The new Arctic in the global context - Overview
- 13:00 KEYNOTE: On the Complex Implications of Melting Arctic Sea Ice
Authors: David Barber ( University of Manitoba )
The Arctic continues to experience an unprecedented reduction in the thickness and extent of sea ice; a transformation from a multiyear to first-year dominated ice type; and increased mobility of sea ice through a range of time and space scales. Polar nations are challenged not only by the magnitude and rate of this change, but also by counterintuitive effects. In this paper I provide examples from the recently completed Snow, Water, Ice, and Permafrost Assessment (SWIPA – 2017) as they pertain to physical, biological and geochemical implications of current and near future changes in sea ice. I provide examples of how complexity in changing sea ice thermodynamics affect sea ice dynamics creating counterintuitive effects in terms of climate feedbacks, polynya processes, ice hazards and marine shipping. I conclude by presenting some new major programs recently funded in Canada that will significantly increase our ability to engage internationally in Arctic Science.
- 13:30 The Nansen Legacy: A new project for scientific exploration and sustainable management beyond the ice edge
Authors: Marit Reigstad ( UiT the Arctic University of Norway ); Tor Eldevik ( University of Bergen ); Sebastian Gerland ( Norwegian Polar Institute )
A summer sea ice-free Arctic is gradually emerging, and winter-time sea ice retreat is to date most pronounced in the Barents Sea, the Atlantic gateway to the Arctic. The knowledge basis for sustainable management of this changing environment and associated resources is therefore an urgent scientific challenge. This challenge inspired the Norwegian Arctic research community to initiate the Nansen Legacy project. The new project represents a collaborative effort among ten Norwegian research institutions to carry out a holistic investigation in this marine region utilizing the expertise and infrastructure across all institutions. With a multidisciplinary approach including improved technological platforms to increase observational capabilities, the Nansen Legacy team will increase the understanding of how a changing physical climate and increased human activity impact the living Barents Sea. Using an integrative approach, the Nansen Legacy aims to understand responses to change and increase the predictive capabilities and constrains to enable a sustainable management in the north. Involvement of end-users will ensure dialog and knowledge transfer. The Nansen Legacy has developed from an initiative started in 2012 to a major research project with a budget of 740 mill NOK, funded by the Norwegian government, The Research Council of Norway and a 50% in-kind contribution from the participating institutions. With a pre-project in 2017, the six year long main project starts in 2018, and includes > 370 days in field, > 130 researchers, > 50 recruitment positions, and represents a historic Norwegian effort to prepare for a new Arctic future. The Nansen Legacy will also represent a hub for collaboration across nations and across the Arctic, aiming for improved Pan Arctic integration.
- 13:45 The Multidisciplinary drifting Observatory for the Study of Arctic Climate (MOSAiC)
Authors: Markus Rex ( Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research ); Matthew Shupe ( University of Colorado, Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences ); Klaus Dethloff ( Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research ); Anja Sommerfeld ( Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research )
MOSAiC is an international initiative under the umbrella of the International Arctic Science Committee (IASC) designed by an international consortium of leading polar research institutes.
Rapid changes in the Arctic lead to an urgent need for reliable information about the state and evolution of the Arctic climate system. This requires more observations and improved modelling over various spatial and temporal scales, and across a wide variety of disciplines. Observations of many critical parameters have, to date, not been carried out in the central Arctic for a full annual cycle.
MOSAiC will be the first year-around expedition into the central Arctic exploring the coupled climate system. The research vessel Polarstern will drift with the sea ice across the central Arctic during 2019 to 2020. The drift starts in the Siberian sector of the Arctic in late summer. A distributed regional network of observational sites will be established on the sea ice in an area of up to 50 km distance from Polarstern, representing a grid cell in climate models. The ship and the surrounding network will drift with the natural sea ice drift across the polar cap towards the Atlantic.
The focus of MOSAiC lies on in-situ observations of the climate processes that couple atmosphere, ocean, sea ice, biogeochemistry and ecosystem. These measurements will be supported by weather and sea ice predictions, and remote sensing operations to aid operational planning and extend the observational results in time and space. The expedition includes aircraft operations and expeditions by icebreakers from MOSAiC partners. All these observations will be used for the main scientific goals of MOSAiC: enhancing the understanding of the regional and global consequences of Arctic climate change and sea ice loss, and improve weather and climate prediction. In particular, the results are needed to advance the data assimilation for numerical weather prediction models, sea ice forecasts, climate models and ground truth for satellite remote sensing. Furthermore, the understanding of the energy budget and fluxes through interfaces, sources, sinks and cycles of chemical species, boundary layer processes, and primary productivity will be investigated during the expedition. MOSAiC will support safer maritime and offshore operations, and contribute to an improved scientific future fishery and traffic along the northern sea routes.
