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About APECS

IPY-OSC Francisco Fernandoy-46
APECS is an international and interdisciplinary organization for undergraduate and graduate students, postdoctoral researchers, early faculty members, educators and others with interests in Polar Regions and the wider cryosphere. Our aims are to stimulate interdisciplinary and international research collaborations, and develop effective future leaders in polar research, education and outreach. We seek to achieve these aims by:
  • Facilitating international and interdisciplinary networking to share ideas and experiences and to develop new research directions and collaborations;
  • Providing opportunities for professional career development; and
  • Promoting education and outreach as an integral component of polar research and to stimulate future generations of polar researchers.

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The Greenland ice sheet is likely to be more vulnerable to global warming than previously thought. The temperature threshold for melting the ice sheet completely is in the range of 0.8 to 3.2 degrees Celsius of global warming, with a best estimate of 1.6 degrees above pre-industrial levels, shows a new study by scientists from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) and the Universidad Complutense de Madrid. Today, already 0.8 degrees of global warming has been observed. Substantial melting of land ice could contribute to long-term sea-level rise of several meters and therefore it potentially affects the lives of many millions of people.

The time it takes before most of the ice in Greenland is lost strongly depends on the level of warming. "The more we exceed the threshold, the faster it melts," says Alexander Robinson, lead-author of the study now published in Nature Climate Change. In a business-as-usual scenario of greenhouse-gas emissions, in the long run humanity might be aiming at 8 degrees Celsius of global warming. This would result in one fifth of the ice sheet melting within 500 years and a complete loss in 2000 years, according to the study. "This is not what one would call a rapid collapse," says Robinson. "However, compared to what has happened in our planet's history, it is fast. And we might already be approaching the critical threshold."

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Featured Member

SannaMarkkula University of Helsinki; Finnish Environment Institute / Marine Research Centre; University Centre in Svalbard - Finland / Norway

My name is Sanna Majaneva, and I come from a small city called Imatra in the eastern border of Finland. Later on I moved to Helsinki to study Marine Biology and Geography at the University. After four years of basic studies in the "warm" coast of the brackish "sea", I needed the real sea, the real snow, and proper winter. I was accepted to write my Master's thesis on Arctic copepods at the University Centre in Svalbard. My planned half a year long Svalbard visit prolonged into several years, because I worked both as a nature guide and as a research assistant, but mainly for the reason that I fell in love with the white silence. 

My stay at Svalbard left a spark towards polar research and I somehow drifted to make doctoral thesis project in collaboration with the University Centre in Svalbard and the Finnish Environment Institute / Marine Research Centre. The main objective of my doctoral thesis is to gain information on ctenophore populations in the Northern Seas. The project studies the role and importance of ctenophores in the food webs and how different aspects of the changing climate could affect these communities. 

On my free time, I'm mostly in the out in the nature with a back bag and hiking boots, skies, kayak or dog sledge. The more I learn about this white nature, the more amazed I am, and therefore the Arctic issues have become extremely dear to me. 

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