Welcome to the October edition of the quaterly EU-PolarNet 2 newsletter!
Welcome to the October edition of the quaterly EU-PolarNet 2 newsletter!
EU-PolarNet 2 is looking back to an eventful summer. We finally met in person at our third General Assembly in Sofia at which some of the project partners saw each other the first time in person.Since the launch of the project and the beginning of the pandemic, we have the feeling that we are making real progress. We started with our stakeholder engagement work targeting the marine industry with a booth at the SMM in Hamburg and our international cooperation tasks benefitted from the first, very successful in person workshop in Washington D.C in July. The catalyst platform, as one of the important cooperation tools, is up and running and the third and last EU-PolarNet 2 Service Call has just been opened. The newsletter has also slightly changed and is featuring a new section now, called “from science to policy”.
The third EU-PolarNet 2 Service Call is open!
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). For example, we are supporting workshops, desk studies or travels. The funded Service Contract will support EU-PolarNet 2 in its research prioritisation and to propose funding schemes that could be funded on a national, European or international level.
The third Call for Services was opened on 20 September 2022 and deadline for offers is 20 December 2022. EU-PolarNet 2 invites European (early career) researchers and/or stake- and rightsholders to submit an offer related to one of the key questions/sub-topics of following two Research Needs of the EPRP:
• Better understanding of climate change in the Polar Regions and its links to lower latitudes
• Informed weather and climate action
You will find more information about the outcomes of the first Service Call and the third Call for Services on our website: https://eu-polarnet.eu/call/
Side event to the All Atlantic 2022 Ministerial Meeting
EU-PolarNet 2 and the EPB organised an in-person workshop on “Research Cooperation from Pole to Pole” on July 12th at the Residence of the Portuguese Ambassador in Washington D.C. as a side event to the All-Atlantic Ministerial 2022. The workshop comprised short presentations on national research priorities and overarching topics and closed with a moderated discussion about joint interest and next steps. It also provided a platform to discuss better cooperation in the future for Polar Research (Arctic and Antarctic/Southern Ocean) and Infrastructures through the All Atlantic Ocean Research Alliance.
The workshop was well-attended with more than 60 participants from the AANCHOR partners South Africa, Brazil, USA and Canada. Furthermore, we were pleased to welcome European partners from Portugal, Italy, France, Germany and Norway and further guests from Uruguay, Denmark and Morocco attending the workshop, as well as high-level officials from the EC, JRC-ISPRA and AANCHOR.
Entering the third year – EU-PolarNet 2’s third General Assembly
We are already halfway through! After two years of project running time, it was time for the third EU-PolarNet 2 General Assembly and mid-term retreat from 13th to 15th of September 2022 in Sofia, Bulgaria. More than 50 participants from the project, EU Polar Cluster members, representatives from the Advisory Board and Policy Advisory Board of the project attended the meeting in person and online on the 13th of September. The General Assembly provided an overview on the project achievements of the last year and was open to anyone interested in the work of EU-PolarNet 2. On the 14th and 15th of September, EU-PolarNet 2 held its internal mid-term retreat. The focus of this event was to discuss the progress and next steps of the individual Work Packages.
Overall, it was a great meeting, very well organised and hosted by our EU-PolarNet 2 partners from the Bulgarian Antarctic Institute. We would like to express our sincere thanks for this. We were also very pleased with the engagement of all our partners at the meeting and the fruitful discussions to continue and strengthen our project efforts for the second half of the project. Thank you to all partners who made the three-day meeting such a great success.
The SMM International Maritime Trade Fair:
EU Polar Cluster / Arctic PASSION / EU-PolarNet-2 teamed up to be present at the SMM Fair in Hamburg, the largest maritime industry trade fair considered to be the most important global maritime industry event of the year. Our goal was to make connections with the actors of the maritime industry and invite them to fill out a questionnaire on research prioritisation. On average, 2200 compagnies from 67 countries are present, with more than 50 000 attendees from all over the world. A booth was put together in hall A4, the “Green Transition Hall”. The booth was decorated with two posters from Arctic PASSION and EU-PolarNet 2. Two stands were covered in flyers from various EU Polar Cluster projects: ARICE, NUNATARYUK, Arctic PASSION. The SMM was without a doubt “the place to be” to help us identify research priorities and improve collaborations between the scientific community and the maritime industry!
