Oceanologia No. 62 (4PB / 20)



Original research article

Short communications


‘Societal Relevance of Polar Research’ conference, Sopot, 27–28 November 2018
Oceanologia 2020, 62(4PB), V

Tymon Zieliński Guest Editor
e-mail: tymon@iopan.gda.pl

Available online 14 October 2020.


62(4PB) issue of Oceanologia presents a selection of papers stemming from this event. The conference ‘Societal Relevance of Polar Research’ advocated a multidisciplinary approach to informing, educating and sharing information as well as raising awareness of environmental issues which the Polar Region is facing. The mixed group of natural scientists, sociologists, psychologists and representatives of humanities (authors, journalists, filmmakers, educators) discussed a variety of challenges, which we face with regard to this remote, polar region. We hope that this issue is a step to the promotion of sustainable thinking and hence use of the resources of this region. This sustainable approach must be based on a consensus of all sciences and a voice of all stakeholders must be heard. Only, then, we can count on societies to be more aware of the environmental challenges and be prepared to make proper science-based decisions.
Ten articles presented in this issue aim to be a brief trial in bringing interest to the theme of Polar research. The authors also try to answer the question of what the key drivers could be to create political and public support for the Polar research in Europe.
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Original research article

The attractiveness of polar regions as the zones of silence
Oceanologia 2020, 62(4PB), 557-564

Hanna Mamzer*
Faculty of Social Sciences, Adam Mickiewicz University, Poznań, Poland;
e-mail: mamzer@amu.edu.pl
*corresponding author

keywords: Solitude, Silence, Polar regions

Received 5 November 2019, Revised 26 March 2020, Accepted 30 March 2020, Available online 7 May 2020.


Post-modern societies are characterized by information-based functions that generate the anthropogenic stimuli (as opposed to the industrial society of energy processing and the traditional society whose activities are related to the production of natural crops). Hence, life in the information overload becomes a tiresome daily reality, from which only a very few may escape. These escapers might be regarded as consumers of the new type of ‘luxury goods’ such as: silence experiencing and positively valorized solitude allowing deeper insight into oneself. The polar regions provide an opportunity to withdraw from the anthropogenic noise of the civilization. I do believe that it is one of the most significant drivers of the increasing popularity of traveling to these regions of the world.
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Artists in the face of threats of climate change
Oceanologia 2020, 62(4PB), 565-575

Marianna Michałowska*
Institute of Cultural Studies, Adam Mickiewicz University, Poznań, Poland;
e-mail: mariamne@amu.edu.pl
*corresponding author

keywords: Ocean literacy, Climate change, Environmental art, Environmental photography, Social impact of science

Received 20 October 2019, Revised 24 February 2020, Accepted 6 March 2020, Available online 4 May 2020.


In contemporary visual culture, the subject of climate change and the need for commitment to counteract it (Demos, 2016, Körber et al., 2017, Tsing et al., 2017) are increasingly being addressed. The artists' observation concerns not only the natural effects of climate change but also their impact on the social and cultural heritage of the inhabitants of regions of the most endangered areas. Areas most vulnerable to destruction: oceans, coral reefs and polar regions are becoming a particular subject of interest for artists. A reflection of this interest can be the increasing number of exhibitions devoted to the current state of the environment (i.e. the project Plasticity of the Planet presented in 2019 in Ujazdowski Castle Centre for Contemporary Art in Warsaw).
In the article selected artistic strategies to publicize the problems of ecology will be indicated. The first strategy is the exhibition of the beauty of the natural environment and the melancholy associated with its disappearance. An example of this can be Art of the Arctic by environmental photographer Kerry Koeping who focuses the audience's attention on ocean literacy by means of affecting landscapes of the Arctic or the artistic residence in PAN Hornsund Polar Station of Janusz Oleksa. The second way is to indicate the physical and biological effects of climate change. An example would be the work of Kelly Jazvac who, in collaboration with an oceanographer Charles Moore and a geologist Patricia Corcoran, presents plastiglomerate by Agnieszka Kurant – new forms of fossils, resulting from the combination of shells and stones with plastics or artificial compounds. The third method is the presentation of the residents' experience. The examples are works of Subhankar Banerjee, who draws inspiration from ethnographic research and documentary films and Jakub Witek's documentary about Polish emigrants living in Iceland. The artist presents the consequences of climate change for the inhabitants of the polar regions. The fourth way is to build a metaphor for the presence of a ‘stranger’ – a traveller, an explorer or a scientist. An example is a photographic performance entitled Polaris Summer by Kuba Bąkowski conducted during a scientific expedition to Spitsbergen, or three-screen projection by John Akomfrah's showing the relationship between man and oceans in the context of exploitation of natural and human resources.
For the artistic practices described in the article, I use the theoretical framework of environmental art that binds together aesthetics, ethics and politics. The purpose of the article is to check whether such a connection can be attractive to the audience.
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Perception of Arctic issues among young learners in Poland and Lithuania
Oceanologia 2020, 62(4PB), 576-587

