Svalbard: projects/activities

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Directory entires that have specified Svalbard 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.

It is also possible to browse and query the full list of projects.

Displaying: 1 - 20 of 50 Next
1. Measurements of climate-influencing substances on Svalbard

National Environmental Monitoring in Sweden in the "Air" programme. The objective of the project is to follow climate-changing gases and particles and which effects they could have on the climate of earth. To understand and assess the human effect on the climate, regionally and globally, the atmospheric aerosols and greenhouse gases are monitored. The project aims follow: (i) detecting long-term trends in the carbon dioxide level, as well as trends in the amount or composition of aerosols in the background atmosphere; (ii) provide a basis to study the processes that control the aerosol life cycle from their formation through aging and transformation, until being removed from the atmosphere; (iii) provide a basis to study the processes (sources, sinks, and transport pathways) that control the level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere; (iv) contribute to the global network of stations that perform continous measurements of atmospheric particles and trace gases to determine their effect on the earths radiation balance and interaction with clouds and climate.

Arctic Atmosphere Atmospheric processes Carbon dioxide CH4 Climate Climate change Climate variability CO2 Contaminant transport Data management Emissions Light absorption Light dispersion Long-range transport methane Particle concentrations Particle size distribution Temporal trends
2. Arctic study of trophospheric aerosol, clouds and radiation

Arctic study of trophospheric aerosol, clouds and radiation

aerosols trace gases Arctic Arctic haze Atmosphere Atmospheric processes Climate Climate change Emissions Long-range transport
3. Contaminants in Polar Regions – Dynamic Range of Contaminants in Polar Marine Ecosystems (COPOL)

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 (79N, 12 E) and the Rijpfjord North-East of Svalbard (80N, 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.

Biological effects Organochlorines Heavy metals Fish Climate variability Long-range transport Climate Contaminant transport Climate change Exposure Arctic Persistent organic pollutants (POPs) Local pollution Seabirds Food webs Ecosystems
4. Haliclona natural products

In contrast to many other marine regions, chemical interactions between organisms in Arctic waters are little understood. This project investigates natural products and chemical interactions in the sponge genus Haliclona in temperate and polar waters. Several new secondary metabolites isolated from Haliclona show feeding deterrence and activity against bacteria and fungi, but the compound composition varies with habitat and year. That raises the question whether sponges of the genus Haliclona as a model are able to adapt to changing environmental factors such as water temperature and colonization by bacteria by varying their secondary metabolite composition.

Biological effects Climate change Biodiversity natural products Ecosystems
5. Investigation of the physiological and cellular adaptation of plants to the arctic environ-ment – comparison with high alpine conditions

The objective of our work with arctic terrestrial plants and with algae is to study the range of climate adaptation as is expressed in special ultrastructure of cells and tissues, in photosynthetic metabolism, in antioxidative and sun screen compounds under a cold and reduced PAR / UV-B environment (climate different to alpine conditions). This is a comparison of ecophysiological processes already worked out mainly from high alpine plants, which live periodically under stronger cold and under different light regimes, especially higher UV-B and PAR irradiation. We want to find out, whether adaptations found in some alpine organisms occur similarly in polar forms.

Ultrastructure Biological effects UV radiation physiology stress adaptation Climate change Arctic Cold stress Ecosystems
6. ARCTAPHID: biology and ecology of aphid populations in arctic environment.

In a context of global change, arctic ecosystems are exposed to deep modifications not only of the biology and ecology of endemic species but also of the interactions they may have with an increasing number of introduced species. This project attempts to assess in Svalbard, the impacts of global changes on aphids. These phytophagous insects are particularly relevant organisms for studies on the effects of global warming and biological invasion because 1) of their extreme sensitivity to micro- and macro- changes due to their spectacular rate of increase and phenotypic plasticity and 2) of their colonizing capacity conferred by their parthenogenetic mode of reproduction and their dispersal potential

ecology Biological effects Biology Populations adaptation Climate change life cycle invasive species Arctic Reproduction aphids Ecosystems
7. The Effect of solar UV on lipids in the planktonic food chain of polar freshwater ponds

