ISARDSAT SP. Z O.O. (PL)
The Arctic is a complex region encompassing different physical and biogeochemical processes and interactions among several components of the Earth system (e.g., sea ice, ocean, glaciers, ice caps, the Greenland Ice Sheet, snow, lakes and river ice, permafrost, vegetation, complex interactions with the atmosphere, people, etc.). Changes in the Arctic have a strong impact on the Earth’s climatesystem , the global energy budget, the ocean circulation, the water cycle, gas exchanges, sea level, and biodiversity. Considering that all of Earth’s inter-connected components respond to changes in temperature, the Arctic is a sensitive indicator of climate variability and change.Despite considerable research progress in understanding the Arctic region over the last decade, many gaps remainin observational capabilities and scientific knowledge. These gaps limit present ability to understand and interpret on-going processes, prediction capabilities and forecasting in the Arctic region, thereby hampering evidence-based decision making. Addressing these gaps represents a key priority in order to establish a solid scientific basis for the development of future information servicesfor the Arctic.In this context, the 20th January 2015, ESA and the Cryosphere project of the World Climate Research programme (CliC-WCRP) organised a scientific consultation meeting in Tromso with the main objective of gathering recommendations from the scientificcommunity on the most pressing priorities for Arctic research, where EO may contribute in the coming decade. The workshop resulted ina report listing a number of different priority areas that will contribute to establish an strong focus on Arctic research in thenext components of ESA EO programmes for the period 2017-2021.In order to put words in actions, this ITT aims at addressing someofthepriorities identified in Tromso as an starting point for future activities. In particular, with this ITT, a number of priority areas will be addressed at feasibility and demonstration level with the ultimate target of establishing a solid scientific basis to initiate larger research actions from 2017.To this end, with this ITT ESA plans to place 4 parallel contracts adressing different priority areas as identified by the scientific community.In this context, Arctic+ aims at advancing towards the achievement ofsome of the most pressing priorities in Arctic science, where EO may contribute. In particular, the main overarching project objectiveis threefold: 1) Supporting the development of novel products and enhanced data sets responding to the needs of the Arctic science community;2) Fostering new scientific results addressing the main priority areas of Arctic research;3) Preparing a solid scientific basis for larger activities addressing the priorities of the Arctic science community; This shall involve the collaborationamong the different scientific communities involved in Arctic process studies, modellers and EO experts;In the medium and long-term the objectives of the project include:• To foster the scientific exploitation of EO-based geo-information products (maximising the use of ESA data) to respond directly to the needs of the Arctic scientific community in the context of selected thematic areas;• To support existing international efforts to improve the observation, understanding and prediction of ocean-sea-ice-atmosphere processes at different spatial and time scales demonstrating the capability of EO and ESA data to respond to the needs of the Arctic research community;• To foster the integration of EO data, in-situ observations and models in support of Arctic science;• To develop aScientific Roadmap as a basis for further ESA activities in support of the Arctic research.