Arcticportal News
EU has approved €2 million five-year EU-PolarNet Programme
Other News
Written by Federica   
Friday, 22 May 2015 10:53

92363985 SmallNorthern Lights photo: Getty Image) The EU-Polar Net has recently confirmed that the EU has granted  €2 million to run the EU-Polar Net for five more years.  The EU-Polar Net is a consortium of 22 European research institutions working on both the Arctic and Antarctic regions., which objectives are to improve co-ordination between EU member polar research institutions, to develop an integrated EU Polar research programme and to create and sustain ongoing dialogue and co-operation with Polar stakeholders (read more here

During this coming 5 years, the  EU-PolarNet "will develop and deliver a strategic framework and mechanisms to prioritise science, optimise the use of polar infrastructure, and broker new partnerships that will lead to the co-design of polar research projects that deliver tangible benefits for society. By adopting a higher degree of coordination of polar research and operations than has existed previously the consortium engages in closer cooperation with all relevant actors on an international level". 

Here you can read the Press Release: 

A new initiative to enhance the integration of Europe's scientific and operational capabilities in the Polar Regions has been funded by the EU Horizon 2020 programme.

The €2 million five-year EU-PolarNet programme brings together 22 of Europe's internationally-respected multi-disciplinary research institutions to develop and deliver an integrated European polar research programme that is supported by access to first-class operational polar infrastructures. EU-PolarNet will involve stakeholders from the outset to create a suite of research proposals whose scientific outcomes are directly relevant and beneficial to European society and its economy.

Polar issues have been rising up the political agenda across Europe over the past decade. The level of investment now being made by governments is a clear demonstration of how critical polar research is for forming policies, including those relating to climate change, energy security, global food security, innovation and economic growth.

By establishing an ongoing dialogue between policymakers, business and industry leaders, local communities and scientists EU-PolarNet aims to create an Integrated European Research Programme for the Antarctic and the Arctic. This legacy from EU-PolarNet will be sustained into the future by the European Polar Board, all of whose members are integrally involved with the project.

A key role for EU-PolarNet is to cooperate closely with the European Commission to provide support and advice on all issues related to the Polar Regions.

Dr Andrea Tilche, Head of the Climate Action and Earth Observation Unit, in the European Commission DG for Research and Innovation, comments:

"The European Commission welcomes this new Coordination Action which brings together polar scientific communities and other stakeholders. It creates a new "home" where science and innovation on polar issues can be discussed for the benefit of our planet and our societies".

EU-PolarNet is coordinated by the Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research in Germany. Director, Professor Karin Lochte comments: "EU-PolarNet represents a fantastic challenge for leaders of national polar research programmes. It is our ambition to enhance the high-level of collaboration and cooperation that exists currently across Europe and the rest of the world. Our network is ideally positioned to play a leading international role in forming new partnerships within scientific, business and policy-making communities. The knowledge and discoveries that we make in the polar regions have an impact on our daily lives. This is a very exciting time for polar science."

EU-Polarnet is a Horizon 2020 funded Coordination Action.


(for more information, please click here

US: The National Security Implications of Climate Change
Climate Change News
Written by Federica   
Thursday, 21 May 2015 09:50

President Barack Obama"President Barack Obama" by Official White House Photo by Pete Souza (Wikipedia).Yesterday the White House  issued a brief press release to inform that President Obama will address to the United States Coast Guard Academy the importance of acting on climate change and the risks to national security this global threat poses. For the occasion, also the report "Findings from Select Federal Reports: The National Security Implications of a  Changing Climate" (click here to download) has been attached.

Here is the press relase by the White House:

Today, President Obama will travel to New London, Connecticut to deliver the commencement address at the United States Coast Guard Academy. During his speech, the President will speak to the importance of acting on climate change and the risks to national security this global threat poses. The White House also released a new report on the national security implications of climate change and how the Federal government is rising to the challenge.

As the President has made very clear, no challenge poses a greater threat to future generations than climate change, as we are already seeing these threats in communities across the country. We know that climate change is contributing to extreme weather, wildfires, and drought, and that rising temperatures can lead to more smog and more allergens in the air we breathe, meaning more kids are exposed to the triggers that can cause asthma attacks.

But as the President will stress, climate change does not respect national borders and no one country can tackle climate change on its own. Climate change poses immediate risks to our national security, contributing to increased natural disasters and resulting in humanitarian crises, and potentially increasing refugee flows and exacerbating conflicts over basic resources like food and water. It also aggravates issues at home and abroad including poverty, political instability and social tensions – conditions that can fuel instability and enable terrorist activity and other forms of violence.

The Department of Defense (DOD) is assessing the vulnerability of the military's more than 7,000 bases, installations and other facilities to climate change, and studying the implications of increased demand for our National Guard in the aftermath of extreme weather events. Two years ago, DOD and DHS released Arctic Strategies, which addresses the potential security implications of increased human activity in the Arctic, a consequence of rapidly melting sea ice.