The EU-PolarNet 2 Workshop with Coordinators of European Polar Observing Systems, arranged on 7th June 2022, was aimed to collate, in a co-design process, actionable policy-level recommendations to accelerate the development of Integrated Polar Observing System (IPOS). The primary objective of the workshop was to collate, in a co-design process, actionable policy-level recommendations to accelerate the development of IPOS. The resulting recommendations will feed into a white paper with recommendations to accelerate the development of a sustained and fully integrated Polar observing system, to be published in 2024.
EU-PolarNet 2 at Arctic Circle
EU-PolarNet 2 will have two sessions at Arctic Circle, both on October 15, which will be held back-to-back starting from 10:00 AM. The first session, called “Funding International Arctic Science” will address the need for stronger international coordination of Arctic science funding and the state of Arctic research. The consecutive session “EU-PolarNet 2 – structure of European Polar research funding: dialogue and cooperation” will present the overall goals and objectives of the EU-PolarNet 2 project and will focus on the structure of European Polar Research Funding and cooperation with partners beyond Europe.
In parallel, EU-PolarNet 2 will talk about EU-supported research in the Arctic in the session “EU-Arctic cooperation: challenges, collaboration and results”, organised by the European Commission, on October 15, 10:00 – 10:55.
After more than two years of pandemic, the EU Polar Cluster held its first in-person meeting in Brussels on 21 and 22 June 2022. About 50 representatives from 21 Polar Cluster projects and initiatives joined the meeting in the EC premises.
The meeting was characterised by lively round table discussions on the restructuring of the previous task group structure and the future direction of the Cluster.
One outcome of the discussion was the replacement of the previous 5 task groups by working groups. These are ongoing activities that apply to selected Cluster members. Unlike the task groups, which involve all members, only people from relevant projects will be involved. There will be a smaller group with a few people in charge – “Cluster Curators” who will take care of the working groups. Further innovations in the Cluster’s organisational structure and planned activities for the near future will be presented on the Cluster website, www.polarcluster.eu, this autumn.
The EU Polar Cluster will have a booth at the Arctic Circle Assembly 2022 and AGU 2022. Visit us at the boot for news and what is currently going on in the Cluster.
Since summer 2021, the EU Polar Cluster publishes its own regular newsletters. They aim to give you an update of the key inter-project activities. Please sign up for the Cluster newsletter directly at the EU Polar Cluster website.
Partner highlights on polar research
Longer and warmer autumns can greatly decrease butterfly’s chances of surviving winter
Warmer than usual autumn weather can have detrimental effects on butterflies in their pupal stage, a new study from the University of Oulu and Stockholm University finds. As temperatures are higher than normal, the metabolic rate of the
pupae remains elevated during their diapause, or winter dormancy, which means they consume more energy with no chance of eating and refuelling.
Dr. Matthew Nielsen from the University of Oulu led the team of researchers which included Karl Gotthard and Philipp Lehmann from Stockholm University in the study that consisted of exposing Pieris napi (green-veined white) butterfly pupae to different temperatures in the prewinter phase, while the winter and spring conditions were the same for all pupae.
Mass is a very important factor in terms of survival. The pupae lost mass during the autumn treatments and we expected to see some consequences after winter. What surprised us was that the effects were so strongly delayed. The pupae were mostly still alive at the end of the treatments and it wasn’t until later in spring that they started dying, Dr. Nielsen explains. The effects of warm winters have been studied before, but Nielsen argued that the impact of prewinter conditions has been understudied so far. Climate change will make prewinter periods both longer and more intense, which makes it important to understand how dormant organisms cope with them and what the ultimate consequences are.
