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The main objective is to quantify the levels of air pollution in the artctic, and to document any changes in the exposures. It includes the necessary components to address impacts on ecosystems, human health, materials and climate change.
The IPY-project ‘COPOL’ has a main objective of understanding the dynamic range of man-made contaminants in marine ecosystems of polar regions, in order to better predict how possible future climate change will be reflected in levels and effects at higher trophic levels. This aim will be addressed by 4 integrated work packages covering the scopes of 1) food web contaminant exposure and flux, 2) transfer to higher trophic levels and potential effects, 3) chemical analyses and screening, 4) synthesis and integration. To study the relations between climate and environmental contaminants within a project period of four years, a “location-substitutes-time”-approach will be employed. The sampling is focussed towards specific areas in the Arctic, representing different climatic conditions. Two areas that are influenced differently by different water masses are chosen; the Kongsfjord on the West-coast of Spitzbergen (79N, 12 E) and the Rijpfjord North-East of Svalbard (80N, 22 E). The main effort is concentrated in the Kongsfjord. This fjord has been identified as particularly suitable as a study site of contaminants processes, due to the remoteness of sources, and for influences of climatic changes, due to the documented relation between Atlantic water influx and the climatic index North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO). The water masses of the Rijpfjord have Arctic origin and serves as a strictly Arctic reference. Variable Atlantic water influx will not only influence abiotic contaminant exposure, but also food web structure, food quality and energy pathways, as different water masses carry different phyto- and zooplankton assemblages. This may affect the flux of contaminants through the food web to high trophic level predators such as seabirds and seals, due to altered food quality and energy pathways.
The project EPOPEE is embedded in the international project ASTAR to study direct and indirect climate effects of aerosols and clouds in the Arctic. The particular goals of the project EPOPEE are to experimentally characterize the ice phase in Arctic clouds (including the ice phase) in situ, to study the aerosol-cloud as well as cloud-radiation interactions, and to develop adequate methods to validate remote sensing cloud parameters. In 2004 the project EPOPEE is mainly organized around in situ observations of detailed microphysical and optical cloud properties onboard the Polar-2 aircraft during the transition from polluted Arctic haze (observed especially in late winter, early spring months) to clean summer aerosol conditions. The transition from Arctic haze to clean summer conditions is quite sharp (a large amount of aerosols coming from Eurasian industrial areas accumulate over the Arctic and cover the Arctic by a layer of a smog-like haze of the size of the continent of Africa) due to a radical change in atmospheric transport patterns and is, thus, easy to identify. During Arctic summer, the high latitudes are then more or less “protected” from long-range transport of air masses from lower latitudes. The principal scientific objective of the project EPOPEE in 2004 will focus on studying the aerosol-cloud interactions with particular attention given to the ice phase nucleation in Arctic mixed-phase clouds. The interpretation of the instrumental observations will broadly benefit from a very close cooperation with the LaMP modelling group for theoretically coupling small-scale processes (cloud particle nucleation) with meso-scale dynamics. Furthermore, the project will focus on cloud-radiation interaction and the development of adequate methods to validate cloud parameters retrieved from remote sensing techniques. Therein, we will experimentally answer the question of how the different ice crystal shapes govern the scattering phase function of respective crystals. Moreover, the in situ cloud measurements will allow to develop an adequate strategy for the interpretation of remote sensing data from a depolarisation Lidar onboard the same aircraft (Polar-2).
Mapping and monitoring of the snow cover with use of satellitte born optical instruments for (1) direct use of observations of climate change and (2) use of observations in climate modelling. Measurements of the snows spectral reflectance and other physical properties.
Polar stratospheric clouds play a key-role in polar ozone destruction. Cold temperatures in the vortex allow formation of these clouds. Depending on the PSC-type different formation-temperatures have to be reached. Synoptic temperatures do not always fall to these formation-temperatures, but waves in the atmosphere can lead to additional cooling of several 10 K, which allows PSC-formation. Whereas the wave-activity at the ESRANGE is very high due to hilly surrounding area, the orographic wave-activity at ALOMAR is expected to be rather small. Waves with long wavelengths will be present at both stations simultaneously. Coordinated measurements of temperature and aerosols will show both the large-scale wave-part and also the locally induced wave-part. Such measurements should allow identification of the different wavelngth scales and in addition contribute to a better estimate of the importance of wave-induced clouds for PSC-formation.
