Improved climate modelling can predict fish stocks in the North Atlantic, as well as warming effects across the Northern hemisphere, for instance in Europe and North America.
Fragile and exposed to climate change, the Arctic is warming three times faster than the rest of the planet. As the frozen ground melts, carbon dioxide and methane trapped within it are released into the atmosphere, further contributing to global warming.
Michael Mann, the EU's Special Envoy for the Arctic, describes the current environmental situation in the Arctic as extremely serious. He warns: 'It's just getting worse and worse.'
The consequences are being felt elsewhere. Extreme events in Europe, such as the unusually heavy snowfall in Greece and Spain last winter, is thought to be linked to warming in the northernmost regions. 'The Arctic is the main suspect for larger changes in conditions in the northern hemisphere,' said Dr Steffen Olsen, a climate researcher at the Danish Meteorological Institute in Copenhagen.
Since the Arctic is the focal point for global climate change, being able to better forecast Arctic warming could help mitigate its impact, both in the Arctic and elsewhere.
The EU is preparing to adapt to the rapid changes that the Arctic is experiencing. One of the goals of the EU Missions, namely 'Adaptation to Climate Change', is to provide new strategies and solutions and empower communities to lead the societal transformation. The EU Mission 'Restore our ocean and waters by 2030' will deploy innovative solutions at basin-scale (sea basin and river basin) through Mission 'lighthouses' which will each lead on one of the Mission objectives. One of the lighthouse initiatives covering the Atlantic and Arctic sea basin, leads on the Mission objective to protect and restore marine ecosystems and biodiversity.
The new EU Arctic policy is also on the horizon to address new challenges and opportunities.