Houssais)

A glimpse on the Spanish Polar community

After a few interactions between Spanish researchers with scientific programmes of other countries in the 1960s’ and early 1980s’, in 1986 and 1987 the first official Spanish scientific campaigns to Antarctica were organised. In 1988 the Spanish Antarctic Station “Juan Carlos I” in Livingston Island, South Shetlands, opened and the National Antarctic Program was officially founded giving logistic and funding support to the Spanish Antarctic research projects. In 1989 the Spanish Antarctic Station “Gabriel de Castilla” in Deception Island, South Shetlands, opened and in 1991 the RV Hespérides started her operations. The Spanish Polar Committee, which is the national polar authority was constituted in 1998. In 2001 the International Byers camp in Livingston Island opened. Between 1987 and 2006, Spain became member of most international scientific and governance fora on the Polar Regions.

Gabriel de Castilla Antarctic Base (credits: MICINN)

Spain considers its presence in the Polar Regions as an affair of State, and as the basis for its participation in polar activities with all its resources. It considers essential fostering peacekeeping, environmental protection and security in the Polar Regions, as well as the development of scientific and technical polar research in the framework of international cooperation. It further considers that scientific research findings are of vital importance to our knowledge of the environmental processes and risks that climate change bring to our planet, to our ability to predict the impact of these variations on the local Arctic populations, as well as to foresee the possible effects of these changes in the mid-latitudes.

Spanish Polar community involvement in EU-PolarNet 2

Spain, through several ministerial departments related to Science and Development, participates actively in EU-PolarNet, getting involved in several relevant tasks and deliverables. Some of the Spanish representatives participated actively in shaping and writing the EU-PolarNet 2 proposal. The representative of the Ministry of Science and Innovation in EU-PolarNet is responsible for Work Package 1 (Deliverables 1.7 and 1.13) and also for other tasks in WP4 (Task 4.3 and deliverable 4.4) and WP6 (Task 6.2 and Deliverable 6.5).

The Spanish polar community is organised throughout the coordinated effort of research activity, logistics and diplomacy. The Spanish Polar Committee (SPC) ( coordinates all the institutions working to achieve the goals related to the Polar Regions. Several ministries (i.e. Science, Foreign Affairs, Defense, Ecological Transition, Fisheries) have representatives in the SPC, which also includes a representative from the Spanish logistic operators (Spanish Research Council, Navy and Army). Research is represented by the Spanish Research Agency and is carried out mainly by public scientific institutions (i.e. Spanish Research Council) and universities after a strict scientific evaluation, through an open and competitive process.

Spanish research in the Polar Regions has a strategic character due to its scientific importance and its high internationalisation. Research projects are mostly funded by the Spanish Research Agency through the National Research Plan (NRP), which is the main instrument for the development and achievement of the objectives of the Spanish Strategy for Science and Technology (SSST). The document “Guidelines for a Spanish Polar Strategy” highlights the priority research lines identified by the Scientific Committee for Polar Research (SCAR) and the International Arctic Science Committee (IASC). Under this general context, the current research lines of Spain in Antarctica are:

  • Life Sciences: Global change influence on polar organisms and ecosystems; Complex interactions in planktonic communities in the Southern Ocean; Ocean-Air interactions; Ecology, biodiversity and evolution of polar organisms; Ecology of coastal ecosystems; Bioactive compounds from marine organisms; Bacteria and virus biodiversity; Adaptive strategies of vegetal species; Freshwater ecosystems; Human Impact in polar ecosystems.
  • Physics: Geophysics; Glaciology; Glacier dynamics; Volcanism, seismicity, magnetism and geodynamic; Geomagnetism and ionosphere; Physic Oceanography; Dynamic oceanography; Atmosphere Sciences, Ozone and associated compounds; UV radiation; Meteorology; Aerosols; Astrophysics; Astrobiology.
  • Earth Sciences: Volcanism; Geomorphology and tectonics; Cartography studies; Geodynamic and palaeoceanography of continental margins; Hydrothermal processes in volcanic areas; Geology; Palaeoclimatology; Geodesy; Permafrost.
  • Chemistry: Environmental chemistry, Contaminants.
RV Hespérides (credits: MICINN)

A glimpse on the Centre for Polar Studies lead by the University of Silesia in Katowice, Poland

Established in 2013, the Centre for Polar Studies (CPS) is a cooperation platform between the University of Silesia in Katowice (UoS), Institute of Geophysics, PAS in Warsaw and Institute of Oceanology, PAS in Spot. All three institutions are leaders in polar research activities in Poland and were among the founders of the Polish Polar Consortium (PPC) in 2012. The Centre has been awarded Leading National Research Centre (KNOW) status for 2014-2018. The financial subsidy related to this prestigious status made the development of high-level research on polar environments and new forms of postgraduate teaching possible, such as the Interdisciplinary Polar Studies and the International Environmental Doctoral School (IEDS) from 2019. The IEDS offers the highest-level education in three academic disciplines: mathematics, earth & environmental sciences, and materials engineering. CPS also emphasises developing a system for collecting and sharing data in line with the FAIR principles.

