It is about cold regions of our Earth Planet - observations, and information service, and knowledge center for the benefits of human, tackling the sustainable developments.

  • What is GEO Cold Regions?
GEO Cold Regions Initiative (GEOCRI) coordinates global joint efforts for Earth observations and information services to provide societal benefits over the world's Cold Regions area including the North Pole, South Pole, Himalaya-Third Pole and Mountain areas.

  • Vision and importance
“What happens in the Poles doesn’t stay in the Poles.” More than one hundred countries around the world have cryospheric elements in their environment. Cold Regions are the most ecologically and environmentally sensitive areas, and changes to these areas comprehensively affect the dynamic Earth system, impacting the society in all parts of the world.

GEO is developing a user-driven approach to Cold Regions that will complement the current science-driven effort, and a global, comprehensive Cold Regions Information Service will strengthen the synergies among various activities across global Cold Regions.

  • Benefits and added-value
GEOCRI offers a global interface and platform for collaboration for existing organizations and programs, allowing them to reach communities outside their own membership domains and create synergies among different activities, which expands the outreach of, and maximize the synergies among, thematically wide GEO activities and thematically deep participant activities.

A broad range of users from both the public and private sectors, including managers and policy makers in the targeted societal benefit areas, scientific researchers and engineers, governmental and non-governmental organizations, and international bodies are benefitting from the improved Cold Regions Information Services.

  • The Challenge 
Under a global warming scenario, the high elevation and high latitude cold regions are inherently a fragile environment, affecting billions of human lives there and in the downstream areas. Timely and accurate Earth Observation (EO) information is needed to facilitate sustainable exploitation of natural resources, provide data to local services, and support the safe use of infrastructures facilities.

  • The Solution
GEOCRI offers an interface and platform to support collaborative use of on existing EO data and to provide information to facilities, and organizations in Earth’s cold regions, allowing them to reach out to communities beyond their own domains, creating synergies among. It maximizes thematically wide GEO activities and thematically deep participant activities. The proposed Data Stream Services in Cold Regions, especially in the Cryosphere, through the Derived and Integrated Products of Earth Observation will facilitate the provision and standardization of satellite information products to meet the needs of societies, including high elevation and high latitude cold regions.

  • How we work
GEOCRI brings together the cold regions activities of different through current science, industry, and involving in stakeholder communities. The core interest is to bring data and information, gathered continuously by national and multi-national agencies, institutions, and organizations, growing infrastructures of diverse and complementary Earth observation, to local and international users.
GEOCRI adopts a distributed cooperation model, which is supported by a co-led team of nine experts from seven countries and by participant team from multiple countries and regions. GEO attaches great importance to communication and cooperation among various organizations, employing online and in-person meetings, seminars, and workshops to discuss the progress of observations and environmental changes. GEOCRI provides three fundamental components, i.e. tasks: Variables, Data, Services,, and four pilot services tasks: Sustainable Development, Safe Transportation, Secure Water Availability, Emergency Actions and Adaptation. Each partner supports provides these GEOCRI tasks.
GEOCRI has engaged closely with the following national and regional partners has been initiated by particularly research scattered worldwide (see the Donor and Partners list). GEOCRI also works with various international programs and working group:
  • High Mountain and Polar Cold Region Working Group (HiMAC WG)
  • Pan-Eurasian Experiment (PEEX)
  • Arctic GEOSS (about the ROADS)
  • GEO Mountain
GEOCRI’s linked data and repositories are:
  • HiMAC Data Portal
  • Big Earth Data Platform for Three Poles
  • Canadian Cryospheric Information Network, Polar Data Catalogue
  • NextGEOSS – Cold Regions Pilot Portal

  • Policy Drivers
GEOCRI aims at providing information to assess the effectiveness of climate actions relevant to SDG-s, and at providing data on snow cover, GLOF, ice mapping useful to monitor water availability (SDG6 and SDG7), to analyze impacts on downstream ecosystems (SDG15) and to deal with emerging risks (SDG11) Particularly relevant will be the even daily information on transportation on land and Northern Sea Route, in the form of shipping advisory and disaster risk assessment (SDG14);
GEOCRI likewise aims at providing data products to support on open science by offering access to other communities and stakeholders, including access capacity reference building actions (SDG17).

  • Our Impact
The GEO Cold Regions Initiative (GEOCRI) has a strong legacy and impact in the understanding cold region environments through space observations on polar ice and snow, ocean and climate change and natural disasters.
  • Facilitated Management of Enhanced Utilization of Satellites for Snow and Ice Occurrences Monitoring: The research team of GEOCRI used remote sensing high-frequency microwave signals, combined with atmospheric correction technology, to develop satellite remote sensing monitoring services for new and thin layers of snow and ice, building-up rapid monitoring capabilities. The technology has been effectively used for snow monitoring in northeast and northern China to meet the needs of monitoring snow cover and depth change in the Winter Olympic Games.
  • EO-based information service on the Northern Seaway: The team used satellite metadata such as GF3 of China, as well as Landsat8 data and Sentinel-1/2 satellite data collected by USGS and ESA to provide polar shipping services. The services, which include but are not limited to sea ice concentration, sea ice thickness, sea surface temperature, precipitation, wind and temperature forecast data, provide effective advisory services on sea ice environment for research and commercial shipping.

GEO Cold Regions Inititiative - GEOCRI : ​​​​