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EU calls for joint scientific research in Arctic
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The European Union (EU) has called on countries to step up coordination in scientific research in the Arctic in efforts to confront global warming, reports reaching in Paris from Monaco said.

At a meeting hosted in Monaco by the EU's presidency France, French Ecology Minister Jean-Louis Borloo said countries should strengthen coordination to work for a "unified" research system on the Arctic.

"Research is not being coordinated," Borloo said.

He also called on countries to make necessary efforts to establish a worldwide information network and share relevant scientific data.

The two-day event, focusing on the Acrtic's role in climate change, brought together representatives and climatologists from countries of the 27-nation EU, as well as Norway, Iceland and international organizations.

Scientists believe the Arctic provides an early indicator of climate change, signaled by the decline of sea ice and melting of glaciers.

Jean Jouzel, French glaciologist and climatologist, said the Arctic can serve as a laboratory, from where scientists can observe the effects of climate change. However, human beings have been unable to utilize this properly.

The Arctic region consists of a vast ice-covered ocean surrounded by treeless permafrost. In recent years, the extent of the sea ice in the region has declined.

A photo released by the European Space Agency (ESA) which was taken in September by a radar aboard its Envisat satellite, showed that ice retreat in the Arctic had reached record levels since satellite monitoring began in 1978.

(Xinhua News Agency November 11, 2008)

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