During the past years, atmospheric research in high latitudes has been focussed on processes causing ozone loss in the polar winter lower stratosphere1). Recent research efforts also dealt with regions up to the lower mesosphere, and studied the effects of charged particle precipitation on NO and ozone2)-5). However, the measurement techniques and hence the database for studying such processes in this altitude range are very limited. The Airborne SUbmillimeter Radiometer ASUR6),7) of the Institute of Environmental Physics of the University of Bremen has recently been equipped with a high-resolution spectrometer that will enable the retrieval of vertical profiles of ozone up to an altitude of about 65 - 70 km. Its measurement capabilities comprise also several other species of interest, especially NO. This makes the measurement technique particularly suitable for upper stratospheric/lower mesospheric studies. The lidar at ALOMAR is capable of measuring highly resolved vertical profiles of ozone up to an altitude of 60 km, thus giving the rare opportunity for intercomparison and validation studies in an altitude range reaching from the lower stratosphere to the lower mesosphere. Therefore we propose to perform simultaneous ozone measurements of the ASUR instrument with the ALOMAR lidar, supported by launches of ozone sondes.
Noctilucent clouds (NLC) remain a fascinating phenomenon of the upper atmosphere to study. The questions about the typical particle density and particle size distribution within a NLC are very prominent ones, to which a number of answers have been given, though some of the answers contradict each other. The parameters of particle size distributions can be derived from groundbased lidar measurements of the spectral dependence of the volume backscatter coefficient of an NLC. Such studies have been performed during a number of NLC events by e.g. the ALOMAR Rayleigh/Mie/Raman (RMR) lidar (von Cossart et al., GRL, 26, 1513, 1999). A drawback of these experiments is the wavelength limitation of the RMR lidar, the shortest wavelength of which is 355 nm. At this wavelength, the sensitivity of the lidar to particles with sizes smaller than, say, 25 nm is minimal. Because a considerable part of the entire particle population may have sizes below that threshold, a lingering question remains whether or not this drawback matters for typical NLC distributions. Using the ALOMAR ozone lidar, a measurement of the NLC volume backscatter coefficient at 308 nm becomes possible. Due to the l-4 -dependence of the backscatter coefficients, the latter are almost a factor of 2 larger at this wavelength than at 355 nm. For this reason and in order to gain a fourth wavelength to the spectral distribution, we aim at using the ozone lidar for the outlined project.
These investigations confirm the fact that in the stratosphere the ozone is considerably influenced by dynamical processes and it is a good indicator of them. In this context the main objectives of the proposed study are: 1) to investigate the possible relationship between stratospheric ozone perturbations and the temperature enhancement in the upper mesosphere, observed by Shepherd et al. (2001); 2) to examine whether changes in ozone, concomitant with the phenomenon, take place and how and when they would be manifested; and 3) to investigate the stratospheric ozone behaviour during the equinox atmospheric transition in the North Hemisphere, for better understanding of the middle atmosphere dynamics.
Study of the energy exchange between atmosphere, sea ice and ocean during freezing and melting conditions; within that, measurements of solar radiation (visible and UV) and optical properties, snow and sea ice characteristics, vertical heat and salt fluxes, oceanographic parameters.
To investigate arctic foxes physiological adaptations to life at high latitudes. Resting and running metabolic rates, body weight, food intake, body core temperature, heart rate, and blood parameters were examined during different seasons and during periods of food deprivation.
Monitoring of the active layer near Ny Ålesund as part of the international monitoring scheme CALM (Circumpolar Active Layer Monitoring)
To evaluate temporal variation in arctic fox numbers and their food resourses in the Kongsfjorden area. The number of foxes captured per 100 trap-days are used as an index of fox density termed "Fox Capture Index". The observations of denning activity i.e. observation of number of arctic fox litters and litter size at den are termed "Fox Den Index" as a second index of fox abundance. A third index is termed "Fox Observation Index". This index is based on both observations of adult foxes seen away from breeding dens pr 100 h field work and reports on request from scientists and local people on observations of adult foxes during summer. In addition, reports on observation of fox tracks in the study area were collected in 1990-2001 as a fourth index, which were called "Fox Track Index". The field census are conducted for 10 days starting at the end of June. All dead foxes in the area should be collected.
The objectives of this project is to study the effect of environmental stochasticity on the Svalbard reindeer population dynamics, nad further evaluate how this may affect reindeer-plant interactions.
Permanent monitoring of basic climate data for the purpose of better understanding the Arctic climate processes and detecting trends.
The overall objective of MAIA is to develop an inexpensive, reliable system based on coastal sea-level data for monitoring the inflows of Atlantic Water to the northern seas. Available observation systems, including stan-dard tidal stations, will be used to obtain transport estimates with a time resolution of less than a week and show that the method is generic and can be applied to a similar monitoring of other regions.