Arctic, Circumpolar: projects/activities

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Directory entires that have specified Arctic, Circumpolar as one of the geographic regions for the project/activity and are included in the AMAP, ENVINET, SAON and SEARCH directories. Note that the list of regions is not hierarchical, and there is no relation between regions (e.g. a record tagged with Nunavut may not be tagged with Canada). To see the full list of regions, see the regions list. To browse the catalog based on the originating country (leady party), see the list of countries.

It is also possible to browse and query the full list of projects.

Displaying: 1 - 20 of 80 Next
1. Circumpolar Health Observatory [CircHOB] (CircHOB)

CircHOB is an international collaborative health information system, involved in systematic, standardized, and consistent data collection and analysis. It is population-based, and produces data for all northern regions in all circumpolar countries CircHOB’s purpose is to monitor trends and patterns in health status, health determinants, and health care, provides quantitative evidence for planning and evaluation of health programs and services. It is on-going and sustainable with periodic updates Main gaps: Data on health-related behaviours, attitudes, and practices currently available from health surveys done in various circumpolar countries and regions are not directly comparable, due to differences in the construction of variables, sampling techniques, and contextual meanings of underlying concepts. Substantial international comparative research is needed before such data can be presented. Network type: CircHOB is a flagship project of the Arctic Human Health Expert Group of the Sustainable Development Working Group of the Arctic Council, formed in 2009. CircHOB is a program within the Institute for Circumpolar Health Research Data Center [] CircHOB extracts relevant data from existing data sources managed by different groups and agencies in different countries, including: • National population registries, censuses and intercensal estimates • Vital statistics • Mortality/morbidity/health care utilization databases • National/regional health surveys • Statistical reports CircHOB does NOT involve access to individual-level health records nor do any such records cross national borders. It involves the preparation of tables of aggregate data only. Most data are available from websites of national statistical agencies, health ministries, etc. Many but not all sites are available in English and language proficiency in all circumpolar languages [eg. Russian, Finnish, Icelandic] is essential. Some data require special tabulations produced by host agencies

Human health

1. The WMO facilitates worldwide cooperation in the establishment of networks of stations for the making of meteorological observations as well as hydrological and other geophysical observations related to meteorology. Observing stations are operated by WMO Members according to agreed standards and recommended practices described in the WMO Regulatory Material, such as Technical regulations, WMO-No. 49 and its Annexes.

2. The WMO requirements for observational data are generally divided into three categories: global, regional and national. For example, surface synoptic stations are expected to report every six hours for global exchange and every three hours for regional exchange, however with higher frequency on bilateral and multilateral arrangements. The details of the observational programmes provided by all stations operated by WMO Members are given in the WMO Observing Systems Capability Analysis and Review Tool (OSCAR) and available on the WMO website at

3. The approved operational procedures and practices are given in the regularly updated Manual on the Global Observing System (WMO-No. 544), and the Manual on the WMO Integrated Global Observing System (WMO-No. 1160) available also on the WMO website at and, respectively.

4. Under the Global Observing System of the World Weather Watch Programme, WMO Members operating stations in the Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Programme (AMAP) area (essentially includes the terrestrial and marine areas north of the Arctic Circle (66°32N), and north of 62°N in Asia and 60°N in North America, modified to include the marine areas north of the Aleutian chain, Hudson Bay, and parts of the North Atlantic Ocean including the Labrador Sea), contribute to the implementation of the observational programme by operating 336 surface Regional Basic Synoptic and 156 Regional Basic Climatological stations. A detailed infomration is available through WMO OSCAR: 

Atmosphere Climate
3. European Monitoring and Evaluation Prgramme - EMEP

The main objective of EMEP is to provide governments with information of the deposition and concentration of air pollutants, as well as the quantity and significance of the long-range transmission of air pollutants and their fluxes across boundaries (UNECE, 2004a). The EMEP observations include measurements of species linked to acidification, eutrophication, photochemical oxidants, heavy metals, persistent organic pollutants, and particulate matter.



acidification eurtrophication ozone POPs heavy metals short lived climate forcers
4. US Circum Arctic Rangifer Monitoring and Assessment Network (CARMA) (CARMA)

To focus on the status of most of the large migratory Rangifer (caribou/reindeer) herds.

