Photo: Rigel Kivi
The Arctic Research Centre (ARC) at Sodankylä and Climate change research group in main office Helsinki form together FMI Arctic Research Division. Due to its high-latitude location ARC provides ideal facilities for versatile observations of arctic low temperature conditions. The environmental effects of human activities are most pronounced in the polar regions. The research work at ARC currently focuses in the polar ozone and arctic snow coverage under the influence of global warming. An additional feature specific for polar regions are auroras which the Helsinki group of Arctic Research division studies. FMI has conducted systematic auroral observations in the Finnish Lapland since late 1950's. Today observations are made with the MIRACLE network whose data have central role in the FMI's geospace research.
Arctic research of FMI has a long history as the Arctic Research Centre at Sodankylä dates back to the mid-nineteenth century when Societas Scientarum Fennica founded the first weather station at Sodankylä in 1858. Due to the warming effect of the Gulf Stream the area is included in the boreal region. However, with regard to stratospheric meteorology, Sodankylä can be classified as an Arctic site, often lying beneath the middle or the edge of the stratospheric polar vortex and in the zone of polar stratospheric ozone depletion. Its strategic location, coupled with ready accessibility from all parts of the world, makes the FMI-ARC an excellent base for studying various themes of global change in a northern context.