GEOITALY | GI-11 Information Services for Cold Regions
GEO-ITALY è un gruppo di coordinamento degli esperti italiani coinvolti nelle attività del Group on Earth Observations
GROUP ON EARTH OBSERVATIONS, GEO, Biodiversity, Disaster, Energy, Mineral, Food security, Infrastructure, Public health, Sustainable urban development, Water resources management
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GI-11 Information Services for Cold Regions

Coordinate global, joint efforts to provide Earth observations and information services to decision-makers over the vast Cold Regions areas, including the North Pole, South Pole, Himalaya-Third Pole and Mountain areas.


Objectives and actions

► Build a global network to archive, manage, and provide access to in-situ and remotely-sensed earth status data and social humanity data for monitoring the global cold regions through appropriate national, regional and global systems, centres and programs.

► Provide sustained observations and information exchange mechanism to understand the global change over the cold regions, and address their fragile ecosystem and environmental challenges and societal influences.

► Establish a proactive framework for the development of information and related services, the Global Cold Regions Community Portal, to underpin the Global Earth System of Systems implementation by expand the outreach of, and maximize synergies among, thematically wide GEO activities and thematically deep participant activities, thereby exploiting their complementary roles.

► Advocate open data policy, and free access to the earth observations data over Cold Regions.

► Strengthen the synergies and partnerships with policy-makers, stakeholders, and funders over the cold regions’ ecological and engineering fields, and improve the public awareness through the capacity building.

2016 Activities

► Building connections and collaboration between the participating organizations, projects and communities (joint on-line conferences and meetings)

► Building cross-cutting connections and collaboration with cold-regions related activities within GEO (a joint committees, including programs’ chairs, leaders and points of contact, as support to information services including scientific & technology group, data and information group, GEO secretariat, and users’ engagement group) (GEO Plenary and other joint GEO meetings).

► Starting to plan and establish the key or essential variables for cold regions (draft paper)

► Providing observations and products on various scales from cross-continental to regional and in-situ scales (contributions to GEOSS Data-Core etc)

► Bridging the remote-sensing and in-situ communities in the field of cold regions earth observations (joint workshop/seminar in connection or back-to-back with a scientific conference etc. labeled with the GEO/Cold Regions)

► Promotion of awareness the gaps in the scientific knowledge over cold regions (outreach, user engagement, user community, policy makers and stakeholders at various levels)

► Leveraging the use of cold regions related results and products for implementation in strategic assessments by scientific organizations, policy making and other end-users (meetings and knowledge exchange with organizations, consultations etc)

► Supporting, including financially, the so-called «Polar Challenge» ( from The World Climate Research Programme (WCRP) and the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation (FPA2) This challenge aims at rewarding the first team able to complete a 2000km mission with an Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV) under the sea-ice in the Arctic or Antarctic.

► Supporting the preparation phase of the Year of Polar prediction (YOPP,; lead: Prof. Thomas Jung, Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research)

► The Global Cryosphere Watch (GCW) will hold its second Asia CryoNet meeting in February 2016 in Salekhard, Russia. The goal is to further develop a regional GCW group focused on surface measurements in the Third Pole region and the Russian Arctic. A similar effort is underway in South America, with a second South America workshop planned for 2016. ($120,000 for both workshops).

► SAON will continue to work with these contributions: Documenting and understanding the Arctic data management ecosystem; Identifying and promoting common metadata elements; Engaging in data citation and publication movement; Promoting interoperability through action – interoperability experiment; Inventory of arctic observational projects as a contribution to EU PolarNet; Community Based Monitorin (CBM) atlas.

