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Virtual event
ESA European Commision
28-30 October 2020

EO for Polar Science Workshop
Virtual Event


Polar regions have experienced the most rapid rates of warming in recent years and its expected impacts will exceed those forecasted for many other regions in the planet resulting in local, regional and globally significant consequences affecting natural ecosystems and human activities.

Improving our observation capacity and enhancing the basic understanding of the different drivers and processes governing those changes and translate that knowledge into actionable solutions for society is a major challenge for the future.

Earth observation from space and Earth system science will represent an essential element in this process. However, addressing the major challenge in Polar research will require a significant collaborative effort and an integrated approach to science where the synergistic use of EO satellite data, in-situ and citizen observations, advanced modelling capabilities, interdisciplinary research and new technologies will be essential elements.

EC and ESA are working together to define a common scientific agenda identifying the set of grand science challenges in Polar research that may drive joint EC-ESA scientific activities in the coming few years.

Therefore, this workshop aims at assessing the latest advancement in the use of EO technology for Polar science, exploring the main challenges and opportunities for the coming decade and consulting with the community to contribute to define a common scientific agenda for the future.

The meeting is open to EO scientists, polar researchers and students, modellers, Earth system and climate scientists, industry, operational agencies, policy makers, representatives of local communities and other stakeholders interested in sharing their knowledge and experience and contributing to drive the European polar scientific agenda.

Workshop Objectives

  • Reviewing the progress and latest results in polar science with major focus on EO- advances in the domain of polar research and applications
  • Identifying the major Polar scientific challenges, observation gaps and research needs for the coming years
  • Identifying the coming opportunities offered by the increasing international EO capacity from space in synergies with in-situ observations, citizen science, advance modelling, new technologies and interdisciplinary research
  • Exploring effective mechanisms to promote networking and collaborative research in Polar sciences, bringing together different expertise, data and resources in a synergistic manner ensuring that the final result may be bigger than the sum of the parts
  • Advancing towards the definition of major scientific priorities in polar research that may drive EC and ESA collaborative activities in the coming years
  • Exploring the need for major multi-year coordinated inter-disciplinary experiments (involving advances in EO satellite observations, large in-situ data collection campaigns, advances in modelling, ...)

Submit your contribution

The abstract submission is now closed. Please click here to access your submitted contribution.

Call for Abstracts

The morning sessions of the first two days will consist of state-of-the-art scientific talks within these categories:

1) Advances in EO polar geophysical (e.g., novel satellite products and observations over ice-sheets, glaciers, permafrost areas, terrestrial snow, sea-ice and snow on sea-ice, sea state, ocean biology, atmosphere chemistry and dynamics, etc.)
2) Advances in Polar sciences, process understanding, predictions and modelling modelling (e.g., ice sheet mass balance, Ice sheet hydrology, surface mass balance and melting processes, carbon and radiation budget, methane emissions and permafrost degradation, sea-ice-atmosphere-ocean interactions, Arctic ocean spin-up, Arctic amplification, Arctic and Antarctic ocean circulation, atmosphere circulation and polar changes, Polar ecosystems and biodiversity, etc.)
3) Integrating citizen observations and local knowledge in science (e.g., exploitation of local knowledge, local observations and crowd sourcing)
4) Observation system and data management (e.g., land, sea and atmosphere in-situ and airborne observations, data networks and infrastructures, data management etc.) and
5) Novel technologies. (e.g., AI and polar research, big data and cloud computing platforms, data intensive science, virtual Labs...)

Call for Discussion Sessions

The objective of the workshop is to define a scientific agenda identifying a set of major scientific challenges to be faced in the coming years that may drive future ESA and DG-RTD coordinated investments in Polar research. To this end, the community is invited to propose discussion sessions focused on major Polar science challenges to define a number of major community initiatives and experiments that will require an integrated and multi-disciplinary approach to science involving advances in Earth Observation satellite data, in-situ observations, modelling, interdisciplinary research and the use of novel technologies in a coordinated manner. The structure of the proposal should be:

  • High level description of the grand challenge
  • Proposed chairs and reporters
  • Proposed introductory key notes
  • Proposed discussion agenda
  • Proposed discussion participants

The output of the discussion sessions should be a report in the form of a white paper providing a well-structured description of the problem, the scientific and observations needs and recommendation for the way forward.

Discussion sessions guidelines


The workshop will be structured as a combination of state-of-the-art scientific talks in plenary and break-out working sessions. The afternoon working sessions will be dedicated to discussing and drafting the candidate Grand Challenges.

Contact info

Schedule and Deadlines

Abstract submission opening 17 December 2019
Abstract submission closure 1 June 2020
Notification of acceptance July 2020
Issue of Preliminary Programme July 2020
Registration Opening July 2020
Issue of Final Programme at the Workshop
Workshop 28-30 October 2020

Dates and venue

The event will be held online on 28-30 October 2020.
Additional information on the virtual event will be provided in the coming weeks.
Stay tuned!

Local Organiser

Organising Committee

Mark Drinkwater


Diego Fernandez


Rene Forsberg


Attilio Gambardella


Ola Grabak


Anica Huck


Gaëlle Le Bouler


Sabrina Lodadio


Irene Renis


Giulia Vinicola


Alberto Zocchi


Scientific Committee

Jonathan Bamber

University of Bristol

Jérôme Benveniste


Monique Bernier


Jérôme Bouffard


Jason Eric Box


Matilde Brandt Kreiner


Wolfgang Dierking


Craig Donlon


Claude Duguay

University of Waterloo Canada

Marcus Engdahl


Fausto Ferraccioli

British Antarctic Survey

Andrew Fleming

British Antarctic Survey

Carolina Gabarró


Sebastian Gerland

Norwegian Polar Institute

Noel Gourmelen

University of Edinburg

Anna Hogg

University of Leeds

Angelika Humbert


Christine Hvidberg

Niels Bohr Institute

Johnny Johannessen


Michael Kern


Giovanni Macelloni


Kenichi Matsuoka

Norwegian Polar Institute

Eva Mätzler

ASIAQ Greenland

Mal McMillan

University of Lancaster

Heinrich Miller


John Moore

University of Lapland

Ruth Mottram


Thomas Nagler


Steffen Olsen


Tommaso Parrinello


Jouni Pulliainen

Finish Meteorological Institute

Eric Rignot

UC Irvine / NASA JPL

Louise Sandberg Sørensen


Stein Sandven


Andrew Shepherd

University of Leeds

Rune Solberg

Norwegian Computing Center

Konrad Steffen

Swiss Federal Research Institute WSL

Julienne Stroeve


Johanna Tamminen


Marco Tedesco

Columbia University

Leif Toudal Pedersen


Anna Maria Trofaier


Gonçalo Vieira

University of Lisboa