Aarhus University builds research station in North Greenland

Researchers are now making a start on setting up an ultra-modern research station right up in the northernmost part of Greenland. Here they will study climate change and its impact on the air, sea, geology, fauna and flora in the High Arctic region. Project Manager Henrik Skov, Aarhus University, expects researchers to flock from all over the world to make use of the unique opportunities at Station North, after the project received a major grant from the VILLUM FOUNDATION.

2013.01.29 | Jens Christian Pedersen

Aarhus University currently has a modest hut and air measurement facility at Station North. The major new grant now makes it possible to extend the facilities significantly.

For the Greenlandic version, go to the bottom of the page.

Climate change is one of the major challenges facing the international community in the coming century. The warmer climate has already had a significant impact on the distribution of the sea ice, and has led to the advancement of spring in the Arctic. There is a close connection between the Arctic climate and our own. The cold we are experiencing in Denmark at present is due to the polar front extending south, for example.

Researchers now have an unprecedented opportunity to study these climate changes at first hand, thanks to a grant of DKK 70.5 million from the VILLUM FOUNDATION as part of its research infrastructure programme.

The grant will be used to set up modern research facilities at Station North in the far north of Greenland. For a number of years, Aarhus University has been following the development of air pollution here from a small hut. This building will now be significantly upgraded, and Project Manager Henrik Skov is very pleased with the grant.

“It makes it possible to take top modern measurements and increase our presence at Station North. Our scientists will be able to carry out research that was previously impossible in the High Arctic,” he says. “This way, we’ll be able to extend our studies so that we not just follow air pollution, but also get to follow developments and understand the processes that exist between climate, pollution and the vulnerable ecosystems in the High Arctic. We’re therefore certain that colleagues from Denmark and abroad will also be champing at the bit to join us in this work,” he concludes.

“This magnificent grant from the VILLUM FOUNDATION will be very important for future Arctic research and the excellent collaboration we’ve got with the research institutions and authorities in Greenland. You can’t find a better place to measure climate change, and Station North can therefore become a crucial reference point – not only for researchers at Aarhus University, but also for our many collaborative partners all over the world, who will benefit from the station. Aarhus University recently entered into collaboration with Canada’s University of Manitoba and the Greenland Institute of Natural Resources, and the Station North grant helps to strongly emphasise the VILLUM FOUNDATION and Aarhus University’s strong commitment to the climate, the environment and the Arctic,” says Rector Lauritz B. Holm-Nielsen, Aarhus University.

Snowmobiles and drones

Carrying out research in the High Arctic is logistically very challenging, mainly because of its virtually inaccessible location and lack of a modern research infrastructure. It is therefore crucially important to establish suitable new research facilities in the High Arctic region. The fact that this is possible at all is due to the unique collaboration established over many years between the research group and the Danish Armed Forces.

The major climate changes taking place right now are particularly significant in the High Arctic, making it very important to describe the correlation between climate, pollution and the sensitive Arctic food chains, as well as their repercussions on the rest of the world.

The research infrastructure will be established in 2013 and 2014 at Station North in North Greenland. It will consist of three substations with ultra-modern laboratory facilities and equipment.

1. Basic station, consisting of a number of buildings with accommodation facilities and laboratories that make it possible to study the transport of pollution to the Arctic, permafrost, ice, climate and biological processes close to Station North.

2. Mobile station, consisting of snowmobiles, tracked vehicles (one or more), sleds, tents, etc., so the researchers can get around and study chemical, physical, geological and biological processes in the areas at a distance from Station North.

3. Air station, consisting of unmanned drones that make it possible to study the composition of the air and observe the Earth from the air.

The research infrastructure will be open to Danish and international researchers, partly via the new Arctic Research Centre at Aarhus University.

Setting up the research infrastructure will thus constitute an international hub for interdisciplinary research into the impact of climate change on the Arctic regions, including a deeper understanding of the effects on the sea ice, glaciers, ecosystems and atmosphere. Such studies are necessary to respond to the important scientific questions related to the accelerating Arctic warming. The Greenland Self-Government’s Department of Education and Research has therefore expressed its support for the project, as it will be one of the main users of the knowledge acquired.

Arctic Research Centre

The researchers literally work at the top of the world when colleagues from different fields combine their strengths at the Arctic Research Centre. Marine scientists, chemists, physicists, biologists, statisticians, geographers and geologists have joined forces to answer the many difficult questions connected with climate change and the Arctic.

The aim is to provide world-class research that can form the basis for innovative solutions to the dramatic climate changes in the Arctic. This is a complex challenge that the new research centre takes up in international and interdisciplinary collaboration.

