See the changes in climate as they occur
The Arctic is the place on Earth where global warming is having the greatest impact. In 2013, researchers from DMI, GEUS and DTU Space therefore launched PolarPortal.org in cooperation with the Danish Energy Agency to report live from climate changes in the Arctic. The researchers are now ready with a more advanced version of the Polar Portal, where you can see animations of changes in weather, sea ice melt and the color of Greenland. The new version of PolarPortal.org is launched 20 May 2014.
The changes in the Arctic are faster than anywhere else on the planet. This means substantially different conditions for humans, animals and plants – but also new opportunities. If the sea ice continues to retreat, it will, for instance, have an impact on the energy balance of the climate, animal life and shipping. If the Greenland Ice Sheet continues to melt faster than it grows, the global sea level will increase. And if the permafrost thaws, it will have dramatic consequences for both Arctic animal life and infrastructure.
“Reports from the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, IPCC, show that the globe is facing serious climate change. The Arctic is one of the places on the globe which are experiencing the largest changes. Few people have the opportunity to see the changes with their own eyes but through PolarPortal.org, Danish research institutions give us all the opportunity to follow the development in the Arctic day by day.” says Minister for Climate, Energy and Building, Rasmus Helveg Petersen.
“Denmark has a long tradition for research in the Arctic. Through decades we have monitored the weather, climate and ice in Greenland. This work is becoming increasingly important in these years, where both the ice sheet and the sea ice are melting at increasing rates.”
PolarPortal.org was launched in 2013, but on 20 May DMI, GEUS and DTU Space release an improved version. One of the central novelties on the PolarPortal.org is that satellite imagery, measurements and model results are presented as animations. These animations illustrate the evolution in the weather, glaciers, ice sheet and sea ice and give answers to a number of different questions: How much is it melting on the surface of the Greenland Ice Sheet? Which glaciers are retreating? How extensive is the sea ice?
PolarPortal.org builds on large amounts of data that DMI, GEUS and DTU Space collect and process. It is unique that PolarPortal.org covers both the ice sheet and the sea ice. This makes it possible to see connections between different phenomena in the Arctic. If an animation of the weather reveals special wind patterns, you can at the same time see the impact on the evolution and movement of the sea ice. And if there are large changes on the ice sheet in a certain area, PolarPortal.org’s temperature animations may give an explanation through higher temperatures.
Keep an eye on it
Katrine Krogh Andersen, head of Research and Development at DMI, says “Large changes have occurred in the Greenland Ice Sheet and the Arctic sea ice in the past 10-15 years. Global warming has helped set the changes in motion and the Arctic changes have an impact on climate in other parts of the world. Through PolarPortal.org we wish to give everyone the opportunity to keep an eye on what is going on in the Arctic based on large amounts of data and knowledge at DMI, GEUS and DTU Space.”
Maps, curves and animations are updated regularly with new data from satellites and model calculations – in many cases daily. PolarPortal.org thereby delivers the latest knowledge about how weather and climate changes impact the ice sheet and the Arctic sea ice.
Later this summer, PolarPortal.org will also show the development in the permafrost in Southwest Greenland and the thickness of the Arctic sea ice.
PolarPortal.org is financed by the Danish Energy Agency, DANCEA Climate Fund (Danish Cooperation for Environment in the Arctic).
For more information on PolarPortal.org:
..DMI – Danish Meteorological Institute, Sea ice: Head of Ice Service and Remote Sensing, Nicolai Kliem (+45 39 15 72 11), Ice sheet: Climate scientist, Peter Langen (+45 39 15 74 02)
..GEUS – the Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland, Senior scientist, Signe Bech Andersen (+45 91 33 38 04)
..DTU Space – National Space Institute, DTU, Scientist Louise Sandberg Sørensen (+45 45 25 97 14)