New INTAROS-project develops future Observation System to the Arctic

23.1.2017 8:31

The environment in the Arctic region is now changing because of climate change. The objective of the newly established INTAROS-project is to implement an integrated sustainable Arctic Observation System for future generations.

The environmental effects of human activities are most pronounced in the polar regions. The environment in the Arctic is now changing significantly due to increased temperature, thinning and decrease of the sea ice, melting of the Greenland Ice Sheet, thawing permafrost and changes in atmospheric and ocean circulation. Such changes have both global and regional implications, among others severe impacts on people's living conditions in the Arctic. Furthermore, exploitation of natural resources, marine transportation and other human activities are expected to increase with additional impact on the vulnerable environment.

In order to ensure sustainable development of the Arctic it is necessary to collect more data and build up more knowledge on climate and environment in this region. INTAROS will accordingly develop an efficient integrated Arctic Observation System by extending, improving and unifying existing and evolving systems in the different parts of the Arctic. The project will capitalize on existing observing systems and databases of atmosphere, ocean, cryosphere and terrestrial data as the backbone of the INTAROS Integrated Arctic Observation System. The project will combine existing distributed data repositories with the new observations gathered, and provide tools for data discovery, aggregation, analysis and visualization.

FMI´s role in INTAROS is prominent

FMI has a prominent role in the project. FMI is responsible for assessing the quality, usability, and critical gaps in the in situ atmospheric observational network and the in situ and satellite snow observations. FMI is also involved in the enhancement of the Arctic in situ observing systems: the FMI observatory of Sodankylä-Pallas is the main European Arctic supersite, and its observational capacity will be enhanced through INTAROS. In collaboration with the INTAROS partners, FMI will increase snow and sea ice observations in the central Arctic through e.g. deployment of sea-ice mass balance buoys, and will collect observations of snow properties and atmospheric near-surface variables and vertical profiles from ship-based sea ice stations.

At the start of the project, INTAROS brings together expertise from 49 partner organizations in 20 different countries in Europe, North America and Asia.

More information:

Researcher Roberta Pirazzini, tel. 050 380 2653 , Roberta.pirazzini@fmi.fi

INTAROS coordinator: Prof. Stein Sandven, cell: +47 993 68 440, stein.sandven@nersc.no

Media contact: Lasse Pettersson, cell +47 932 23 563  lasse.pettersson@nersc.no