A two day symposium will be held in the historic city of Siena, Tuscany, on 23 and 24 September 2011 to explore and address research priorities in the polar regions and their linkage to the International Council of Science (ICSU) grand challenges. The symposium will address all aspects of polar science, with a focus on the functioning of the Earth System in the Arctic and Antarctic, the major drivers of pervasive change and the as yet unaddressed research issues in these regions.
Identifying and acting on the grand challenges for ‘global sustainability’ research and transferring scientific outputs into reliable short-medium term advice for decision makers will be increasingly critical over the coming decades. Invited speakers will outline the major current global challenges and changes in terrestrial and oceanic domains in the polar regions and highlight how these are linked to the ICSU Grand Challenges in Global Sustainability. A Panel Session, involving representatives of a range of ICSU bodies, will discuss the relevance of polar urgencies to their organisations research priorities, and to the overall ICSU strategy.
The symposium is sponsored by the ICSU organisations SCAR, IASC and the International Association of Cryospheric Sciences (IACS). For more information, please visit the website.

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