Further information: Butterfly’s chances of surviving winter
The Estonian Academy of Sciences confirmed two research professorships for Arctic studies for the 2022-2023 period
The Estonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs organised an open competition for research professorships for Arctic studies for the 2022-2023 period. According to recommendations from the assessment commission of the Estonian Academy of Sciences, the Board of the Academy selected two candidates who will be asked to take up the position of a research professor and create a research professorship in their university.
The professorships were awarded to research teams led by Professor Lauri Laanisto at the Estonian University of Life Sciences and Aimar Ventsel, Associate Professor of Ethnology at the University of Tartu. Lauri Laanisto will study the connections between the diversity and productivity of plant communities in Svalbard in the framework of the extensive NutNet research project. Research is important because the polar regions are the best source of knowledge about the effects of climate change due to the particularly rapid climate changes there. Aimar Ventsel will concentrate on the representative organisations of the indigenous people of the Arctic and their activities. The study will give an overview of the role of scientists in the organisations included in the study, the projects and cooperation formats of the organisations of indigenous peoples and ways in which Estonia could cooperate with these organisations.
The aim of establishing research professorships is to support the participation of Estonian researches in Arctic studies, increase the expertise of Estonian researchers on the Arctic and contribute to their ability to take part in important international research.
Further information: Two research professorships for Arctic studies
Polish-Norwegian cooperation on Svalbard: CRIOS project is launching
In early fall of 2022, as a result of Polish – Norwegian cooperation, the Cryosphere Integrated Observatory Network on Svalbard (CRIOS) project is launching. CRIOS aims to modernize and expand an automated monitoring network focused on the cryosphere of Spitsbergen as a calibration/validation system for indirect research. The network will be based on existing Polish Polar Stations and Norwegian facilities in western Spitsbergen. Sites will be equipped with the newest cryosphere monitoring technologies and will operate following the standardized measurement protocols. The key element of the observatory network will be real-time data transfer to the open repositories, following the FAIR principles (Findability, Accessibility, Interoperability, Reusability), for researchers and stakeholders
The CRIOS project strives for interdisciplinary and bilateral cooperation in the framework of past research efforts such as the Polish Svalbard Snow Program or Community Coordinated Snow Study in Svalbard and is in line with the SESS Report recommendation for the directions of cryosphere monitoring. Broad research scope will open the possibility of creating a network for continuous characterization of snow and permafrost conditions, a weather observation system allowing for real time satellite data transfer, and high-resolution monitoring of interactions between the atmosphere, cryosphere and other relevant environmental components.
The CRIOS network will operate within the framework of the existing Svalbard Observing System (https://sios-svalbard.org/ObservingSystem) and may become part of an innovative Arctic Earth System environment observatory to constrain better changes within the cryosphere and the ecosystem interfaces.
The first magnetotelluric survey of the interior of Greenland
Last summer the first-ever magnetotelluric (MT) survey of the interior of Greenland was completed as part of Norway’s MAGPIE project (Magnetotelluric Analysis of Greenland and Postglacial Isostatic Evolution, funded by the Norwegian Research Council). During the summers of 2019 and 2022, we deployed 24 MT stations across Greenland. Each station collected data for about a week or longer. Field operations were based out of EastGRIP station in 2019 and RAVEN and Summit stations in 2022. Transport across the ice was accomplished using snowmobiles.
The MAGPIE project is designed to gain new constraints on the viscosity structure of Greenland’s upper mantle (down to ~350 km depth). In particular, we hope to constrain a possible path of reduced viscosity associated with remnant heat from the Iceland plume, which crossed Greenland 50 to 90 million years ago. The MT measurements help to constrain viscosity by measuring electrical conductivity. This is useful because the same factors that increase the electrical conductivity of rocks (heat and water content) also reduce their viscosity. Thus, we can use the MT data from the MAGPIE survey to place new constraints on viscosity variations. These constraints will be used to develop better models of uplift associated with glacial isostatic adjustment (GIA). Such models will help us to better correct GPS measurements for the effects of past melting, thus making uplift observations more useful for constraining current ice melting patterns.