But we also need to decrease the harmful carbon pollution that causes climate change. That is why, this summer, the EPA will put in place commonsense standards to reduce carbon pollution from power plants, the largest source in the United States. Today, the U.S. harnesses three times as much electricity from the wind and twenty times as much from the sun as we did since President Obama took office. We are working with industry and have taken action to phase down HFCs and address methane emissions in the oil and gas sector. By the middle of the next decade, our cars will go twice as far on a gallon of gas, and we have made unprecedented investments to cut energy waste in our homes and buildings. And as the single largest user of energy in the United States, DOD is making progress to deploy 3 gigawatts of renewable energy on military installations by 2025.


See the video of the President's Commencement Address at the Coast Guard Academy here.

(Source: The White House

Call for Papers: Arctic Frontiers 2016 " Industry and Environment"
Other News
Written by Federica   
Wednesday, 20 May 2015 09:58

ARCTIC FRONTIERS.jpgThe 10th Arctic Frontiers conference will be arranged in Tromsø, Norway from Sunday 24 January to Friday 29 January 2016. The title for the 2016 conference is Industry and Environment.

The Arctic is a global crossroad between commercial and environmental interests. The region holds substantial natural resources and many actors are investigating ways to utilise these for economic gain. Others view the Arctic as a particularly pristine and vulnerable environment and highlight the need to limit industrial development.

Arctic Frontiers 2016 will discuss the balance between resource utilisation and preservation, and between industrial and environmental interests in the Arctic. Envisioning a well-planned, well-governed, and sustainable development in the Arctic, how can improved Arctic stewardship help balance environmental concerns with industrial expansion? How can the industrial footprints from future business activities be minimised? And last, but not least, what role will existing and emerging technologies play in making industrial development profitable and environmentally friendly, securing a sustainable growth scenario for Arctic communities?

The Arctic Frontiers conference is a central arena for discussions of Arctic issues. The conference brings together representatives from science, politics, and NGOs to share perspectives on how upcoming challenges in the Arctic may be addressed to ensure sustainable development. Arctic Frontiers is composed of three sections: Arctic Frontiers Policy, Arctic Frontiers Science and Arctic Frontiers Business.

The 2016 Arctic Frontiers science section will address three main themes:

This call for papers addresses only the science section that takes place from 27 January to 29 January 2016.

On behalf of the Scientific Program Committees, we have great pleasure in inviting you to submit one or more abstracts, for oral or poster presentation, to any of the three parts. We ask you to do so in accordance with the instructions provided on the Call for Papers page at

All abstracts will be reviewed by members of the three scientific committees for rating of abstract quality and presentation content.

Call for Papers closes on 21 September 2015.


(Source and picture: Arctic Frontiers



China's CO2 emissions fall, Greenpeace reports
Climate Change News
Written by Federica   
Tuesday, 19 May 2015 12:23

coal"The End of China's Coal Boom"cover (photo:Greenpeace) In November 2014,  President of the United States, Barack Obama (US) and President of the People's Republic of China, Xi Jinping, released the historical "U.S.-China Joint Announcement on Climate Change". In the announcement, it was aknowledged that US and the People's Republic of China "have a critical role to play in combating global climate change, one of the greatest threats facing humanity". For this purpose, It was also stated that "the United States intends to achieve an economy-wide target of reducing its emissions by 26%-28% below its 2005 level in 2025 and to make best efforts to reduce its emissions by 28%. China intends to achieve the peaking of CO2 emissions around 2030 and to make best efforts to peak early and intends to increase the share of non-fossil fuels in primary energy consumption to around 20% by 2030. Both sides intend to continue to work to increase ambition over time". This announcement was considered a milestone in the fight against climate change.  Indeed, accordingly with Greenpeace, "China is the world's largest energy consumer and the leading emitter of greenhouse gases. In 2013, coal accounted for 65% of China's overall energy consumption, making it the most coal-dependent country among top energy consumers. China accounts for almost half of global coal consumption and from 2000 to 2010 its coal use and emissions grew on average at 9% a year. In 2010 alone, China's increase in coalfired power generation capacity equaled Germany's existing generating capacity."

But very good news are coming from China now. An analysis conducted by Greenpeace/Energydesk China suggests coal consumption in the world's largest economy fell by almost 8% and CO2 emissions by around 5% in the first four months of the year, compared with the same period in 2014. It comes after the latest data – for April – showed coal output down 7.4% year on year amidst reports of fundamental reform for the sector. China also recently ordered more than 1,000 coal mines to close. Greenpeace continues: "The reduction in emissions from 2014 to 2015 is roughly equal to the total CO2 emissions of the UK over four months, and the reduction in coal use is equal to four times UK total consumption. If the reduction continues until the end of the year, it will be the largest recorded year-on-year reduction in coal use and CO2 in any country. Falling coal output in China has already had a big impact on global emissions with early data from the IEA suggesting that global emissions of carbon dioxide from the energy sector stalled in 2014, marking the first time in 40 years in which there was a halt or reduction in emissions of the greenhouse gas that was not tied to an economic downturn."


