Lead Institution: b.geos

Work Package Leader: Dr. Annett Bartsch.


The goal of this Work Package is to improve the capacity to identify biodiversity changes and associated reindeer pasture impacts, as well as how biodiversity and grazing regimes will change in relationship to the cryosphere and climate change. Earth observation data and relevant satellite imagery will be linked to ground observation networks, so called ‘ground truthing‘, leading to:

  • a full characterization of all seasonal Arctic terrestrial environments for relevant observable parameters
  • quantify biodiversity and rangeland indicator changes from local to regional scales at selected sites
  • Establishment of a pan-Arctic database of decadal scale biodiversity trends.
Ponds resulting from thawing permafrost in the Yamal Peninsula in northwest Siberia
Ponds resulting from thawing permafrost in the Yamal Peninsula in northwest Siberia captured by the Copernicus Sentinel-2 mission on 27 August 2018.
Contains modified Copernicus data (2018), processed by ESA, CC BY-SA 3.0 IGO Read more about this image and changes in permafrost here.
Dr. Annett Bartsch of bgeos explains the work of Work Package 1
Assoc. Prof. Timo Kumpula will play a key role in this Work Package
Post Doc Jacqueline Oehri on Arctic, Alpine, Tundra and more.
Ioanna Merkouriadi, Research Scientists, Finnish Meteorogical Institute

This Work Package aims to create fundamental datasets in order to understand and quantify terrestrial biodiversity and rangeland use changes within the last forty years.

This Work Package will characterize CHARTER focus areas with varying human pressure on Arctic socio-ecological systems and produce many pan-Arctic datasets on drivers of change, with a focus on changes in the cryosphere, such as sea ice loss, rain-on-snow events, snow cover duration and permafrost active layer, over multiple decades. The geographical focus will be on Fennoscandia, Svalbard, and Northwest Russia.


Deliverables expected from this Work Package include an improved characterization of observables of drivers and impacts on a pan-Arctic scale, an establishment of a pan-Arctic database on biodiversity drivers and indicators and its documentation, with an emphasis on the CHARTER focus area and besides publications, a review of cryosphere and biodiversity change observations from satellite data at circumpolar to regional scales. The lead institution is bgeos, based in Korneuburg, Austria and the academic lead is Dr. Annett Bartsch. Bartsch is also on faculty of the Austrian Polar Research Institute and you can read and see more about her work here.


Annett Bartsch: bgeos | Austrian Polar Research Institute | Researchgate

Timo Kumpula: University of Eastern Finland |Researchgate

Related Reading:

Berner, L.T., Massey, R., Jantz, P. Forbes, B.C. et al. Summer warming explains widespread but not uniform greening in the Arctic tundra biome. Nat Commun 11, 4621 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-020-18479-5

Arctic Lakes from Space, by Annett Bartsch on the Space4Water portal.

Satellites yield insights into not so permanent permafrost. European Space Agency.

Pointner, Georg, Annett Bartsch, Bruce Forbes, and Timo Kumpula. 2018. “The Role Of Lake Size And Local Phenomena For Monitoring Ground-Fast Lake Ice”. International Journal Of Remote Sensing 39. Taylor & Francis: 1-27, . doi:10.1080/01431161.2018.1519281.


Interested in the Arctic water bodies, lakes in the Arctic and how they can be monitored by satellites? RUS offer a free online course here, and Annett Bartsch is the instructor! The aim of RUS (Research and User Support for Sentinel Core products) ​Service is to promote the uptake of Copernicus data and to support the scaling up of R&D activities with Copernicus data.

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