5. Stofnun Vilhjálms Stefánssonar ‐ The Stefansson Arctic Institute, SAI (SAI)

The Stefansson Arctic Institute is an Icelandic governmental (Ministry for the Environment) research institute with focus on the Arctic region, also involved in public dissemination of research, exhibits, and international collaboration on northern human dimension issues, social and cultural change and human development, economic development and interdisciplinary aspects of human‐environmental relations in the Circumpolar Arctic and Northern North Atlantic. The institute is involved in a range of research and information dissemination projects and programmes. The institute was responsible for leading and hosting the project secretariat and publishing the Arctic Human Development Report (AHDR), the first comprehensive scientific assessment of human welfare, social development and cultural change in the circumpolar Arctic, and the follow-up projects Arctic Social Indicators (ASI-I, and ASI-II) 2006-2010. The Institute leads the work on the second AHDR (2010-2014); and follow-up work to the ASI projects includes the implementation of an Arctic Social Indicators monitoring system with a piloting of a monitoring system in the Inuvialuit region of Canada, North West Territories. The ASI indicators work is also being applied in community case studies on the Alaska North Slope Borough, as well as the North-Atlantic region, Yamal-Nenets, Sakha-Yakutia, and Nunavut. Main gaps: Not specified Network type: ‐ Thematic observations ‐ Community based observations

Human health
6. International Arctic Systems for Observing the Atmosphere (IASOA)

The main mission of the International Arctic Systems for Observing the Atmosphere (IASOA) is coordination of atmospheric data collection at existing and newly established intensive Arctic atmospheric observatories. Data of interest to the IASOA consortium include measurements of standard meteorology, greenhouse gases, atmospheric radiation, clouds, pollutants, chemistry, aerosols, and surface energy balances. These measurements support studies of Arctic climate change attribution (why things are changing), not just trends (how things are changing). IASOA is responsive to growing evidence that the earth system may be approaching environmentally critical thresholds within decadal time scales. The information from IASOA will not only enhance scientific understanding but will also support decisions by the global community regarding climate change mitigation and adaptation strategies. Main gaps: Not all observatories are members of established global networks such as GAW and BSRN. It is recommended that IASOA observatories that are not members of these global networks be evaluated for potential membership and that roadblocks to membership be investigated. Other types of measurement gaps include, but are not limited to: (1) Radar-lidar pairs at each observatory to assess cloud properties; (2) Flux towers at each observatory for methane and CO2 fluxes; (3) Aerosol measurements at each observatory; and (4) Surface and upper air ozone measurements at each observatory. Network type: Predominantly atmospheric measurements.

Atmosphere Climate
7. National deposition monitoring, Northern Finland

Monitoring of direct deposition. Project is run by Finnish Meteorological Institute (FMI).

Atmospheric processes Heavy metals Long-range transport Acidification Arctic Atmosphere Temporal trends
8. Institute of Oceanography and Marine Geophysics (OGS)

OGS conducts scientific activities within the fields of Earth Sciences and Polar Science in the Arctic, primarily but not exclusively, in the sea with the vessel OGS-Explora. Current OGS activities in the Arctic include a) Pergamon, EU COST Action: European network for study and long-term monitoring of permafrost, gas hydrates and release of methane in the Arctic and climate change impacts; b) IBCAO (International Bathymetric Chart of the Arctic Ocean) to develop a digital bathymetric database to the north of 64°. OGS is the Editorial Board and provides multibeam data; c) Research activities in the frame of PNRA (Italian Antarctic and Arctic National Research Programme) through several projects devoted to paleoceanographic study of the thermohaline circulation on the Eirik Drift (Greenland and study of paleoclimate in the Barents Sea using geological and geophysical data from the International Polar Year EGLACOM cruise of OGS Explora. CORIBAR international project (IT, DE, ES, N, DK) will provided in the next 1-2 years new data for the last item, through MEBO drilling on board RV Maria S. Merian.

