The purpose of the Sustaining Arctic Observing Networks (SAON) is to support and strengthen the development of multinational engagement for sustained and coordinated pan-Arctic observing and data sharing systems. SAON was initiated by the Arctic Council and the International Arctic Science Committee, and was established by the 2011 Ministerial Meeting in Nuuk.
The SAON inventory builds on a survey circulated in the community at the inception of the activity. This database is continously updated and maintained, and contains projects, activities, networks and programmes related to environmental observation in the circum-polar Arctic.
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The national program of intensive forest monitoring is managed by the Finnish Forest Research Institute (Metla). In 2011 five of the 18 Finnish intensive monitoring plots situated in Finnish Lapland (Fig. 5.1.: Sevettijärvi, Pallasjärvi and three plots in Kivalo). Finnish national intensive forest monitoring network is part of pan-European ICP Forests network of ca. 800 plots (http://icp-forests.net/page/level-ii). ICP Forests (the International Co-operative Programme on Assessment and Monitoring of Air Pollution Effects on Forests) operates under the UNECE Convention on Long-range Transboundary Air Pollution. These intensive monitoring plots were established in co-operation of ICP Forests and European Commission in mid 1990’s. European Commission co-financed forest monitoring under forest monitoring regulations until the end of 2006 when the Forest Focus regulation (EC No 2152 / 2003) expired. During 2009-2011 part of these intensive forest monitoring plots were included in Life+-project called “FutMon” (Further Development and Implementation of an EU-level Forest Monitoring System: http://www.futmon.org/). Monitoring is carried out following the manual of ICP Forests (http://icp-forests.net/page/icp-forests-manual) and the monitoring data is submitted once a year to the ICP Forests database in Hamburg. Every year Programme Coordinating Centre of ICP Forests publishes technical and executive reports on the condition of forests in Europe. ICP Forests monitoring activities provide information also for a number of criteria and indicators of sustainable forest management as defined by the Forest Europe Ministerial Conference on the Protection of Forests in Europe. Network type: National nation-wide monitoring
The Polar Station of the University of Nicolaus Copernicus is located in the western part of the Oscar II Land, in the northern part of the coastal Kaffiøyra Lowland which is closed by the Forlandsundet from the west. The undertaken research included almost all components of the geographical environment. Scientific programs put pressure on research in glaciology, glacial geomorphology, permafrost and periglacial processes, as well as climatologic and botanical studies. Since 1995 glaciological research and the studies of permafrost of various ground types and their seasonal thawing, as well as meteorological observations have been the major issues on the research agenda. Glaciers pose the dominating feature of the Kaffiøyra region. Since the 19th century their area has decreased by about 30%. Thus, one of the main scientific issues studied there is the course and the reasons for the change in the glaciers’ range. This can be achieved by studying mass balance of the glaciers. Presently, mass balance of four glaciers is studied: the Waldemarbreen, the Irenebreen, the Elisebreen and the Aavatsmarkbreen. 39 The research includes both the summer balance (ablation and outflow from the glaciers) and the winter snow accumulation. The detailed research plans also refer to two large glaciers which end up in the sea. Those are the Aavatsmarkbreen in the north and the Dahlbreen in the south of the Kaffiøyra. Currently, subaquatic glacial relief of the bays in the Forlandsundet region is under scrupulous investigation. The results of the research can be obtained from the station’s website (www.stacja.arktyka.com), from the publications by the World Glaciological Monitoring Service (WGMS- IAHS), as well as the website of the Circumpolar Active Layer Monitoring (CALM- IPA). The research carried out in the N.Copernicus University Polar Station has enabled numerous scientists of most specialties of the Earth sciences (glaciology, climatology, hydrology, geomorphology, pedology and botany) to collect material for numerous papers, including master and doctoral theses. Scientific attractiveness of the Kaffiøyra’s geoecosystem has been appreciated by scientists from various scientific centres in Poland and elsewhere, who take part in interdisciplinary expeditions organized every year. The most Polish polar research in the north-west Spitsbergen is based on the N.Copernicus University Polar Station Once the station has had an extension addend, it can host 10-15 people at any one time. The new section of the station is 32 sq. m downstairs and 24 sq. m upstairs. This includes a study, a workshop, a bedroom as well as two bedroom entresols. The extension is connected with the old section of the station, which includes a living room and a bedroom, but there is also a separate entrance to the new part of the station. Additionally, the station gained extra storage floor, a laboratory, a bathroom, as well as a garage to keep boats, snowmobiles and engines. All together the station now has about 100 sq. m. The station is used 3 to 4 months annually, but it is possible to stay there for as long as a whole year. It is equipped with necessary technical facilities, motor-generators, solar panels, motorboats and snowmobiles. More important measurement equipment includes: a weather station with the basic measuring instruments (the measurements conducted since 1975); automatic weather stations (with the measurements taken at any intervals); limnigraphs and loggers installed in the selected watercourses (measurements of water levels, flow rates and the selected physicochemical features of water since 1975); a system of ablation poles installed on the glaciers; ice drills; loggers for measuring ground temperatures and ice temperatures, and others. The extension of the station in 2007 enabled larger groups of scientists to work and conduct research. The fact that both the living and laboratory space has been enlarged is especially important, as the station is often visited by scientists from all over the world. As a result, the extension will make it possible to intensify current international contacts, as well as start new co-operation projects in the Kaffiøyra region.