Read here "The End of China's Coal Boom" released by Greenpeace. 

Read here "China coal use falls: CO2 reduction this year could equal UK total emissions over same period" by Energydesk China (Greenpeace). 



Reminder: 3rd China-Nordic Arctic Cooperation Symposium, May 26-28
Other News
Written by Federica   
Tuesday, 19 May 2015 04:05

CNARC's building, Shanghai (photo: CNARC)CNARC's building, Shanghai (photo: CNARC)On the 26-28 May 2015 the 3rd China-Nordic Arctic Cooperation Symposium will take place in Shanghai and the conference theme is "Arctic Synergies: Polices and Best Practice".All presentations will focus on Arctic-related issues, within one of the session topics:


• Session I The Evolution of Arctic Governance: Geopolitical, Legal, and Socio-Economic Issues
• Session II The Impact of Scientific Developments on Arctic Strategies
• Session III The Framing and Implementation of Chinese and Nordic Arctic Policies
• Session IV Trans-Arctic Synergies in Arctic Economic Development

Detailed description of the sessions: 

Session 1, The Evolution of Arctic Governance: Geopolitical, Legal, and Socio-Economic Issues

The Arctic has, in recent years, assumed global importance because of the impact of climate change, the region's natural resources, and the economic potential offered by the opening of Arctic sea routes. What are the main political, legal and socio-economic issues in the evolution of Arctic governance? Is the current governance framework based on the United Nations Law of the Sea Convention (UNCLOS) sufficient to meet the challenges and opportunities in the region? To which extend would the tension between Russia and U.S.-EU in the aftermath of Ukrainian crisis affect Arctic governance and Arctic cooperation? How does the Arctic fit into broader geopolitical developments taking place in the world? What is the role of the Arctic Council? What is the significance of the decision to accept five Asian countries (China, India, Singapore, South Korea and Japan) as observers to the Arctic Council? How does increased interest in the Arctic contribute to sustainable development and human security at local, national and regional levels in the Arctic region? How do these changes affect the participation of indigenous communities in Arctic governance and the longstanding culture for open dialogue and informal deliberation within the Arctic Council?

Session 2, The Impact of Scientific Developments on Arctic Strategies

Scientific research and cooperation has been at the very center of Arctic policy-making since the Arctic Environmental Protection Strategy was launched in 1991, which subsequently led to the establishment of the Arctic Council in 1996. Has science remained as a key element in Arctic policies with the promotion and popularization of Arctic affairs? How do outside stakeholders, such as China, see the role of science and research in Arctic policy-making? What are the implications of Arctic Science Summit Week 2015 and Third International Conference on the Arctic Research Planning (ICARP III) on Arctic Science and governance?

Session 3, The Framing and Implementation of Chinese and Nordic Arctic Policies

All the Nordic States have, in the last few years, published official Arctic strategies. While China has not yet taken this step, it is possible that a policy statement or a White Paper will be forthcoming. What are the main concerns of the Nordic countries, when it comes to the Arctic? What do the Nordic Arctic policies have in common and how do they differ from each other? What is the role for Arctic policy papers from regional or sub regional organizations, such as the Nordic Council, the West Nordic Council and the Barents Council? How do European supranational and intergovernmental organizations, such has the European Union and European Free Trade Association, fit into Arctic policy-making? What Arctic-related policy cooperation is in place between China and the Nordic Countries? How can the China-Nordic Arctic cooperation framework be developed further through bilateral and multilateral means?

Session 4, Trans-Arctic Synergies in Arctic Economic Development

Following the Arctic Council's 2013 Ministerial Meeting in Kiruna over half of the G20 countries are now represented at the Arctic table. The Arctic region is playing a more important role on the world stage as part of globalisation, economic development, energy utilisation, environmental protection and international security. The World Economic Forum, in its 2014 report Demystifying the Arctic, estimated the Arctic region's current annual economy at roughly $230 billion; this figure, however, could rise in the coming years, with the Arctic believed to hold about 20% of Earth's remaining recoverable natural resources (including substantial reserves of oil and gas, minerals, renewable energy sources, fresh water and seafood). Questions remain where investors and labor force for Arctic projects will come from; in addition, international cooperation and best practices are likely to remain as critical success factors for many of the Arctic's potential economic opportunities. What role will outside stakeholders, including Asian and European economies, play in the economic development of the Arctic? In which industries are the interests of local Arctic residents and outside stakeholders most aligned? Will it be in developing infrastructure, creating new extensions of international transportation networks (in shipping and aviation), developing trade relations and/or investing in natural resource development?


More info at: CNARC



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