The International Polar Year 2007-2008 was a significant milestone, which marked an increasing participation of the national scientific community on polar research. The importance of studying the polar regions comprehends the variety of information made possible concerning the climate system, global changes and paleoenvironmental reconstructions, as well as the knowledge provided in multiple fields such as oceanography, ecology, microbiology, glaciology and space. Thus, in addition to the potential that the polar region contains in itself, its particular characteristics allow very significant analogies for understanding and predicting the dynamics of planets and other environments.
Portuguese scientists have been developing its activity in the Arctic and Antarctic regions benefiting from the collaboration of countries with settlements in these areas. The autonomy of the national scientific community dedicated to polar research and the good continuity of the work carried out revealed a lack of logistical structure to ensure the sustainability and consolidation of the undertaken activities. Following the assessment carried out by the national scientific community on inherent needs to the evolution of polar research; the obligations derived of the adherence to the Antarctic Treaty in January 2010; the specificity of the logistical infrastructure involved, namely technological, and the markedly international level of the partnerships and entities which the Portuguese participation integrates, the creation of the Polar Office of FCT on December 2011 intends to constitute a base of institutional support and monitoring of national research in the polar regions.
The Polar Office has two scientific advisors: Professor Gonçalo Vieira (University of Lisbon) and Dr. José Xavier (University of Coimbra), in permanent connection with FCT in the different initiatives of polar research.
Ana Quartin - Coordination
Tel. (351) 21 391 15 42