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UK and Germany combine forces to fund crucial Arctic science

For the first time, the UK and Germany have joined forces to investigate the impact of climate change on the Arctic Ocean

The Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) and Germany's Federal Ministry of Education & Research (BMBF) have jointly invested almost £8 million in 12 new projects to carry out crucial research in one of the most inhospitable regions on the planet. The new projects start today and join the existing NERC Changing Arctic Ocean research programme, which aims to better understand - and predict - changes to the Arctic marine environment and ecosystems.

Climate change is having obvious and severe impacts in the polar regions. The Arctic is currently warming at more than double the rate of other parts of the globe, causing unprecedented change to the region's ocean environment. The Arctic Ocean ecosystem is especially sensitive to warming because of its reliance on sea ice. From the algae that grow on its underside, to polar bears that hunt and live on its surface, the animals, plants and microbes that rely on the ice are under threat from its melting.

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