Oceanography Ecosystems
9. Italian National Agency for New Technologies, Energy and Sustainable Economic Development (ENEA) (ENEA)

Within the Unit for Environment and Energy Modeling (UTMEA), the Laboratory Earth Observations and Analyses within UTMEA (UTMEA-TER) carries out long-term observations of stratospheric chemistry and mesosphere in Greenland, Thule station. Stratospheric processes (evolution in atmospheric temperature, ozone depletion) and chemistry are monitored and investigated by stratospheric lidar as well as spectrometers, in strong cooperation with INGV and DMI. Since 1990 numerous measurement campaigns have been carried out, also on the international level (EASOE, SESAME, THESEO, ESMOS/Arctic. ENEA’s Diagnostics and Metrology Laboratory (UTAPRAD-DIM) has been participating in polar campaigns since the late 1990's. In particular, it has developed the laser spectrofluorimeter CASPER (patented) and prototypes of different lidar fluorosensor: for ships, underwater remotely operated vehicles and patented miniature Unmanned Aerial Vehicles. These instruments participated in 3 oceanographic cruises (2006, 2007 and 2008) at Svalbard, on board of the "Oceania" in the context of a collaboration with the Institute of Oceanology of the Polish Academy of Sciences. Their use is also envisaged under the Italian-Canadian CLIMAT (complementary use of lidar to improve bio-optical models derived from satellite system in the St. Lawrence).

Oceanography Atmosphere
10. International Circumpolar Surveillance System (ICS) (ICS)

to establish a network of hospital and public health laboratories throughout the Arctic which would allow collection and sharing of uniform laboratory and epidemiological data between Arctic countries that will describe the prevalence of infectious diseases of concern to Arctic residents and assist in the formulation of prevention and control strategies. Main gaps: Currently the sytem only monitors invasive bacterial diseases and tuberculosis but has the potential to be expanded to other countries and could be adapted to monitor other human health issues of concern to Arctic countries.

Human health
11. GRENE (Green Network of Excellence) (GRENE)

1. Priority Research Theme (1) Clarification of the mechanism of the Arctic amplification. (2) The role of Arctic in the global climate change and future projection. (3) Evaluation on the influence of the Arctic Environmental Change to the weather in the Japan area and fishery. (4) Future projection of the sea ice distribution in relation to the evaluation Arctic route. 2. Basic infrastructure (1) Arctic research cruises by Japanese and foreign ships/ice breaker. (2) Cloud radar system. (3) Data archive system. 3. Establishment of “Japan Consortium for Arctic Environment Research” 4. Budget size: 650, 000, 000 Japanese Yen per year. (appox. 8 million USD per year) Network type: research programme

Hydrography Climate Sea ice Oceanography Atmosphere
12. Spain general summary

Our objective in present SAON meeting was to know more about SAON activities and plannings to coordinate and promote guidelines criteria for observations in the ARctic Present Spain Research in Arctic is performed mainly for universities and scientific institutions , down the responsability of the Science Department with the support of several national institutions including the Defense Department and Foreign Affairs Institutions are coordinated by the National Polar Committee. The National Scientific Program finance the activities in the polar zones Although our main scientific activities are in Antarctica the activity of Spain in Arctic is rapidly increasing following the fact that Arctic research is a priority task in our Science Program At present we have detected 16 scientific groups working activelly in the differnts fields of Arctic topics (glaciology, meteorology, permafrost, high atmosphere, ecology, physical oceanography, marine geology and biology) These activities are mainly performed in cooperation with Arctic countries Institutions via institutional or researchers contacts About our media to work in Arctic ocean Spain has at present two multiporposes oceanographic research ships In the last years our Ocanographic ship Hesperides has developed two campaigns in The area of Greenland and Svalvars Island in the fields of marine Geology , marine biology and physical oceanography For next summer Hesperides will perform a third oceanographic campaign close to the Atlantic coast of Greenland Other national institutions have been working in marine biology campaigns including fisheries stock evolution Spain has a National Centre of Polar Data were all researchers must enter their raw data gathered in the polar campaigns We considerer , at present , our interest to cooperate inside SAON board, considering that besides other possible cooperation to SAON tasks could be a cooperation with our Polar Data Centre

Geology Oceanography Atmosphere Ecosystems
13. Monitoring of contaminants in atmosphere and biota in Greenland

Temporal trend monitoring of contaminants in atmosphere and biota in Greenland. Modelling the atmospheric transport pathways and deposition of contaminants in the Arctic as well as determination of climate related parameters.