Izabela Kotyńska-Zielińska1,*, Sergej Olenin2, Karolina Fornalewicz3, Anna Prądzińska4, Jan Marcin Węsławski4
1Today We Have, Sopot, Poland;
e-mail: kotynska-zielinska@todaywehave.com
2Marine Research Institute, Klaipėda University, Klaipėda, Lithuania
3Sopot Autonomic Schools, Sopot, Poland
4Instutute of Oceanology, Polish Academy of Sciences, Sopot, Poland
*corresponding author

keywords: Arctic, Environmental awareness, Forms of education, School curriculum

Received 27 October 2019, Revised 6 March 2020, Accepted 12 March 2020, Available online 8 May 2020.


In this work, we show the results from two different types of approaches designed to map the Arctic (Polar) perception of young learners in Poland and Lithuania. The first case study is composed of both closed and open questions (Case Study 1), while the second one is a closed, multiple choice type of questionnaire (Case Study 2). We have questioned a total of 274 learners in Case Study 1 and 80 in Case Study 2. In both cases, learners were divided into four age groups. The results show that the Case Study 1 questionnaire, due to its structure, provided more comprehensive information about the state of awareness among young learners in comparison with the limited option for answers (no open option) in Case Study 2. The results show that documentaries and nature films together are the dominating sources of information for all age groups. A very interesting finding came out from Case Study 1, which shows that school lessons dominate in public schools, with exception to high schools, however, other means of learning were also mentioned. Educational workshops play a very important part in learning among three youngest groups of students of public schools. In case of autonomic schools, it is lessons that play a key role in knowledge transfer at all levels of education, which is most likely related to the educational system in these schools, which regularly conduct group projects. Both studies show that nonformal education has an important role in education of young learners in Poland and Lithuania.
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The formation of a pluralistic society and its impact on climate change – implementation of the lifelong learning concept
Oceanologia 2020, 62(4PB), 588-592

Bartosz M. Wiśniewski*
Ateneum University, Gdańsk, Poland;
e-mail: b.wisniewski@ateneum.edu.pl
*corresponding author

keywords: Lifelong learning, Pluralism, Climate change, Public policy

Received 28 October 2019, Revised 26 February 2020, Accepted 30 March 2020, Available online 7 May 2020.


In this work, the author refers to the own research entitled "Citizens' participation in the creation and implementation of public policy. Electoral participation". The aim of this study was to analyze factors affecting civic participation in the form of participation in general elections. The study gave a reason to look more deeply into the formation of a pluralistic society in the age of climate change and social unrest. In this article, however, the author analyzes the impact of climate change in the process of creating a pluralistic society. The focal point of the paper has to do with the implementation of the Lifelong Learning concept in contemporary society. The aim of this work is to indicate the public authority the need for the more effective methods of activating and educating our society in the fight against climate change.
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Changing Arctic. Firm scientific evidence versus public interest in the issue.: Where is the gap?
Oceanologia 2020, 62(4PB), 593-602

Paulina Pakszys1,*, Tymon Zieliński1, Luca Ferrero2, Izabela Kotyńska-Zielińska3, Marcin Wichorowski1
1Instytute of Oceanology, Polish Academy of Sciences, Sopot, Poland;
e-mail: pakszys@iopan.pl
2GEMMA and POLARIS Research Centre, Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of Milano-Bicocca, Milano, Italy
3Today We Have, Sopot, Poland
*corresponding author

keywords: Arctic, Climate change, Biomass Burning, Public awareness, Educational needs