The project aims at analysing dynamics of matter circulation in the polar catchment under the deglaciation processes and its effect on topoclimatic and microclimatic diversification of the area in question. Equally important are: 1) the dynamics of periglacial and 2) hydrological processes and changes in the local environment as an indicator of global climatic changes. The proposed project shall take into account the following: - general weather and climatic conditions and topoclimatic and microclimatic differentiation of selected sites; - albedo and solar radiation and their influence on the course of the processes; - changes in the circulation of water in space and time (precipitation-evaporation-outflow) as an effect of local and global processes; - analysis of processes that determine the amount of water entering the hydrological cycle including global climatic changes and characteristics of summer ablation in terms of meteorological conditions; - analysis of the factors which determine the occurrence and circulation of waters in the permafrost active layer and assessment of static and dynamic water resources in the active layer in meteorological and hydrogeological aspects; determination and quantitative analysis of the genetic structure of fluvial outflow; - water balance of selected catchments (glacial and periglacial ones) with diverse outflow alimentation sources.
Monitoring and forecast of the sea and ocean state, support of safety of navigation and marine activities. Main gaps: Additional control is needed for historical data, especially with regard to hydrochemical parameters.
To collect hydrological and biochemical data in Horsund, Spitsbergen in the area of Revdalen Valley. Main gaps: Summer season data only, with gaps due to observer and equipment availability.
Observations of the Arctic Ocean have been made since the 1800s at varying levels of intensity. The objective is to gain a better understanding of the physical and chemical composition of Arctic waters, the circulation of the waters within the Arctic Ocean, and flows into and out of the Arctic Ocean. Physical observations are conducted on properties of the water column including ocean temperature, sea surface temperature, salinity, pH, carbon, changes in ice coverage and extent, hydrographic measurements, nutrients, etc. Surface drifters either embedded in the ice, or (lately) able to float and operate in ice infested waters, provide measurements of a limited number of surface ocean and meteorological variables. . Additional observations are obtained on ocean currents, waves and tides. Biological observations are captured within a separate inventory item titled “Arctic Marine Biodiversity Monitoring”. Recently, a focus has been on increasing understanding of the impacts of climate change on Arctic waters (e.g., increasing temperature, decreasing pH, decreasing salinity, changing ice conditions, etc.). Data is gathered by ship with in situ measurements, deployment of moorings and buoys, helicopters (e.g. for ice measurements), and satellites (e.g. sea surface temperature). Main gaps: Large geographic areas of the Arctic are not covered regularly. Network type: - Thematical observations: of all oceanographic parameters - Field stations: Research ships and ice breakers of the Canadian Coast Guard; other ships of opportunity as available; moorings and buoys - Community based observations: - Coordination: National coordination of the program provided within Fisheries and Oceans Canada, and the National Centre for Arctic Aquatic Research Excellence (NCAARE)
Station realizes optical active remote sensing using multiwavelength elastic and Raman scattering lidar. It gives a view to the atmospheric stratification and aerosol concentration. By spatial and time localization of the higher aerosol concentration evidence there is possible determination of source of aerosol origin using HYSPLIT backward trajectory model. Station is also member of AERONET (Aerosol Robotic Network) within NASA and performing observation of solar radiation for determination of atmospheric optical properties.
