Apart from a range of indigenous people the Arctic is also increasingly populated by researchers from all over the world. This increasing human activity also poses new challenges to life in the Arctic. A range of projects, including the ARTES 1 ArctiCOM project, have investigated possible solutions to the Arctic communications problem, for instance. Apart from the obvious climatic peculiarities, there is also a real danger of encountering polar bears as they are still quite present in the area. Tracking polar bears by GPS not only gives us information on THEIR well-being! The Arctic is known to be the most vulnerable region on Earth to global warming as the increased melting of the sea ice poses real challenges for both arctic animals and humans alike. The increased human activity in the Arctic also warrants new satellite monitoring services to ensure safe passage through the Arctic sea. As such ESA’s focus on the Arctic works on many different levels, from ground experiments to space observations with a range of satellites and ground stations at our service.
Credits: ESA/SSETI Team