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Polar climate: understanding the polar processes in a global context in the Arctic and Antarctic Regions


Proposals should aim at developing innovative approaches, building on existing data resources and infrastructures, the latest observational products (including in-situ observations), and state-of-the-art climate models, to assess the key physical and chemical processes in the ocean and atmosphere and the key ocean-atmosphere-ice interactions. Proposals should cooperate with relevant projects funded by the ESA Earth Observation Programme. In addition, they are encouraged to join the EU Arctic Cluster in order to build synergies and maximise the complementarity of the different actions in the Cluster. Proposals should build upon previous actions funded under Horizon 2020 and avoid duplication or overlap.

In line with the strategy for EU international cooperation in research and innovation (COM(2012)497), international cooperation is encouraged, in particular with countries – beyond the EU Member States and countries associated to Horizon 2020 – that took part in the Arctic Science Ministerial meetings of 28 September 2016 and 25-26 October 2018[[i.e. the United States of America, Canada, the People’s Republic of China, Japan, the Russian Federation, South Korea, New Zealand, India, Singapore, and Greenland; see]].

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU in the range of EUR 7-8 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

Many of the natural physical processes occurring in the polar atmosphere and oceans are potentially of profound significance in controlling conditions across the globe and affecting lives and livelihoods across the world, in the Polar, sub-Polar, temperate, and tropical regions. Understanding the interacting nature and feedback of polar processes and addressing their consequences in a global context will benefit the people, policy and businesses well beyond the Polar Regions.

The project results are expected to contribute to:

  • improved understanding of how the changing polar climate systems affect and are affected by lower latitudes through ocean and atmospheric circulation;
  • improved understanding of the key ocean-atmosphere-ice interactions;
  • improved understanding of the fully coupled physical climate system (atmosphere-ocean-ice) on diverse space and time scales;
  • improved understanding of the key physical and chemical processes in the ocean and in the atmosphere;
  • improved projections of future polar and global climate, including feedbacks and impacts
  • improved capability to respond to the impact of climatic change on the environment and human activities in the Polar Regions (with a focus on the Arctic), both in the short and longer term;
  • the IPCC scientific assessments, the consolidation phase of the Year Of Polar Prediction (YOPP) and to the Copernicus Climate Change (C3S) services.
  • supporting the assessment of regional climate impacts.