Atmosphere Ecosystems
14. Monitoring component of solar radiation in the Arctic

The World Radiation Data Center (WRDC) was established by the order of WMO in the Voeikov Main Geophysical Observatory (Saint Petersburg) in 1964 to centrally collect and provide solar radiation data from the world actinometric network stations. Main gaps: Actually the acquisition of data from some Arctic stations, including Russian ones, is paused due to reconstruction of national actinometric networks. The network included in the international data exchange is sparse. Network type: • Collection of actinometric data from National Meteorological Administrations and other organizations • Processing and control of operational information • Scientific and methodological interaction with NHMS’ • Publication and distribution of bulletins “Solar Radiation and Radiation Balance. World Network”, including data access through the WRDC server • Service of users of information on solar radiation • Analysis of historical data • Creation of metadata base

15. International Arctic Human Biomonitoring – Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Program (AMAP) (International Arctic Human Biomonitoring)

The network was established to assess the implications and impacts of pollution and contaminants on the health of Arctic residents. The biomonitoring program monitors concentrations of contaminants in human tissues in the eight circumpolar nations and assesses spatial and temporal patterns/trends and potential health effects at present and future levels. Where available, contaminant guidelines are used to evaluate risk to populations/communities. AMAP has been designed to have roots in the national programs of participating countries. Main gaps: Trend data of legacy POPs and metals is available, though some communities have only two sampling periods, further monitoing is planned; measurements of tissue concentrations of emerging contaminants and personal care products is just starting and needs to be continued; health effects research needs to be expanded to other regions with high exposure (e.g., arctic Russia). Network type: - Thematical observations: Contaminant concentrations and health effects data - Field stations: None, community / population based research. - Community based observations: Participation of community health workers and community residents for data collection through tissue samples - Coordination: Human Health Assessment Group (HHAG) was created bringing together leading researchers and research coordinators from eight circumpolar countries; AMAP Ring Test (QA/QC program) coordinates and standardizes laboratories for analyzing biomonitoring samples.

Human health
16. Lidar Arctic Monitoring of the Atmosphere (LAMA)

Station realizes optical active remote sensing using multiwavelength elastic and Raman scattering lidar. It gives a view to the atmospheric stratification and aerosol concentration. By spatial and time localization of the higher aerosol concentration evidence there is possible determination of source of aerosol origin using HYSPLIT backward trajectory model. Station is also member of AERONET (Aerosol Robotic Network) within NASA and performing observation of solar radiation for determination of atmospheric optical properties.

17. Arctic Observing Network (AON)

The overall goal of AON is to obtain data that will support scientific investigations of Arctic environmental system change. The observing objectives are to: 1. Maintain science-driven observations of environmental system changes that are already underway; 2. Deploy new, science-driven observing systems and be prepared for detection of future environmental system change; 3. Develop observing data sets that will contribute to (a) the understanding of Arctic environmental system change (via analysis, synthesis and modelling) and its connections to the global system, and (b) improved prediction of future Arctic environmental system change and its connections to the global system. Main gaps: Understanding Change and Responding to Change panels, has formed an AON Design and Implementation (ADI) Task Force. Composed of Arctic and non-Arctic scientists with experience and expertise in scientific observing and observing system operation and design, the goal of the task force is to provide advice to the scientific community and NSF on observing system/network design options that are available for identifying gaps that hinder scientific understanding of Arctic environmental system change. The task force will hold two workshops and address two main objectives: (1) evaluate the current SEARCH science questions and observing priorities, and recommend new priorities in the light of the environmental system changes that have occurred since 2005; and (2) evaluate observing system/network design methods, including pilot projects and small-scale tests. A publicly available report will be released in summer 2010. It is anticipated that the report will be of interest to the broader Arctic science community, the governments of the Arctic countries and other countries, NGOs and numerous stakeholders.

