Navigation path

Themes
Agriculture & food
Energy
Environment
ERA-NET
Health & life sciences
Human resources & mobility
Industrial research
Information society
Innovation
International cooperation
Nanotechnology
Pure sciences
Research infrastructures
Research policy
Science & business
Science in society
  Education & popular sciences
  Ethics
  Future science & technology
  Governance
  People in science
  Public opinion
  Science communication
  Science prizes
  Women & science
  Other
Security
SMEs
Social sciences and humanities
Space
Special Collections
Transport

Countries
Countries
  Argentina
  Australia
  Austria
  Belarus
  Belgium
  Benin
  Botswana
  Brazil
  Bulgaria
  Burkina Faso
  Cameroon
  Canada
  Chile
  China
  Colombia
  Croatia
  Cyprus
  Czech Republic
  Denmark
  Egypt
  Estonia
  Ethiopia
  Finland
  France
  Gambia
  Georgia
  Germany
  Ghana
  Greece
  Hungary
  Iceland
  India
  Indonesia
  Ireland
  Israel
  Italy
  Japan
  Kazakhstan
  Kenya
  Korea
  Latvia
  Lichtenstein
  Lithuania
  Luxembourg
  Madagascar
  Malaysia
  Malta
  Mexico
  Montenegro
  Morocco
  Mozambique
  Namibia
  Netherlands
  New Zealand
  Nigeria
  Norway
  Panama
  Peru
  Poland
  Portugal
  Romania
  Russia
  Senegal
  Serbia
  Slovakia
  Slovenia
  South Africa
  Spain
  Sri Lanka
  Swaziland
  Sweden
  Switzerland
  Taiwan
  Tanzania
  Thailand
  Tunisia
  Turkey
  Uganda
  Ukraine
  United Kingdom
  United States
  Vietnam


   Science in society

Last Update: 21-11-2012  
Related category(ies):
Research infrastructures  |  Success stories  |  Environment  |  Science in society

 

Countries involved in the project described in the article:
Canada  |  Denmark  |  Finland  |  Germany  |  Greece  |  Iceland  |  Italy  |  Norway  |  Russia  |  Sweden  |  United States
Add to PDF "basket"

INTERACT – Making Arctic research accessible to all

While it is accepted that environmental change in the Arctic will have global implications, accessing accurate information from this remote region can be difficult. This is why an EU-funded project aims to build research capacity through connecting remote stations, developing new technology and making this harsh but beautiful wilderness accessible to as many people as possible.

©Fotolia
© Fotolia

Understanding, predicting and responding to environmental challenges facing the Arctic will help us to better protect one of the world's last remaining pristine wildernesses. This is why the EU-funded Interact project has been launched, with the aim of increasing our capacity to monitor and research what is happening to this fragile world.

Increasing access to information for researchers is central to the project. "A key prerequisite to expanding our capacities is developing partnerships between observers and research communities, particularly those using experimental approaches that focus on understanding and projecting future environmental changes," explains project coordinator Terry Callaghan. "Interact aims to generate increased research activity by enhancing access to the Arctic for researchers, and engaging the next generation of researchers in collaborative educational activities."

Arctic network

The project has already made significant progress. For the first time, 45 Arctic terrestrial research stations are networking together, a number which is likely to grow. A station managers' forum has been successfully established to facilitate dialogue on subjects such as best practices and standardised monitoring.

"The station managers' forum has produced a unique one-stop shop for information from all 45 research stations in an informative and attractive catalogue that is available in hard copy and on the Interact website," says Prof. Callaghan. "During the remaining period of Interact, the highest overall priority will be to ensure that this rapidly growing consortium has a secure future and legacy beyond the end of the current EU programme."

New monitoring equipment specifically designed to operate in harsh environmental conditions has also been installed. A fully compatible ICOS (Integrated Carbon Observation System) tower, for example, has been established at Zackenberg, North East Greenland, and ten energy exchange stations have been established at four major research platforms in the North Atlantic Region. To improve monitoring in general, new radio tools and models have also been tested.

Better climate data

This project has important implications for Europe. Better coordinated research stations will be able to provide more accurate scientific information, which will better inform decision-makers about potential changes to climate, biodiversity and land use. Indeed, environmental change in the Arctic could have profound implications for certain areas of the EU, such as low-lying coastal towns in the Netherlands. While input on environmental change from individual research stations can advise local stakeholders on adaptation measures, the whole network is required to provide information at a scale of relevance to the EU and the global community.

This project also presents Europe with opportunities. Currently, the Arctic is the focus of intense and growing geopolitical attention. Among the many reasons for this are the increasing possibilities for new trade routes, increased tourism, and better access to fossil fuel reserves and minerals. These issues are of great relevance to the EU, and the investment made in the Interact project will be handsomely repaid in the form of first-hand information on current environmental conditions across the whole Arctic region.

"By the end of this project, we will have significantly improved the way in which stations are managed and accessed, the way in which environmental monitoring is technically carried out and the way in which data are captured, processed and made available," says Prof. Callaghan. "Information flow from the Arctic to local stakeholders – including those in European Arctic countries – and to the global community will be further developed."

Project details

  • Participants: Sweden (coordinator), Germany, Greece, Denmark, Finland, Norway, Italy, US, Canada, Russia, Faroe Islands, Iceland
  • FP7 Proj. N° 262693
  • Total costs: € 9 362 620
  • EU contribution: € 7 300 000
  • Duration: January 2011 to December 2014

Convert article(s) to PDF

No article selected


loading


Search articles

Notes:
To restrict search results to articles in the Information Centre, i.e. this site, use this search box rather than the one at the top of the page.

After searching, you can expand the results to include the whole Research and Innovation web site, or another section of it, or all Europa, afterwards without searching again.

Please note that new content may take a few days to be indexed by the search engine and therefore to appear in the results.

Print Version
Share this article
See also

Project web site

Project information on CORDIS

Contacts
Unit A1 - External & internal communication,
Directorate-General for Research & Innovation,
European Commission
Tel : +32 2 298 45 40
  Top   Research Information Center