Nordic Seas: projects/activities

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Directory entires that have specified Nordic Seas as one of the geographic regions for the project/activity and are included in the AMAP, ENVINET, SAON and SEARCH directories. Note that the list of regions is not hierarchical, and there is no relation between regions (e.g. a record tagged with Nunavut may not be tagged with Canada). To see the full list of regions, see the regions list. To browse the catalog based on the originating country (leady party), see the list of countries.

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Displaying: 1 - 12 of 12
1. Zooplankton Monitoring in the European Arctic Gateway (ZooMon-EAG)

Zooplankton make essential links between producers and predators in marine ecosystems, so mediating in the CO2 exchange between atmosphere and ocean They can be indicators of climate variability, and changes in zooplankton species distribution and abundance may have cascading effects on food webs. West Spitsbergen Current is the main pathway of transport of Atlantic waters and biota into the Arctic Ocean and the Arctic shelf seas. West Spitsbergen Shelf coastal and fjordic waters, therefore, are natural experimental areas to study mechanisms by which the Atlantic and Arctic marine ecosystem interact, and to observe environmental changes caused by variability in climate. The main objectives of the zooplankton monitoring are: a) to study patterns and variability in composition and abundance in zooplankton of the West Spitsbergen Current and the West Spitsbergen fjords and coastal waters; b) to find out environmental factors responsible for the observed patterns and variability in zooplankton, and to understand possible relations between zooplankton and their environment on different space and time scales; c) to observe and monitor the variability in zooplankton in relation to local and global climate changes.

Ecosystems zooplankton
2. Western Valley OverfloW

The WOW project is a cooperation between Havstovan (Faroe Marine Research Institute, HAV) and the Danish Meteorological Institute (DMI) to 1) measure the overflow of cold water from the Arctic into the rest of the World Ocean through the Western Valley of the Iceland-Faroe Ridge, to 2) allow the effects of this flow to be adequately simulated in climate model projections of the thermohaline circulation and the heat transport towards the Arctic, and to 3) design a low-cost monitoring system for this flow.

Currents fluxes Modelling Ocean currents Overflow
3. POLAR-AOD and the Arctic Oceanographic Observations (AREX)

The Arctic region represents a sensitive ecosystem, which is susceptible to even small changes in the local climate. Special conditions of usually high surface albedo and low solar elevations cause enhanced aerosol/cloud effects due to multiple scattering. It is suspected that this increased interaction between solar radiation and the aerosol particles/clouds magnifies their radiative impact. Thus, for a given aerosol distribution, the specific optical properties are enhanced in the polar regions. For the same reasons, results from field experiments at low latitudes are difficult to transfer to polar regions and as a consequence there is an urgent need to conduct specific measurement programs in high latitude regions. In order to improve the knowledge about the origin, transport pathways, vertical structure of aerosol physical and chemical properties as well as the impact on climate in the polar regions, a combined effort of surface-based, airborne and spaceborne measurements is needed. Therefore, this proposed project is aiming at a determination of the vertical structure of the chemical, physical and optical properties of Arctic aerosol particles, including solar radiative closure between observed and calculated aerosol properties (direct climate effect)

Climate
4. Marine food webs as vector of human patogens

Marine foodwebs as vector and possibly source of viruses and bacteria patogenic to humans shall be investigated in a compartive north-south study. Effects of sewage from ships traffic and urban settlements, on animals of arctic foodwebs will be studied.

Pathways Biological effects Hydrography Fish Discharges Pollution sources Environmental management Contaminant transport Terrestrial mammals Shipping Polar bear Exposure Arctic Local pollution Seabirds Shellfish Food webs Waste Human health Human intake Marine mammals
5. Arctic-subarctic Ocean Flux-Array for European Climate: West

-To measure the variability of the dense water and freshwater fluxes between the Arctic Ocean and the North Atlantic in the critical region off Southeast Greenland with a view to understanding and predicting their response to climate forcing -To construct an autonomous, bottom mounted profiling device capable of taking key water profile measurements.

Marine Technology Climate variability Climate change Ocean currents Temporal trends
6. Algal Toxins; their Accumulation and Loss in commercially Important Shellfish, including larval Mortality and Appraisal of Normal sampling procedures.