► INTERACT continues building capacity for research and in-situ observations throughout its pan-arctic station network, and bridging of the in-situ and remote sensing communities via joint activities and events. Open access to metadata and data and will be advocated in the station network, as well as efforts to connect open access metadata and data with global data portals such as the GEOSS Data-CORE. Collaboration with arctic and polar scientific organizations and input to strategic and scientific assessments continues. Outreach activities to inform policy makers, other stakeholders and the general public will be continued in various forms. (in-kind, national and international resources for 2016 to be identified later in 2015)

► PEEX will launch a comprehensive PEEX metadata collection and build a Modelling Demo (“PEEX View”).

► SIOS implementation phase will be supported by Italy, in the perspective of the extension of the CCT-IP concept to other areas of Svalbard ( Euro : 100, 000)

► IADC (Italian Arctic Data Centre) will be implemented as the portal of the Italian research activities in the Arctic. In the frame of the Antarctic Research National Programme (PNRA) a distributed cyber-infrastructure (National Antarctic Data Center- NDAC) will also be developed. Both actions, based on the brokering approach will be integrated in a unique Polar Data Infrastructure (PDI) (Euro: 200.000).

► Establish flagship stations within the Third Pole region for observation and monitoring; (US Dollars : $200,000),Set up rain gauge along the altitudinal range from 2000 m to 6500 m in a river basin of the Tibetan Plateau, and to obtain the elevation-dependent precipitation data.

► Snow Observations over Tibetan Plateau (SOTP) will continue to explore the remote sensing snow cover products over Tibetan Plateau, with in-kind and somehow $120,000 support from NSFC.

► ESA – MOST Dragon 4 Hydrology and Cryosphere Theme: It is expected that the current 10 projects under Dragon 3 will be clustered and continue through fewer but larger projects. As in Dragon 3, ESA is expected to provide limited support towards PhD / postdoc work under selected research projects. MOST / NRSCC supports Dragon projects through open Call for Proposals. Total resources committed to selected projects approximately estimated at 2 106 Є over the period 2016~2019.  CNR through Climate Change Integrated Project (CCT-IP) will continue to promote the upgrading of Ny Alesund as observation super-site in the Arctic ( Euro : 100.000).  A Chinese cubesat named TW-1A aiming for polar sea ice observation is scheduled to launch in October, 2015 and will provide satellite observations from December of 2015 in both Polar Regions. This satellite is proposed by Beijing Normal University and developed by Chinese Academy of Sciences.  The observations by the intended Chinese Water Cycle Mission (WCOM) with a dual frequency dual polarized microwave radiometer would fill a gap in current European observations and would be highly relevant to monitoring of water resources. The mission will provide observations of SWE, precipitation and soil moisture.( $1.5M)

► Cryosphere Monitoring Programme (CMP) will continue to explore the snow, glacier, glacial lake and GLOF over Nepal. This program is extended to Bhutan and Pakistan with support from The Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs ($700,000).

► Through the Belmont Forum Initiatives Italy contributes to Cooperative Research Activities (CRA) of the Arctic Observing and Research for Sustainability and of the Mountains as Sentinels of Change. ( Euro : 200.000)

► Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology (JAMSTEC), National Institute of Polar Research (NIPR) and Hokkaido University will jointly conduct observations of ocean, land and atmosphere in the Arctic region and continue to promote Arctic Data Archive System (ADS), which will be a part of GEOSS Data-CORE, along with the framework of the “Arctic Challenge for Sustainability Projects (ArCS)” supported by MEXT .

Identification of additional activities will take place in meeting(s) later in 2015.

2016 Resources

In kind contributions. Possible other resources to be identified later in 2015.

Leads and contributors

Yubao Qiu (PoC,,

Emilio Garcia Ladona (,

Julie Friddell (,

Xiao Cheng (,

Hannele Savela (,

Xin Li (,

Marco Tedesco (


Contributors: Canada, China, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Iceland, India, Italy, Japan, Norway, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom, United States, ICIMOD, CliC (WCRP), WMO, SAON, YOPP.


Italian contributors: CNR-ISAC, ….

Social Benefit Area
Implementation Mechanism

GEO Candidate Initiatives