For more information, please contact
Professor Henrik Skov
Arctic Research Centre and Department of Environmental Science
Aarhus University
+45 8715 8524

Arctic Research Centre


Aarhus Universitit Tunup avannaarsuani misissuiffiliornialerpoq


Kalaallit Nunaata avannaarpiaani ilisimatuut nutaaliaalluinnartumik misissuiffiliorlutik aallartipput. Misissuiffimmi ilisimatusarfigineqassapput silap allanngoriartornera, taassuma issittumi  silaannarmut, immamut, nunap sananeqaataanut aammalu uumasunut naasunullu qanoq sunniuteqarnera. Suliniummik aqutsisup Henrik Skovip, Aarhus Universititimeersup naatsorsuutigaa Station Nordimi periarfissaq pitsassuaq VILLUM FONDENIMIIT annertoqisumik aningaasaliisoqarneratigut pilersimasoq atorluarumallugu ilisimatuut silarsuarmit tamarmik aggiasarumaartut.


Silap allanngoriartornera ukiuni untritilinni aggersuni silarsuarmioqatigiinnut ilungersunartorsiortitsissaqaaq. Kiannerulernera maanna immap sikuata siammarsimaneranut sunniuteqalereeqaaq Issittumilu upernaap siusinnerusukkut nalliuttalerneranik nassataqalereersimalluni. Issittup silaa uagullu silarput imminnut attuumassutilerujussuupput. Assersuutigalugu massakkut issinnerujussua issittumi silaannaat aporaaffiisa kujammut illuarsimaneranik pissuteqarput.


Villum Fondenip ajunngisaarneratigut allannguutit tikivillugit misissuiffiginissaannut ilisimatuut periarfissaqalerput, tassami aningaasaateqarfik ilisimatusarnermut aningaasaliisarnerminut atatillugu suliniummut 70,5 mio. kr.-inik aningaasaliissuteqarsimavoq.


Kalaallit Nunaata avannaarpiarsuarni Station Nordimi ilisimatusarfimmik nutaaliaaqisumik sananermut aningaasaliissutit atorneqassapput. Tassani Aarhus Universititip ukiuni qasseersuarni silaannarmik mingutsitsineq uuttortaavinnguamiit malinnaaffigisimavaa. Uuttortaavinnguaq taanna maanna assorsuaq pitsanngorsarneqartussanngorpoq, suliniummillu aqutsisuusup Henrik Skovip aningaasaliineq iluarisimaartorujussuuaa:


"Uuttortaatit nutaaliaalluinnartut atorlugit uuttortaassoqarsinnaanngorpoq, Station Nordimilu ilisimatusartoqarsinnaanngorpoq siusinnerusukkut Issittumi ingerlanneqarsinnaasimanngitsumik. Taamaalilluta ilisimatusarnivut annertusisinnaanngorpavut, aammalu silaannarmik mingutsitsineq kisiat malinnaaffigiunnaarlugu silaannaap, mingutsitsinerup aammalu Issittumi pinngortitap allanngujaqisup akornanni pissutsit malinnaaffigisinnaanngorpavut. Taamaammat aamma ilisimavarput maani nunanilu allani ilisimatooqativut suleqataajumallutik pilerngutiinavittussaassasut", naggasiivoq.


"Villum Fondimiit aningaasaliissutit siunissami issittumi ilisimatusarnermut kiisalu Kalaallit Nunaanni ilisimatusarfinnik oqartussanillu pitsassuarmik suleqateqarnermut sunniuteqartorujussuussapput. Pitsaanerusumik silap allanngoriartorneranik uuttortaavissaqanngilaq, taamaammallu Station Nord pissutsinik naliliisarnermi aallaavinngussaaq pingaarutilerujussuaq. Misissuivik Aarhus Universititimuinnaq pinnani aammali silarsuarmi tamarmi suleqatitsinnut iluaqutaassaqaaq. Aarhus Universitet qanittukkut Canadami Manitobami universititimik aammalu Pinngortitaleriffik suleqateqalerpoq, aammalu Station Nordimut aningaasaliissutit Villum Fondemip aammalu Aarhus Universititip silap pissusianut, avatangiisinut Issittumullu pingaartitsinerujussuannik naqissusiisussanngorpoq, Aarhus Universititimi rektoriusoq Lauritz B. Holm-Nielsen oqarpoq.