Received 18 November 2019, Revised 4 March 2020, Accepted 9 March 2020, Available online 5 May 2020


The authors provide hard evidence for a significant environmental impact of long-distance atmospheric pollution advection to the Arctic. Results from literature and of their research show that the atmospheric inflow of pollution to the Arctic has been increasing over the decades. The authors show evidence that biomass burning has a greater potential impact on radiative budget of the region than the well-known spring Arctic Haze phenomenon, which has always been regarded as the most prominent atmospheric pollution manifestation in the Arctic. Warming, which is observed in the Arctic, results in decreasing ice coverage of the region, which in turn, leads to the major changes in the ecosystem, hence affects human well-being. At the same time, the authors present results of two independent studies, dedicated to the recognition of the awareness and the level of interest of people in eight Arctic countries and among young learners in Poland. The results show that not only the level of public interest is low, but it is both decreasing or, at the best, low to societies. This is in strong contradiction to information available and the daily experience of the societies, which inhabit the region. The authors believe, that such contradiction results from a low level of knowledge and interest of the Arctic and the climate change itself. Finally, the authors provide some hints on how to link hard scientific evidence for Arctic environmental changes with proper communication to the general public, and hence to increase the level of interest among citizens.
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Lexis of climate phenomena in social sciences students’ daily discourse
Oceanologia 2020, 62(4PB), 603-607

Waldemar Tłokiński*
Ateneum-University in Gdańsk, Poland;
e-mail: komwt@ug.edu.pl
*corresponding author

keywords: Ecology, Climate, Lexical analysis, Environmental responsibility, Social science students

Received 12 November 2019, Revised 24 February 2020, Accepted 6 March 2020, Available online 8 April 2020.


An academic degree gained in the field of social sciences also means more extensive knowledge of the surrounding world understood as the natural environment crucial in defining the position and development of humankind. Interpersonal communication, apart from the colloquialisms related to climate phenomena (weather), shows an evolving state of knowledge of the topic, changing attitudes, and possible stances formulating the need for change. Opinion polls conducted among 150 social science students comprise the source material for the lexicological analysis in the areas of the knowledge, time, and responsibility (related to environmentalism and climate) indicating that attitudes towards the natural environment are present in communicative behaviours.
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Political dimension of Arctic research
Oceanologia 2020, 62(4PB), 608-621

Michał Łuszczuk1,*, Barbora Padrtova2, Wojciech Szczerbowicz3
1Institute of Socio-Economic Geography and Spatial Management, Maria Curie Skłodowska University, Lublin, Poland;
e-mail: michal.luszczuk@umcs.edu.pl
2Faculty of Social Studies, Masaryk University, Brno, Czech Republic
3Faculty of Social Sciences, Institute of International Studies, University of Wrocław, Wrocław, Poland
*corresponding author

keywords: Arctic research, Arctic policy, Arctic strategies, Scientific cooperation, Science diplomacy

Received 5 November 2019, Revised 16 March 2020, Accepted 30 March 2020, Available online 7 May 2020.


The article contributes to a better understanding of the role of research in the policies of the states that are scientifically engaged in the High North. The research covers 17 European states: six are Arctic and 11 non-Arctic, which were selected according to the following (at least one) formulated criteria: having an established tradition of carrying out scientific research in the Arctic region; having issued Arctic policy documents and/or Arctic research strategies; participation in the activities of the Arctic Council; and having gained membership of the International Arctic Science Committee (IASC). In the analysis we have applied a mixed research method, since it incorporates elements of both qualitative and quantitative approaches and offers a more comprehensive review of the scrutinised texts. The qualitative analysis relies on a discourse analysis (predicate analysis). The quantitative part of the analysis utilizes the instruments of a software research tool – The AntConc. In the end, the outcomes of both methods are merged and compared. The study reveals that conducting scientific research is not a top priority for all Arctic states. However, it has the highest similarity in terms of applied approaches among Arctic states as compared to other fields (e.g. the economy, security or pollution). At the same time, the environment and climate change are perceived to be the most important drivers behind Arctic research as defined in the Arctic states' strategies. Moreover, there are major differences among both Arctic and non-Arctic states in terms of the level of accuracy in the presentation of their research activities, particularly with regard to the implementation of scientific programmes and research aims. Finally, the research indicates that all states highlight that international scientific cooperation stimulates cooperation also in other areas and that research provides information that supports decision making and policy creation.
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Punk's not dead, even at the Czech Arctic Scientific Station in Svalbard
Oceanologia 2020, 62(4PB), 622-627

