Pollution is a significant threat to the Arctic environment and Norways geographical location in the Arctic imparts a certain onus on Norway to contribute towards the management of pollution in northern areas. Therefore, the 7th NETS will be held, for the first time, at Svalbard, to highlight the problem of pollution in the Arctic, with a focus towards discussing environmental solutions in a warming Arctic. The 2018 NETS meeting is currently being planned to be held at the University Center in Svalbard (UNIS), Longyearbyen, 14th March-16th March 2018.
The Arctic is en route for an extreme ecological transition that is predicted to significantly affect animal and human health. Climate change is a main driver as temperatures in the Arctic are increasing at twice the global rate. This must be understood in the context of other ecological processes, for example, climate change is predicted to modify the long-range transport, mobilisation, and food web magnification of environmental pollutants. Climate related changes have also been linked to disease expansion, and as warming continues it is predicted to specifically affect northern ecosystem disease dynamics. Our understanding of climate change should then come from an integration of disciplines.
There is thus clear potential for interactions between climate warming and impacts of pollutants on Arctic wildlife. The lack of coherent and integrated studies highlights the timely need for a platform, such as NETS2018, to bring together scientists of different disciplines to facilitate solutions. NETS2018 aims to provide this platform.