Centre for Polar Studies involvement in EU-PolarNet 2

The UoS-CPS co-leads the task 5.1. Evidence-based policy advice and interaction with the EC in Work Package 5. UoS-CPS is responsible for deliverables related to the preparation of recommendations for the European Polar Policy, including the implementation of the Polar Advisory Board, as well as coordination summary reports (D1.11, D5.3 and D5.6). The Polish partner is involved in the dissemination, outreach activities, and contributes to all project’s activities (participation in surveys, webinars etc..).

Interdisciplinary Polar Studies Field Workshop 2015 organised by the Centre for Polar Studies, Hornsund, Svalbard (credits: D. Ignatiuk)

Poland has a dispersed system of polar research organisation without a centrally financed programme or one leading institution. Coordination on the strategic level is provided by the Committee on Polar Research of the Polish Academy of Sciences, with the support of the Polish Polar Consortium (PPC). The PPC also encourages the organisation and logistic cooperation of its members. Polar research projects fall into the overall competitive R&I agenda. Infrastructure and maintenance of the Polish research stations in the Arctic and Antarctica are guaranteed by long-term government grants for their operators, which are the major national polar institutions, to serve national and international research groups. The University of Silesia is a leader and the host of the PPC and the CPS, providing internationally postgraduate courses by running the IEDS. A list of academic institutions, primarily universities involved in polar research, is described here!

Field campaign 2020 of the Centre for Polar Studies - University of Silesia in Katowice. Terrestrial laser scanning of the Hans Glacier ice-cliff, Hornsund, Svalbard (credits: J.Tuszyńska)

The most important lines of Polish polar studies are presented in the “Strategy for Polish Polar Research – a concept for the years 2017–2027”. There are three main thematic areas: 1. Glacial geomorphologic and sedimentological processes as modern analogues for the formation of landscapes and deposits in Poland during the Quaternary glaciations, 2. Current evolution of Arctic and Antarctic glaciers in response to climate warming, together with interaction/feedback between the atmosphere, oceans and land ice masses, and 3. Impact of climate change on the marine environment and terrestrial ecosystems. The CPS specialises in research of calving mechanisms and evolution of tidewater glaciers. Original results show that the importance of factors governing calving processes changes under the influence of glacial processes linked with weather and temperature of seawater. Thus, calving is more complex than previously thought and closely linked with glacier hydrology reflecting amplified Arctic climate warming.

Find out more:

Centre for Polar Studies

Polish Polar DataBase

The Polar Policy of Poland (in Polish), based mainly on the “Strategy for Polish Polar Research – a concept for the years 2017–2027”.

Towards better understanding of polar regions: Centre for Polar Studies

YouTube channel of the Centre for Polar Studies

Other news

The Ocean Decade Advisory Board: Call for Expert Members Nominations

The Decade Advisory Board will be a multi-stakeholder advisory body that will assist the Secretariat of the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) of UNESCO in performing its function as coordinator of the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development, 2021-2030 (the ‘Ocean Decade’).

The Board will report both to the IOC Governing Bodies and the IOC Executive Secretary. The Board’s advice to the IOC Governing Bodies will concern strategic elements of the Decade implementation, such as reviews of the Decade progress in moving towards the Decade societal outcomes and on the research work in the domains of Decade challenges, identifying gaps and opportunities, advising on data stewardship strategies, the development of resource mobilisation strategies, and supporting the development of a monitoring and evaluation framework of the Decade. The Board will also provide advice and operational support to the IOC Executive Secretary to facilitate the endorsement process of Decade Actions, specifically at the programme level.

The Decade Advisory Board will comprise up to 15 expert members drawn from government, private sector, philanthropy, civil society, and the scientific community. They will serve in their individual capacity.  Five representatives of United Nations entities will also sit on the Board.

The 15 expert members of the Board will be nominated through an open Call for Nominations.

The full Terms of Reference for the Board, the eligibility criteria for expert members, and information on how to apply can be found in the Circular Letter and should be consulted before submitting a nomination on the form.

Find out more »

Call for Nominations: Decade Advisory Board (credits: David Gross)

Curious about what’s up next? From Arctic Circle to 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) – get a first glimpse of where to meet up with EU-PolarNet 2 this year.
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