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Special Collection

Polar Data Forum III

Collection launched: 20 Jan 2020

The 2019 special report on the ocean and cryosphere in a changing climate published by the International Panel on Climate Change documents the dramatic environmental changes currently being observed in Earth’s polar regions. The extent, variety, and magnitude of observed and predicted changes demand that we respond quickly to improve our knowledge and understanding, mitigate negative impacts, adapt, and enhance resilience. Use and sharing of all available data, information, and knowledge are necessary to enable this response.


For decades, the Polar Data Community has worked to engage all relevant actors in enhancing our ability to find, use and repurpose polar data and information. In the Arctic, this includes the use of Indigenous Knowledge, the dynamic and long-standing knowledge acquired and passed down over millennia and continuously adapted today. Building on more than a decade of cooperation, dialogue, and community building, members of the Polar Data Community from around the world gathered at the Third Polar Data Forum in Helsinki, Finland to share knowledge and actively work towards making polar data and information more available and useable. Topics addressed include, for example, data policy, use of Indigenous knowledge, making data FAIR*, a range of discipline-specific issues in this challenging operational environment. This collection of articles presents a wide range of perspectives and results with the ultimate goal of sharing the knowledge, experiences, and challenges facing the Community in the context of broader global movements around research and operational data and Indigenous Knowledge.

* Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, Reusable (FAIR) Guest editor:

Peter L. Pulsifer

Ruth Duerr