Tracking polar changes as the Earth heats up

Shifts in globalisation, new transport routes, demography and use of natural resources will all play a role in the changing landscape of the Earth's polar regions amid global warming. An EU-funded project seeks to track their impact to help inform EU policy.

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Countries
Countries
  Algeria
  Argentina
  Australia
  Austria
  Bangladesh
  Belarus
  Belgium
  Benin
  Bolivia
  Bosnia and Herzegovina
  Brazil
  Bulgaria
  Burkina Faso
  Cambodia
  Cameroon
  Canada
  Cape Verde
  Chile
  China
  Colombia
  Costa Rica
  Croatia
  Cyprus
  Czechia
  Denmark
  Ecuador
  Egypt
  Estonia
  Ethiopia
  Faroe Islands
  Finland
  France
  French Polynesia
  Georgia


 

Published: 2 April 2019  
Related theme(s) and subtheme(s)
ERA-NET
EnvironmentClimate & global change  |  Earth Observation
Research policyHorizon 2020
Countries involved in the project described in the article
Denmark  |  Estonia  |  Finland  |  France  |  Germany  |  Greece  |  Italy  |  Sweden  |  Switzerland
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Tracking polar changes as the Earth heats up

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© Durk #159068710, 2019 source: stock.adobe.com

Climate-induced warming will mean development of the Earth’s poles as these previously inhospitable regions become more accessible due to the melting of ice. This will be accompanied by pollution and other issues impacting the environment, creating a series of challenges.

Amid this backdrop, the EU-funded iCUPE project aims to establish and maintain long-term observations and state-of-the-art research on both the environment and natural resources in these areas as part of the Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS). It seeks to do so using satellite data, modelling platforms, and the development of quality-controlled in-situ observations.

Some of the issues iCUPE is looking into include: atmospheric pollution, local transport, characterisation of Arctic surfaces and their changes, assessment of concentrations and impacts of heavy metals, persistent organic pollutants, and emissions from the mining of natural resources.

The data collected will be synthesised, revealing the environmental status of the poles, as well as the availability and extraction of natural resources there. iCUPE also seeks to harmonise quality control.

The knowledge generated by iCUPE aims to be beneficial to policymakers, as well as scientists and the general population. Among other things, it focuses on improving our understanding of pollution sources.

iCUPE is part of a bigger project known as ERA-PLANET, which is aimed at strengthening European research in the area of Earth observation. It aspires to do this through, for example, the development of advanced decision support tools and technologies.

Project details

  • Project acronym: iCUPE
  • Participants: Finland (Coordinator), Italy, Denmark, Germany, France, Greece, Estonia, Sweden, Switzerland
  • Project N°: 689443
  • Total costs: € 9 340 000
  • EU contribution: € 2 750 000
  • Duration: September 2017 to August 2020

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