Monitoring and modelling of a glaciated terrestrial ecosystem and land ocean fluxes to the adjacent fjord system. Main gaps: - Basic funding for long-term monitoring - Basic funding for data and data base handling A few short gaps due to sensor failures
The aim of the programme is to obtain a snapshot of the occurrence of potentially hazardous substances in the environment, both in regions most likely to be polluted as well as in some very pristine environments. The focus is on little known , anthropogenic substances and their derivates, which are either used in high volumes or are likely to be persistent and hazardous to humans and other organisms. If substances being screened are found in significant amounts this may result in further investigations or monitoring on national level. The results from the screening can be used when analysing possible environmental effects of the selected substances, and to assess whether they pose a risk to the environment or not. The data are used as input to EU chemical eavluation processes and to the UN Stockholm convention. The screening results are valuable when data on chemicals are needed within the REACH-system in Europe. Locations: Varying, according to properties of the substances. Samples from both hot-spot and remote sites are included. Geographical coverage (countries): Norway, including Bear Island and Spitsbergen and Norwegian seas. The Nordic countries are cooperating on screening information exchange and studies, see net site and brochure: http://nordicscreening.org/ http://nordicscreening.org/index.php?module=Pagesetter&func=viewpub&tid=10&pid=1
To monitor radioactivity in the air
Survey trends in deposition of long range transported heavy metals and other elements in Norway. For this purpose concentrations in mosses are measured. In year 2000 and 2005 extra samples were taken in areas with metallurgic industry to map the local level of deposition.
Both NOAA and NASA operate satellites with cover¬age of the Arctic region. The major observations and products are: 1. Daily, near real-time plots of surface, cloud, and radiative properties from AVHRR; 2. Near real-time MODIS and AVHRR polar winds; 3. Daily, near real-time plots of clear sky, low-level temperature inversions from MODIS; 4. Daily profile plots of Arctic temperature, humid-ity and winds; 5. Near-daily plots of surface winds over open water; and 6. Surface temperatures for land, sea and sea ice.
NASA and NSF support the Greenland Climate Network (GC-Net), a series of automatic weather stations that monitor conditions on the ice sheet.
The overall goal of AON is to obtain data that will support scientific investigations of Arctic environmental system change. The observing objectives are to: 1. Maintain science-driven observations of environmental system changes that are already underway; 2. Deploy new, science-driven observing systems and be prepared for detection of future environmental system change; 3. Develop observing data sets that will contribute to (a) the understanding of Arctic environmental system change (via analysis, synthesis and modelling) and its connections to the global system, and (b) improved prediction of future Arctic environmental system change and its connections to the global system. Main gaps: Understanding Change and Responding to Change panels, has formed an AON Design and Implementation (ADI) Task Force. Composed of Arctic and non-Arctic scientists with experience and expertise in scientific observing and observing system operation and design, the goal of the task force is to provide advice to the scientific community and NSF on observing system/network design options that are available for identifying gaps that hinder scientific understanding of Arctic environmental system change. The task force will hold two workshops and address two main objectives: (1) evaluate the current SEARCH science questions and observing priorities, and recommend new priorities in the light of the environmental system changes that have occurred since 2005; and (2) evaluate observing system/network design methods, including pilot projects and small-scale tests. A publicly available report will be released in summer 2010. It is anticipated that the report will be of interest to the broader Arctic science community, the governments of the Arctic countries and other countries, NGOs and numerous stakeholders.
More information about NWS observing activities will be available in due course Alaska Region Headquarters, http://www.arh.noaa.gov/ Weather station list and real-time observations, http://www.arh.noaa.gov/obs.php Marine observations, http://www.ndbc.noaa.gov/maps/Alaska.shtml Hydrology – Alaska Pacific River Forecast Center, http://aprfc.arh.noaa.gov/
Observe changes in the ecosystem, fluxes of heat, salt, nutrients, CO2, and methane from the seafloor to the atmosphere above, as a function of changing climate in the Pacific Arctic region from the Bering Strait north to the high Arctic. Main gaps: So far unable to go far into the ice for investigation, although the geographical scope of the RUSALCA mission increased in 2009 because of the reduction of sea ice cover. (we were able to reach a northernmost site and to sample as far north as 77°30’N.
To provide real-time marine meteorological, oceanographic and geophysical observations in real-time to the World Meteorological Organization’s Global Telecommunications Service (GTS).
The Bering Sea is an extremely rich ecosystem providing almost half of the US catch of fish and shellfish. EcoFOCI has four moorings (M2, M4, M5 and M8), which are an important component in the observational system, monitoring changes in the ecosystem. Data are used by ecosystem managers, modellers (model validation), and scientists. They provide critical information on the spatial temperature structure, timing of phytoplankton blooms, cold pool and presence of marine mammals. Main gaps: Expanding instrumentation to measure ice thickness, nutrients, oxygen, PAR, zooplankton biovolume and atmospheric variables to all four of the mooring sites. Increase vertical resolution of nutrients. Expand measurements northward into the Chukchi and Beaufort Seas.
More information about the following long-term observing activities will be available in due course
More information about the following long-term observing activities will be available in due course