- 14:00 The Year of Polar Prediction -- From Research to Improved Environmental Safety
Authors: Kirstin Werner ( Alfred Wegener Institute ); Thomas Jung ( Alfred Wegener Institute ); Helge Goessling ( Alfred Wegener Institute ); Winfried Hoke ( Alfred Wegener Institute ); Katharina Kirchhoff ( Alfred Wegener Institute )
In May 2017, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) officially launched the Year of Polar Prediction (YOPP). From mid-2017 to mid-2019, scientists and operational forecasting centers worldwide are working together to observe, model, and improve forecasts of the Arctic and Antarctic weather and climate systems. This international effort aims to close gaps in polar forecasting capacity. Improved forecasts of weather and sea-ice conditions in polar regions are also expected to result in better weather and longer-range prediction at lower latitudes where most people live.
During two Special Observing Periods in the Arctic (1 February – 31 March 2018 and 1 July – 30 September 2018), routine observations will be enhanced, for example by additional radiosonde launches and buoy deployments. Scientists will intensely observe the Arctic system as part of coordinated field campaigns. Coordinated aircraft campaigns, satellite observations, and newly installed automatic weather stations will provide new insights into the processes governing the Arctic climate and related impacts on global weather systems.
The WMO’s Information System will house the majority of the data collected across the initiative, making them available for operational forecasting centres to feed into their forecasting systems in real-time. Social scientists will assess the practical needs of stakeholders from the transport, shipping, and tourism sectors and how better polar forecasts could affect the outcomes of socio-economic decision-making.
The International Coordination Office for Polar Prediction (ICO; hosted by the Alfred Wegener Institute in Germany) supports the Polar Prediction Project by supporting the planning and implementation of YOPP activities as well as ensuring international coordination between a variety of involved partners and collaboration with related WMO and other international programmes.
- 14:15 The EU Arctic Cluster -- Implementing the European Arctic Policy
Authors: Nicole Biebow ( Alfred-Wegener-Institut ); Jeremy Wilikinson ( British Antarctic Survey ); Stein Sandven ( Nansen Environmental and Remote Sensing Center ); Steffen Olsen ( Danish Meteorological Institute ); Thomas Jung ( Alfred-Wegener-Institut ); Hugues Lantuit ( Alfred-Wegener-Institut ); Margareta Johansson ( Lund University )
In April 2016, the European Commission (EC) and the High Representative published an integrated European Union policy for the Arctic, outlining the European Union’s interest in playing a key role in the region. With this strategy, the European Commission identified three priority areas: Climate change and safeguarding the Arctic Environment; Sustainable Development in and around the Arctic; and International Cooperation on Arctic Issues. In addressing these areas, the EU states its intent to attach particular importance to research, science and innovation and as such to continue to function as a major contributor to and funder of Arctic research.
As a result of this intention, the EC is investing in a broad package of Arctic research activities in Horizon 2020, which are called the EU Arctic Cluster. All projects belonging to this cluster contribute with societal relevant knowledge, which enables informed decision making within the framework of the European Arctic Policy and operate in close cooperation with international partners.
The EU Arctic Cluster comprises seven projects. EU-PolarNet, which as a coordination and support action supports the EC in all questions related to Polar issues and will develop a European Polar Research Programme co-designed with all relevant stakeholders. ICE-ARC, which looks into the current and future changes in Arctic sea ice – both from changing atmospheric and oceanic conditions. The project also investigates the consequences of these changes on the local and global economy, and their social impacts on for example indigenous peoples. Furthermore, four large research projects focussing on developing an integrated Arctic Observing system (INTAROS), on the effects of Arctic change on lower latitudes (APPLICATE and Blue Action) and on the effects of climate change on Arctic permafrost (Nunataryuk). The Arctic Cluster is completed by the two infrastructure projects INTERACT and ARICE. The International Network for Terrestrial Research and Monitoring in the Arctic (INTERACT offers trans-national access to 79 terrestrial field bases in northern Europe, Russia, US, Canada, Greenland, Iceland, the Faroe Islands and Scotland as well as stations in northern alpine areas. The Arctic Research ICEbreaker Consortium (ARICE) aims at providing the Arctic research community with better research icebreaker capacities for the Arctic and will offer trans-national access to six research icebreakers working in the ice covered Arctic Ocean.
Tuesday 23rd January 2018
13:00 - 14:30