-Development of methods to enhance the rate of toxin depuration ( detoxification), especially in shellfish species of high economic value and prolonged retention e.g., King Scallops -Understanding the reaction products and metabolic transformations of toxins in shellfish tissues. -Determine the relationship between algal population dynamics ( including free cell and encysted stages ) to seasonal and spatial patterns of toxicity in shellfish populations. -Assess the effects of harmful algae on the various stages in the life history of shellfish ( Larvae, Spat, Adults ). -Investigate sampling frequencies and protocols ( live shellfish sampling ).

Biology Fish Environmental management Contaminant transport Food webs Diet Temporal trends Human health Human intake
7. Algal Toxins; their Accumulation and Loss in commercially Important Shellfish, including larval Mortality and Appraisal of Normal sampling procedures.

-Development of methods to enhance the rate of toxin depuration ( detoxification), especially in shellfish species of high economic value and prolonged retention e.g., King Scallops -Understanding the reaction products and metabolic transformations of toxins in shellfish tissues. -Determine the relationship between algal population dynamics ( including free cell and encysted stages ) to seasonal and spatial patterns of toxicity in shellfish populations. -Assess the effects of harmful algae on the various stages in the life history of shellfish ( Larvae, Spat, Adults ). -Investigate sampling frequencies and protocols ( live shellfish sampling ).

Biology Fish Environmental management Contaminant transport Food webs Diet Temporal trends Human health Human intake
8. Effects on marine organisms of sediments contaminated with tributyltin with special reference to sub-arctic and arctic conditions,Effects of TBT- and triazine/copper based antifouling paints on the early development of cod, Effects of antifouling agents

Effects on marine organisms of sediments contaminated with tributyltin with special reference to sub-arctic and arctic conditions The use of antifouling paints based on tributyl tin (TBT) is now restricted in most European countries. However, the prohibition involves only vessels less than 25 m length. As a result many coastal areas and harbours show raised levels of TBT in water and sediment, high enough to cause effects on sensitive organisms. Dredging operations in such areas may increase exposure of organisms to TBT. As the degradation processes are temperature dependent contamination by TBT in arctic or sub-arctic waters may be more serious. The specific objectives of this study, which is performed in co-operation with the University of Iceland (Prof. J. Svavarsson), are to evaluate a/ the effect of temperature on the uptake of TBT by the gastropod Buccinum undatum during exposure to TBT-contaminated sediment and b/ the effects of contaminated sediment on the development of imposex (penis and vas deferens development of females) at different temperatures.The project involves both laboratory experiments and field studies. The project started in late autumn 1995 and results are not yet available. Effects of TBT- and triazine/copper based antifouling paints on the early development of cod Elevated amounts of components from antifouling paints has been found in sediment and in organisms in Icelandic coastal waters. Also imposex in dogwhelks and whelks has been observed. In order to evaluate any impact on the economically important fishery and especially focused on cod, experiments are performed in the laboratory following the early development of the fish from fertilization up to hatching when exposed to antifouling components. No results are yet available. Effects of antifouling agents in the marine environment. Early development in lumpsucker (Cyclopterus lumpus) preliminary studies. The objectives of the study are to reveal the effects of chemicals from antifouling paints on the development of the lumpsucker (Cyclopterus lumpus) - in situ and under laboratory conditions. The study focuses on TBT (tributyltin) and a chemical, Sea-nine, replacing TBT as the major toxic agent. We will evaluate the effects of TBT in the laboratory and under field conditions, but Sea-Nine under laboratory conditions only. Laboratory studies are based on the use of flowthrough conditions with different concentrations, while in the field studies we use cages with eggs and larvae. The eggs of the lumpsucker are allowed to glue to glass slides following fertilization. These are then easily transferred to either laboratory set up or into small cages, which will be set out at different distances from harbours. Also semipermeable membrane devices (SPMD:s) will be used in order to determine the actual water concentrations. The effects of TBT from the harbours is evaluated by measuring imposex in gastropods (Nucella lapillus) at the coastline. The mortality of the eggs and the larvae is determined and different physiological measurements are made in order to detect sublethal effects of the contaminants in question. The project has just started and no results are yet available.

