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FORINFRA-Nasj.sats. forskn.infrastrukt

Climate-Ecological Observatory for Arctic Tundra (COAT)

Alternative title: Klimaøkologisk Observasjonssystem for Arktisk Tundra (COAT)

Awarded: NOK 35.5 mill.

This infrastructure project constitutes the start of Climate Ecological Observatory for Arctic Tundra (COAT). COAT is a long-term research initiative that will enable real time documentation and understanding of climate impacts on terrestrial arctic ecosystems. The observatory will provide an adaptive knowledge system that underpins management interventions to counteract detrimental climate impacts on vulnerable arctic ecosystem services and biodiversity. COAT will expand on existing ecological long-term time series from both high- and low-arctic Norway and integrate these with a new climate observation network. As similar observatories are entirely lacking from the whole Eurasian Arctic, COAT will considerably strengthen Norway's position as an international leader in research and management of arctic environments. A comprehensive science plan - that has been quality assured by means of peer review by an international panel of experts - is publicly available (see www.coat.no). The present infrastructure project, that forms the infrastructural underpinning of the long-term science to be done within COAT, is fully based on the science plan. COAT Infrastructure consists of three parts; a) instrumentation system for low-arctic "COAT Varanger", b) instrumentation system for the high- arctic "COAT-Svalbard" (funding received from Tromsø Forskningsstiftelse) and c) database and coordination services for whole observatory. COAT will be run by 5 FramCentre institutions, but the infrastructure is open to be used by many external national and international research groups. COAT includes an active interphase with education though the research school AMINOR and Tundra schoolnet, as well as stakeholders and management agencies.

Climate Ecological Observatory for Arctic Tundra (COAT) is a long-term research initiative of the FramCentre. It will enable real time documentation and understanding of climate impacts on terrestrial arctic ecosystems and provide an adaptive knowledge system that underpins management counteraction of detrimental climate impacts on vulnerable arctic ecosystem services and biodiversity. COAT will expand on existing ecological long-term time series from both high- and low-arctic Norway and integrate these with a new climate observation network to become a cutting-edge climate impact observation system. As similar observatories are entirely lacking from the whole Eurasian Arctic, COAT will considerably strengthen Norway's position as an international leader in research and management of arctic environments. Specifically, the overarching aim of COAT, as stated in a comprehensive science plan, is to become the most comprehensive and management relevant research enterprise concerning arctic terrestrial ecosystems worldwide and serve as a role model for implementation sister observatories elsewhere. An international panel review of the COAT science plan found it to be of excellent quality and identified the only challenge for reaching its ambitious goals to be lack of sufficient funding. Here we submit a proposal - fully based on the science plan - that accommodates the infrastructural underpinning of COAT. The infrastructure consists of three parts; a) instrumentation system for low-arctic COAT Varanger, b) instrumentation system for the high arctic COAT Svalbard (funding received from Tromsø Forskningsstiftelse) and c) database and coordination services for whole observatory. COAT will be run by 5 FramCentre institutions, but the infrastructure will be used by many external national and international research groups. COAT includes an active interphase with education though the research school AMINOR and Tundra schoolnet, as well as stakeholders and management agencies.

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FORINFRA-Nasj.sats. forskn.infrastrukt