Further information: First magnetotelluric survey of the interior of Greenland
Austria establishes a permanent research station on Ammassalik Island in East Greenland in cooperation with Denmark
Austria has been active in polar research for a long time but has not operated a research station until now. Through private sponsorship by an Austrian industrialist family, it has now been possible to raise the necessary funds to expand the Sermilik Research Station in East Greenland and bring it up to modern standards. The research station, which was previously run by the University of Copenhagen, will in future be run as a cooperation between the Universities of Copenhagen (Denmark) and Graz (Austria). The station will have space for about 20 researchers and will be linked to the goals of sustainability and cooperation with the population in Greenland. Interdisciplinary environmental research in the broadest sense up to transdisciplinary research will be topics of the Sermilik Research Station in the future.
Further information: Austria establishes a permanent polar research station on Ammassalik Island in East Greenland in cooperation with Denmark
Expedition to validate satellite measurements of the Antarctic ice
In December 2021, the Swedish Polar Research Secretariat organised the Antarctic expedition DML 2021/2022 to the Swedish research station Wasa. The station is situated on the Basen nunatak in Dronning Maud Land, Antarctica. A research team led by Ian Brown, Associate professor in Earth Observation at Stockholm University, arrived in Antarctica on 4 December and spent 44 days on Earth’s southernmost continent. The goal was to implement a snow measurement program to validate satellite measurements of the ice sheet. The program aims to better understand how great the uncertainty is in satellite measurements and why.
From science to policy
The Catalyst Platform - improving information exchange within the European Polar community
One of the goals of EU-PolarNet 2 is to develop cooperation tools to strengthen European Polar coordination and to facilitate interaction among national Polar research programmes in Europe. One of the main cooperation tools is the Catalyst Platform that shall improve the information flow within the European Polar community. The Catalyst Platform accommodates a continuous information exchange and an interactive room as a discussion forum for the Polar community to identify synergies and develop partnerships within Europe.
The Platform will serve as the core of the European Polar Coordination Office (EPCO) which will be one the main outcomes of EU-PolarNet 2 and will secure that its legacy is well preserved. The Platform is intended to provide all important information on European polar research and serve as an important coordination asset for the European Polar community.
The Catalyst Platform is divided into the following sections: Resources, News, Events, Research groups, Infrastructure offers, Jobs and Discussion. In addition, the access to the recorded webinars and relevant minutes from the EU Polar Cluster working group meetings will be also incorporated. The relevant information on polar issues in Europe and in the world will also be disseminated to the community through this platform, which also will be paramount in the introduction of the main research groups.
The Catalyst Platform can be reached by the following link https://polarcatalyst.eu/
One goal of the Catalyst Platform is to make it a useful repository of information for the polar community. For this purpose, we offer the possibility to search for or provide various types of information resources. The resources include the reference to any document of interest to the polar community such as documents resulting from European polar projects, national polar strategies, papers or web pages. Each document is identified by several tags which allow it to be easily searchable.
Another of the most important features of the Catalyst Platform are the discussion groups. This will be a facilitated interactive forum in which different initiatives will be discussed by invitation or in an open framework. These facilitated discussions are expected to trigger initiatives that would setup synergistic activities between several interested research groups. We aim to make the usage of the platform beneficial for the Polar community and to encourage the community to interacting with the platform.
Get involved! EU-PolarNet 2 is looking for ideas for policy-related events
EU-PolarNet 2 organises regular thematic webinars on policy-relevant topics related to European polar science. We are also organising booths, outreach material and policy briefings to showcase the European polar research to our stakeholders, such as policy makers or the wider polar research community.
We look forward to hearing from the polar community what topics for webinars, workshops would be of interest to you. We are looking for suggestions on what is important for scientists to bring closer to policy.
We are looking forward to your contributions through this form.
Curious about what’s up next? From Arctic Circle Assembly 2022, AGU to ASSW 2023 – get a first glimpse of where to meet up with EU-PolarNet 2 the next months.