The Arctic is undergoing drastic changes; it is warming at twice the rate of the rest of the globe. With melting ice, sea levels are rising, there is an increase of freshwater, and the region is physically opening up. All these changes are having physical, political, and societal impacts across the globe.
The European Union plays an important role in confronting these changes and meeting the challenges ahead. The Copernicus Marine Service supports the EU Arctic policy by providing free and open data as well as services that contribute to: sustainable development, combating and adapting to climate change, environmental protection, as well as supporting international cooperation.
The Copernicus Marine Service has launched a video to illustrate the value of Earth observation, particularly marine, in monitoring the Arctic and how this data is directly applicable for decision-makers as they plan for the future. Satellites are integral to understanding this region and it is vital to have continued missions to avoid any monitoring gaps.
The Arctic is facing unprecedented man-made challenges with rippling consequences around the globe. With continental ice melting fast the average global sea level has risen by more than 8 centimeters since the 1990s. There could be an additional 60 centimeter increase by the end of the century.
The Arctic plays a key role in forming the ocean currents that drive our climate globally. With the rise of Arctic temperatures and increased freshwater from melted ice these processes could be affected putting into question a key mechanism that regulates our climate.
In order to understand the changing Arctic environment sustained monitoring of sea ice sea level sea temperature and other variables is required. Copernicus the flagship Earth observation program of the EU is essential for tracking and predicting these changes. Copernicus provides free and open data on the state of the global environment including the Arctic.
The European Union has an important role to play in helping to develop strategies to mitigate and adapt to climate change, and safeguard the environment, promote sustainable development and support international cooperation. The Copernicus Marine Service implemented by Mercator Ocean International uses a combination of satellite and in situ observations as well as numerical models that provide marine data and trends over time and ocean forecasts of our global ocean.
The Arctic is also physically opening up this growth in human activity has important socio-economic environmental and security implications and increases the need to aid marine transport and to monitor pollution. Copernicus data is also harnessed to support sustainable business activities as they emerge in the region.
With key satellites ending their missions in the near future it’s vital for Copernicus to sustain satellite observation to minimize any monitoring gaps at this key period in the region’s history to continue to support EU Arctic policy. The Copernicus Marine Service delivers a polar ocean and sea ice monitoring and forecasting tool essential to assist in combating climate change and for adapting to our changing world.