Biology Local pollution
9. Supply side ecology: the links between larval supply and recruitment for soft sediment benthic communities in the North Sea

The main objective of the project were to collect and process various different populations of selected benthic species to determine, in combination with existing research, the following:

Biology
10. Environmental sensitivity of cold water corals

Distribution • What is the current distribution of coral colonies in the North Sea? • Where are coral colonies located on the structures? • Do any colonies show evidence of exposure to drill cuttings? Monitoring & Environmental Recording • What hydrodynamic regime and levels of suspended particulate material are coral colonies exposed to? • Does the coral skeleton retain an archive of any past contamination? • Does skeletal growth vary over time and does this correlate with any past contamination? • How variable is the rate of coral growth and does this correlate with any environmental variables? Environmental Sensitivity • What effect does increased sediment load have on coral behaviour and physiology? • What effect does exposure to discharges (e.g. cuttings and produced water) have on coral behaviour and physiology? • Are such exposures realistic in the field?

Shelf seas Biological effects Pollution sources Environmental management Contaminant transport Petroleum hydrocarbons Oceanography Biodiversity Local pollution Ecosystems
11. Late Quaternary paleoceanography of the Denmark Strait Overflow Pathway

The global thermohaline circulation is driven by sinking of cold, dense surface waters in the Greenland and Norwegian Seas and its replacement by warmer surface water from lower latitudes. This global circulation system, the conveyor belt, is the main regulator of global climate. Even slight disturbances of this delicate system will cause significant climate changes, especially for NW Europe. While the current hydrographical situation and associated overflow pathways are well-documented, paleoceanographic studies of the Greenland and Faroe/Shetland (F/S) overflow pathways are still scarce. The F/S pathway is presently the subject of study of the MAST program (ENAM project). This project focusses on the late Quaternary overflow history of the important East Greenland pathway. High resolution multichannel sleevegun seismic data recently collected by the Geological Survey of Greenland and Denmark (GEUS) allowed identification of suitable box- and piston-coring sites. Results from the high-resolution cores, allowing direct correlation with regional atmospheric changes documented in the Greenland ice-cores will provide new information on causes and mechanisms of climate change. The continental slope and rise off SE-Greenland can be considered as a potential key area for paleoceanographic and paleoclimatic studies, since: 1) The area is located in the immediate vicinity of the Denmark Strait arctic gateway for water mass exchange between the Arctic and Atlantic ocean. Recent hydrographic measurements (Dickson 1994) demonstrate the important role of the area with regard to hydrographic processes contributing to the formation of NADW. 2) The seafloor morphology and information from multichannel seismic recording shows the presence of numerous large detached sediment drifts and other drift-related features, which will provide important paleoceanographic information as outlined before. 3) The distribution and architecture of the sediment drifts is also affected by down-slope processes transporting upperslope/shelf sediments of mainly glacial origin. Thus the area offers an unique opportunity to study the sediment drifts both with regard to the (paleo)oceanic flow regime and the climatically-inherited signal from the down-slope sediment input. Research activities: All research is directed towards documentation of high resolution natural climate variability during the late Quaternary. Separate topics include: 1. Seismic/sidescan sonar studies 2. High resolution quantitative micropaleontology (planktonic/benthic foraminifera, diatoms, calcareous nannoplankton, dinoflagellates) 3. High resolution stable oxygen/carbon isotope studies 4. DNA studies on planktonic foraminifera (with University of Edinburgh)

Climate variability Climate Climate change Oceanography Ice cores micropaleontology Ocean currents paleoceanography
12. The high latitude oceans in the climate system, with special emphasis on their role in the global carbon cycle

The scientific objectives of this project is to add information that helps elucidate the role of the Arctic Mediterranean Seas (Arctic Ocean and Nordic Seas) in the climatic system of the Northern Europe. More specifically it has the following aims: - To assess the heat and carbon dioxide fluxes over the air-sea interface in the Barents Sea and elucidate the effect this has on the formation of Arctic Ocean intermediate waters and associated carbon fluxes. - To assess the temporal variability of the fresh water distribution in the Arctic Ocean, both river runoff and sea ice melt, and the affect this has on the outflow of fresh water to the regions of open ocean deep water formation (the Greenland, Iceland and Labrador Seas). - To assess the mixing of upper and intermediate waters along the East Greenland Current that gives the properties of the overflow into the North Atlantic Ocean and thus add to the driving of the thermohaline circulation. This also contributes to the sequestering of anthropogenic carbon dioxide.

Shelf seas Hydrography Climate change Oceanography Arctic Geochemistry