Tomsk State University entered the largest international project for study of the Arctic

Tomsk State University is now working with a new large-scale international project, Pan-Arctic Observation System: Observation for Society Needs (Arctic PASSION), a collaboration of 36 scientific organizations and programs that research the northern territories and the Arctic. Its goal is to obtain comprehensive results in interdisciplinary environmental studies that are important for ensuring sustainable development of the Arctic and adaptation of communities to changing conditions in a global context. The amount of financing is 15 million euros.

– Arctic PASSION includes 18 Arctic and non-Arctic countries – Norway, Sweden, Germany, USA, Canada, Russia, China, and others, – says Lyudmila Borilo, director of the TSU StrAU Trans-Siberian Scientific Way. – Russia is represented by TSU and Shirshov’s Institute of Oceanology RAS. Our participation in such a large-scale project became possible primarily due to the scientific potential and the presence of extensive research infrastructure of the SecNet network, created in 2016 under the auspices of TSU.

The network brings together Russian and international scientific centers engaged in research in Siberia and the Arctic. Partners not only exchange the results of research but also carry out joint work and provide each other with the opportunity to use research bases.

Arctic PASSION will fill critical observation gaps and improve the archiving, processing, and interoperability of Arctic data systems. These improvements will be used in new EuroGEO programs, which are aimed at building emergency preparedness systems, addressing food security issues, and adequately responding to climatic and socioeconomic changes in the Arctic.

The project is designed for 2021-2024. The head organization is the Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research (Germany), which is one of the world leaders in the study of the interaction of the ocean and land on the northern area of the planet. In addition to it, there are such strong and active partners as Lund University (Sweden), the Norwegian Meteorological Institute and the Norwegian Polar Institute, the Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Programme (AMAP), and INTERACT.

– The participation of the university is very important from the point of view of international recognition and positioning of TSU as a world leader in the study of global climate change and its consequences, notes Lyudmila Borilo, project manager from TSU. – Work in the Arctic PASSION project will expand working contacts and attract leading world scientists to SecNet research, will bring funding that will be used for the further development of the network.

At the same time, TSU and SecNet will not only have access to a large number of updated databases but will also be able to contribute to the formation of strategic program documents of international organizations by providing information on climate-related processes and their socially significant consequences in the Arctic and southern borders of the pan-Arctic zone.

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