Snescooterit timmisartullu inuttaqanngitsut

Avannaarsuarni ilisimatusarneq angallannikkut attaveqarnikkullu pisariusorujussuuvoq. Nunap tamatuma tikikkuminaannersuanik aammalu nutaaliaasunik ilisimatusarnermi atortorissaaruteqarfiunnginneranik annermik tamanna pissuteqarpoq. Taamaammat avannaarsuarni naleqquttunik ilisimatusarfeqalertussaanera pingaaruteqaqaaq. Piviusunngorsinnaaneranut ilisimatuut danskillu sakkutuuisa ukiorpassuarni suleqatigiinnerat pissutaalluinnarsimavoq.


Silap allanngorneri massakkorpiaq pisut pingaartumillu Issittumi malunnaqisut pissutigalugit silap pissusiata, mingutsitsinerup aammalu issittumi uumassusillit misikkareqisut qanoq imminnut ataqatigiinnerisa nassuiarneqarnissaat taakkulu silarsuup sinneranut qanoq sunniuteqarnerisa nassuiarnissaat pingaarutilerujussuuvoq.


Ilisimatusarnermi atortorissaarutit Station Nordimi 2013-imi aammalu 2014-imi pilersinneqassapput. Ilisimatusarfik pingasunik immikkoortortaqassaaq nutaaliaalluinnartunik atortorissaaruteqarfiusunik:

1. Ilisimatusarfik aallaaviusussaq, qassiinik illutalik unnuisarfiusunik misissuisarfiusunillu, mingutsitsinerup Issittumut qanoq ingerlasarneranik, Station Nordip eqqaani nunamik qeriuaannartumik, sikumik, silap pissusianik aammalu uumassusillit allanngoriartorneranik misissuinernik ingerlatsiviusinnaasoq.

2. Ilisimatusarfik angallattagaq, snescooterinik, qamutinik perlaarsualinnik (ataatsimik arlalinnilluunniit?), qamutinik, tupernik allanillu atortorissaarutilik, taamaalilliutik ilisimatuut Station Nordimiit ungasissumi akuutissanik, sananeqaatinik ujaqqanik uumasullu pissusiinik misissuisinnaanngussallutik.

3. Silaannarmik misissuivik, timmisartunik inuttaqanngitsunik atortulik, silaannaap sananeqaataanik misissuinermik ajornarunnaarsitsisoq aammalu silaannarmiit nunamik misissuiffiusinnaasoq.

Misissuiffittaaq danskit nunallu allamiut ilisimatuuinut ammassaaq, ilaatigut Aarhus Universititimi Issittumik Misissuivik nutaaq aqqutigalugu. Taamaammat silap allanngoriartornerata issittumut sunniutaanik misissuinerit assigiinngitsut nunanit tamalaanit ingerlanneqartarnissaannut ilisimatusarfittaaq tunngaviulissaaq, aamma silap allanngornerata immap sikuanut, sermertanut, uumassusileqarfinnut silaannarmullu qanoq sunniuteqarneranik. Issittup kiatsikkiartupiloorneranut apeqqutit assigiinngitsut akiniaraanni misissuinerit taama ittut pisariaqarput. Taamaammat aamma Namminersorlutik Oqartussani Ilinniartitaanermut Ilisimatusarnermullu Naalakkersuisoqarfik suliniummut tapersiilluni nalunaarpoq tassami ilisimasanik pigineqalersussanik atorfissaqartitsinerpaanut ilaasussaagamik.


Issittumi ilisimatusarfik

Ilisimatuut assigiinngitsut Issittumi Ilisimatusarfimminni nukimminnik kattussigunik ilumuuissumik nunarsuup qaani sulisussaapput. Immamik misissuisartut, kemikerit, fysikerit, uumasorsiuut, kisitsisilerisartut, nunap pissusianik sananeqaataanillu ilisimatuut suleqatigiilerput apeqquterpassuit silap allanngorneranut Issittumullu tunngassuteqartut akisinnaajumallugit.

Siunertaasoq tassaavoq ilisimatusarneq Issittumi silap allanngoriartupiloornerani aaqqiissutissanik tamatigoortunik pilersitsiviusinnaasoq ingerlatissallugu. Tassa suliassaq pisarioqisoq ilisimatusarfiup nunanik allamiunik assigiinngitsunillu sulialinnik suleqateqarluni ingerlannialigassaa.


Attavissat: Ilisimatooq professorilu Henrik Skov, Aarhus Universitet, Arctic Research Centre og Institut for Miljøvidenskab, hsk@dmu.dk , tel.: +45 8715 8524

Arctic Research Centre

Department of Environmental Science, Science and Technology, Public / media