China and Finland have signed an agreement to establish a joint research center for Arctic space observation and data sharing services, the China Academy of Sciences (CAS) announced Wednesday.
The agreement, signed on April 8 by Liu Jianbo, deputy director of the academy's Institute of Remote Sensing and Digital Earth, and Jouni Pulliainen, director of Space and Earth Observation Center under the Finnish Meteorological Institute, states the research center will be built in Sodankyla, north Finland's Lapland.
The center will enhance cooperation on cryosphere research with satellites, which will provide information from the Arctic region for use in climate research, environmental monitoring, and operational activities, such as navigation in the Arctic Ocean.
The two countries agreed to build the center as a platform for international cooperation in research on the Arctic region, and a model of Sino-European space-based Earth observation application cooperation.
In 2016, China Remote Sensing Satellite North Polar Ground Station (CNPGS) was built in Sweden. "As China's first overseas land satellite receiving station, the CNPGS has increased the transmission efficiency of satellite data, and improved China's capability to access remote sensing data in the Arctic region," said Liu.
Pulliainen said that China and Finland had a solid foundation for long-term cooperation and will have bright prospects in the processing of big data on the Earth and providing information services.
The agreement is the latest move of China's Digital Belt and Road Program, which was initiated in 2016 to improve environmental monitoring and promote data sharing.
Guo Huadong, chairman of the program, said at the signing ceremony that the temperature has continued to rise in the Arctic region due to global warming, which may have a great impact on social and economic development. Big data will play an irreplaceable role in Earth system science research and decision-making.