Environmental management Oceanography Atmosphere Human health Ecosystems
18. Atmospheric Baseline Observatories – Barrow, Alaska

More information about the following long-term observing activities will be available in due course

Climate Atmosphere
19. Polar Bear/Human Interaction Database (PBHIMS)

Track and analyze all bear/human conflicts for all circumpolar polar bear range states (countries). As a result of on-going and predicted future habitat loss, polar bears are expected to spend longer periods of time on land where they are susceptible to human disturbance. At the same time, human activity in coastal areas of the Arctic is increasing (e.g. oil and gas exploration, tourism) in conjunction with an increased number of nutritionally stressed bears occurring on land. The increasing trend of both polar bear and human use of coastal areas has the potential to result in increasing polar bear-human interactions. Harvest data indicates that defense of life kills have been increasing (USFWS unpublished data). To date, polar bear attacks have been rare but when they do occur, they evoke strong public reaction, especially for residents of communities within the range of polar bears. For sound management of polar bears to be implemented, and adequate protection afforded to people living, recreating, and working in polar bear country, it is imperative that polar bear managers assemble a database of critical information related to bear-human interactions. Interactions with humans may threaten polar bears by: (1) displacement from preferred habitats, such as denning, feeding and resting areas; (2) ingestion of or exposure to contaminants or toxic substances; (3) association of humans with food (food-conditioning) resulting in nuisance bears being killed due to safety concerns for local residents/workers. Polar bear managers can help maintain the current status of their polar bear populations by reducing lethal take of polar bears during bear-human interactions. To prevent escalating conflicts between polar bears and humans, bear-human interaction plans need to be developed and implemented. During the March 2009 Polar Bear Range States Meeting in Tromso, Norway the U.S. was tasked with taking the lead on developing a polar bear / human interaction initiative to address the anticipated future increase in interactions due to climate change. Tor Punsvik, Environmental Advisor, Office of The Governor of Svalbard, Norway and Dr. Terry D. DeBruyn, Polar Bear Project Leader, FWS, Alaska were requested by the Range States to develop a polar bear/human interaction database for the next Range States Meeting in Canada in 2011. It is anticipated that a draft database, populated with data from both the U.S. and Norway, will be ready by November 2009 for testing and comment by the Polar Bear Specialist Group (PBSG). The draft database will be distributed to PBSG members, comment sought, and a request made that members populate the database with pertinent polar bear/human incidents (of primary interest, initially, are records from each country that relate to the use of bear spray and fatalities (both bear and human) resulting from bear-human interactions). At a subsequent meeting of U.S. and Norway in spring 2010, the database will be updated and thereafter redistributed to the PBSG and Range State members. It is anticipated that data from all Polar Bear Range States will then be available for consolidation and validation in winter 2010 and ready to present at the Range States meeting in 2011. To ensure the success of the project, partnering with various agencies and pertinent groups in the range state countries will occur. The Polar Bear Range States parties agree on the need to develop comprehensive strategies to manage bear-human conflicts. Some existing strategies include active deterrence, reduction of attractants, and community education and outreach. Expertise developed for management of other bear species should be consulted in the development of strategies specific to polar bears. The parties agreed to exchange experiences with management of bear-human interactions. Two specific opportunities were identified to develop bear-human interaction strategies: the upcoming Bear-human Workshop in November 2009 in Canmore, Alberta, Canada and the Polar Bear Aversive Conditioning Workshop planned to be held in Alaska in 2010. The Polar Bear-Human Information Management System (PBHIMS) has been developed to standardize the collection of polar bear data across the Range States. This system provides a user-friendly data entry interface and the ability to analyze the collected data. Data stored in the system includes bear-human conflicts, bear observations, bear harvests, and bear natural history data. Scanned images of the original bear forms, narratives, reports, and photos can be attached to each incident to provide additional information that may not be captured in the system. Main gaps: Developed for use by USFWS; other range states are not using it yet.

Ecosystems Human health Oceanography
20. CircumArctic Rangifer Monitoring & Assessment Network (CARMA)

The main objective is to monitor and assess the impacts of global change on the Human-Rangifer System across the Arctic through cooperation, both geographically and across disciplines. CARMA is a network of researchers, managers and community people that share information on the status of the world's wild Rangifer (reindeer and caribou) populations and how they are affected by global changes (e.g. climate change and industrial development). CARMA is primarily focussed on the status of most of the large migratory Rangifer herds and thus, as yet, do not deal with woodland caribou and Peary caribou in North America or forest and marine reindeer in Fennoscandia and Russia. As well, the do not deal with domestic reindeer or the herding economy. Network type: - Networking - Data, experience and knowledge exchange