Thematic Area 3 - CHANGES in POLAR SYSTEMS

Changes and evolution of polar systems: processes, feedback mechanisms and interactions on a global scale
Remote camp © CNR-ISP The Earth system is highly interconnected. In this thematic area research activities are aimed at deepening our understanding of the processes and interactions among the different components of the climate system and assessing its responses to global changes. A more comprehensive and holistic understanding of the polar system is needed to guide future climate policy decisions. The knowledge of the characteristics of the polar atmosphere is crucial for studying the biogeochemical cycles of natural chemical species, the long-range transport processes of pollutants and climate-altering compounds and the feedback mechanisms triggered by the atmospheric warming and the interaction of the atmosphere with the cryosphere and oceans.
Sea ice forming - Ross Sea Antarctica © Federico Giglio PNRA The cryosphere constitutes a very fragile portion of the Earth system, made even more vulnerable by climate change. Through multidisciplinary and interconnected research activities, the study of snow and ice, their chemical composition and their main physical parameters, the evolution of the permafrost and the increased melting impact on the atmosphere, biosphere and hydrosphere at both regional and global levels is being pursued.
The hydrosphere consists largely of the oceans, which influence the Earth system in all its spheres by storing and redistributing fresh water, heat, climate-altering gases, and other particulate and dissolved substances. Oceanographic research supports more accurate predictions of global changes by studying the chemical and physical properties of seas and oceans, their movements, energy exchanges with the atmosphere, the organisms that inhabit them, and the geological structure of ocean basins. Polar limnological environments are studied as both sentinels of climate change and to investigate the responses of their short trophic net to these changes, including anthropogenic perturbations.
Polar ecosystems are an important reservoir of natural resources and can partly mitigate the effects of climate change from which they are threatened today. The study of biodiversity and resilience to global changes with an ecosystem approach, integrating the influence of environmental factors, community-level interspecific relationships, and socio-economic aspects is a challenge for effective and sustainable management of natural resources.


Main ERC Panels:
• LS8 - Ecology, Evolution and Environmental Biology
• PE4 - Physical and Analytical Chemical Sciences
• PE10 - Earth System Science
• SH2 - Institutions, Values, Environment and Space
• SH7 - Human Mobility, Environment, and Space
Referentes: Nicoletta Ademollo, Maurizio Azzaro, Fabiana Corami, Federico Giglio, Stefania Gilardoni
Contact: info-polarchanges AT

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