Zdeněk Lyčka1,*, Josef Elster2,3
1Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic, Praha, Czech Republic;
e-mail: zdenek_lycka@mzv.cz
2Centre for Polar Ecology, Faculty of Science, University of South Bohemia, České Budějovice, Czech Republic
3Institute of Botany, Czech Academy of Sciences, Třeboň, Czech Republic
*corresponding author

keywords: Czech Arctic Scientific Infrastructure, Czech Arctic Scientific Research and Culture, Josef Elster, Marie Šabacká, At Home in Svalbard 2018, Arctic Festival 2019

Received 4 December 2019, Revised 16 March 2020, Accepted 30 March 2020, Available online 21 April 2020.


In the last few years, the newly opened Czech Arctic Scientific Infrastructure in Svalbard – Josef Svoboda Station – has closely collaborated with UiT – The Arctic University of Norway on very productive research related to climate change and the impact of the sea and land ice disappearance. Professor Josef Elster, the Head of the Czech station and a researcher in the diversity, ecology and ecophysiology of polar algae and cyanobacteria, and the glacial microbiologist Marie Šabacká and their team try to find the answer to questions concerning how the Arctic ecosystem responds to global warming and how global warming affects human activity. The results of their research can be used, for example, in the treatment and refinement of drinking and sewage water, the pharmaceutical industry and medicine, livestock nutrition including aquaculture and in the production of nutritional supplements for people. However, even the most exciting scientific information and results are not readily available to a non-professional audience. Interdisciplinarity and a suitable cultural framework can bring new life to the results of scientific research. If the presentation of science is interconnected with cultural disciplines such as literature, art, music or theatre, its account can be enriched and media interest can be increased. The scientific-cultural festivals AT HOME IN SVALBARD 2018 and ARCTIC FESTIVAL 2019 are just two good examples. The presentation of scientific research through culture is a very distinctive and innovative attempt. Moreover, the interest of the public can influence the stakeholders’ approach to providing and increasing finances for further scientific research.
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Climate and aging. Selected aspects from the psychological perspective
Oceanologia 2020, 62(4PB), 628-633

Henryk Olszewski*,
Institute of Psychology, University of Gdańsk, Poland;
e-mail: henryk.olszewski@ug.edu.pl
*corresponding author

keywords: Climate change, Psychology of aging, Climate anxiety

Received 6 February 2020, Revised 8 April 2020, Accepted 10 April 2020, Available online 18 May 2020.


The main focus of my research lies within the psychology of human development, especially in late adulthood. There are many reasons why psychologists are interested in climate change. One of the fathers of modern medicine, Hippocrates, proclaimed that the climate affects the mood (liquids) existing in the human body. I wrote an article about climate change and its relationship to the psychological functioning of people in old age. As we enter adulthood, the new generation will severely experience increasingly extreme weather events. Already this phenomenon is more frequent than several decades ago and takes a deadly toll. Heat waves will be more frequent and so the children and older people will be often exposed to that phenomenon. It may have a detrimental effect on those in the declining period of their lives. In my opinion, an important question is to what extent modern living should (in a moral sense) limit the current consumption of many goods because of the duty to care for the standard of living and its quality and the interests of people who will live in the future.
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Short communication

Polar Research in public discourse – setting the stage
Oceanologia 2020, 62(4PB), 634-636

Jan Marcin Węsławski*
Institute of Oceanology, Polish Academy of Sciences, Sopot, Poland;
e-mail: weslaw@iopan.gda.pl
*corresponding author

keywords: Polar Research, Public understanding of science, Science communication

Received 27 October 2019, Revised 5 March 2020, Accepted 9 March 2020, Available online 8 April 2020.


Polar Research gained bigger than ever extent and support, both on the state-political and the wide public level. We want to start the discussion on how the public concern is formed, and what are the inspirations that drive researchers to choose this type of career. It seems that in the non-Arctic country like Poland the sentiment, associated with the historical polar events together with widely accessible and attractive documentary films, was essential in shaping the societal support for spending public money on polar studies.
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