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IRIS brings together several EU partners to investigate methods to estimate sea ice ridging severity from satellite imagery and assess the impact of these ridges on icebreaker transit times, particularly in the Baltic Sea. The consortium is largely Finnish and is co-ordinated by the Helsinki Technical University. SAMS’ role is to study statistical properties of synthetic aperture radar (SAR) images and relate these to ridge parameters.
-Quantify changes in ice dynamics and characteristics resulting from the switch in AO phase -Establish a climate record for the region north of Greenland through the retrieval and analysis of sediment cores -Improve an existing dynamic-thermodynamic sea ice model, focusing on the heavily deformed ice common in the region -Relate the region-specific changes which have occurred to the larger-scale Arctic variablity pattern -Place the recent ice and climate variability for this critical region into the context of long term climate record, as reconstructed from sediment cores
SITHOS (Sea Ice Thickness Observation System) is also a three-year EU Framework 5 project. The Nansen Environmental Remote Sensing Centre (NERSC) will co-ordinate six institutions in the development of an integrated system for measuring sea ice thickness in the Arctic Ocean. Several approaches for obtaining ice thickness will be used, including novel flexural-wave methods, remote sensing and electromagnetic induction techniques. SAMS’ role is to provide data from UK submarines and aid in the development of the novel tiltmeter-based instruments. Data will be used to improve sea ice models and validate the new CRYOSAT satellite sensors. The resulting synoptic thickness monitoring network will be used to investigate the postulated dramatic thinning in the Arctic Ocean sea ice cover as a result of climate change.
This project will construct detailed phosphorus budgets for polar catchments occupied by glaciers and freshwater systems undergoing rapid response to climate warming. These are Midre Lovenbreen, Svalbard; Jebsen Creek, Signy Island (maritime Antarctic) and Storglaciaren, northern Sweden. The relationship between meltwater production, pathway and phosphorus liberation from glacial sediments will be examined closely. Emphasis will be given to phosphorus sorption dynamics in turbid glacial streams and their receiving waters (fjords and lakes).
The current scientific knowledge does not allow estimating accurately the surface radiative forcing caused by tropospheric aerosols and their influence on the evolution of the Earth climate. The radiative forcing depends on the optical properties of the aerosols at solar and thermal infrared wavelengths. These optical properties depend, in turn, on the chemical composition and size of the aerosols. Remote sensing with passive radiation sensors operating in the above-mentioned spectral ranges allows to measure the optical properties of the aerosols and to characterise their temporal variability. These data are needed for regional climate simulations of the Arctic, particularly for delineating the impact of the Arctic haze phenomenon. In this project, a synergetic effort will be made to obtain information about the radiative and microphysical properties of springtime arctic aerosols. Therefore, a polarisation-spectrometer for the solar spectral range, which is currently developed at the Free University of Berlin as a variant of the FUBISS spectrometer, will be operated from the surface in coincidence with the Fourier Transform InfraRed-spectrometer (FTIR) installed at Ny-Aalesund by the AWI. The former instrument measures the intensity and polarisation of the scattered solar radiation from the visible to the near-infrared. The latter measures the radiation emitted by the Atmosphere itself in the thermal infrared window region. Together, they thus provide a wealth of information about the aerosol optical properties at the interesting wavelengths (spectral optical depth, single-scattering albedo, and asymmetry factor of the phase function), which will allow inferring the aerosol microphysical properties. Complementary measurements of the aerosol microphysical properties will be provided by an aerosol volatility analyser, which is maintained by the University of Leeds and will also be brought to Ny-Aalesund. This instrument comprises a fast response scanning volatility system and an optical particle counter. From the thermal response of the aerosol number and the change in the size distribution conclusions can be inferred about the chemical composition and the state of mixing of aerosols as a function of size.
The objectives are: 1. to monitor in near-real time the levels of a whole suite of halocarbons (both biogenic and anthropogenic) ranging through CFCs, HCFCs, and HFCs using an adsorption/desorption system coupled to a GC/MS system not using liquid cryogens. 2.The system will be installed (April 2000) at the Ny-Alesund, Zeppelin Research Station and will be operated and owned by NILU (Dr. N.SChmidbauer). 3. Comparisons will be made with the data obtained (since Oct. 1994) on similar compounds from the Mace Head (Ireland) station which uses similar instrumentation, and the Jungfraujoch Station (Jan 2000) operated by EMPA (Dr. Stefan Reimann). 4. Data will be compared to the Southern Hemisphere data collected at Cape Grimm, Tasmania by CSIRO (Dr. P. Fraser) 5. Data will be used to model the dispersion of the halocarbons in the high latitudes and possible consequences for radiative forcing.