Plankton of shallow polar freshwater water bodies is exposed to increasing levels of ultraviolet radiation (UVR) due to the limited water depth. Daphnia (Crustacea, waterflea) and algae are common representatives of the food chain in these water bodies. Daphnia almost exclusively use lipids for energy storage, which they obtain from their food (mainly algae). Therefore, Daphnia and algae are closely linked to each other. Preliminary experiments on the UV-induced damage in phyto- and zooplankton point to lipids as one of the key players. With this application we want to identify how algae specific lipids and fatty acids (FA) are modified by UVR. The factors modifying UV-doses to the animals and their food are depth of the waterbody and DOC (absorbs UV). A pondsurvey shall provide a wide spectrum on ponds which vary in DOC and depth. Lipid analysis of Daphnia and their food of these ponds as well as physical parameters of the pond waters shall identify correlations between UV-exposure and specific fatty acids. This shall enable us to estimate the effect of solar UVR on the freshwater plankton community in polar ponds.

Biological effects UV radiation freshwater plankton Climate change Exposure Arctic Food webs Diet Ecosystems lipids
8. GEOMORPHOCLIM

The aim is a better understanding of the impact of contemporary climatic change (posterior to Little Ice Age) on plant dynamics and the morphodynamic processes active at the glacial margins in polar environments. The selected research field is constituted of the Brøgger Peninsula, where erosion assessments will be evaluated for various processes (frost weathering, runoff, biological weathering, …).

Geology Hydrography Climate change Arctic GIS geomorphology
9. NOx and SO2 samplings - Corbel station

This technological program aims to get a better view of the Corbel site quality (78 54 N, 12 07 E, Svalbard close to Ny Alesunsd) for atmospheric chemistry. Nox and SO2 samplers are deployed on 16 places on a 4 km2 area around the Station (79°N, Svalbard), protected from snowscooters activity. The influence of Ny Alesund village is also studied. Programme 2004 April 2004 : poles installation and samplers deployment on the 16 stations; analysis will be made by CNR.

Atmospheric processes Long-range transport Climate Pollution sources Contaminant transport Climate change Emissions Arctic Local pollution Atmosphere
10. Phosphorus Cycling in the Cryosphere

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).

Glaciers Catchment studies Phosphorus Climate change Arctic Geochemistry Ecosystems
11. Long-Term and Solar Variability effects in the Upper Atmosphere

Objective: to determine how solar activity influences temperatures, winds, electric currents and minor constituents and to allow possible anthropogenic influences to be determined. Uses primarily measurements by the ESRAD and EISCAT radars, plus ground-based and balloon-borne measurements of atmospheric electric fields and currents.

Atmospheric processes Noctilucent clouds Geophysics Climate variability Solar Proton Events Climate Climate change Modelling Emissions Arctic Atmosphere Polar mesospheric summer echoes (PMSE) Temporal trends
12. Satellite validation for SAGE III (contribution to VINTERSOL/SOLVE-2)

In december 2001 the SAGE III experiment was successfully launched. The NASA science team of the SAGE III experiment has announced the Koldewey-Station in Ny-Aalesund as "anchor site" for validation, especially for such parameters as optical depth, aerosol extinction profiles and ozone profiles. Because of time coincidence NASA apprechiates support for the prospected validation activities for ENVISAT. This should be also considered as contribution to the NASA accepted project "Ground based Validation of SAGE III by the NDSC Primary Station at Ny-Ålesund, Spitsbergen" for SOLVE-2.

Ozone Climate variability SAGE III Climate change Arctic satellite validation
13. Arctic islands of genetic diversity or fragments of an ancient clone

Arctic islands of genetic diversity or fragments of an ancient clone. The history and future of Dryas octopetala in a changing environment.

Biological effects Climate change
14. Optical properties, structure, and thickness of sea ice in Kongsfjorden

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.

UV radiation Geophysics Climate variability Climate remote sensing Sea ice Climate change Modelling Ice Oceanography Arctic Ice cores Atmosphere Ocean currents optical properties
15. The surface energy budget and its impact on superimposed ice formation (SEBISUP)

During the spring/summer transition, sea ice and snow properties change considerably in response to warming and the eventual reversal of temperature gradients within the snow and ice. Snow melt water percolates down towards the colder snow/ice interface, where it refreezes to form superimposed ice. On sea ice this process occurs probably longer and more intensive than on land, because throughout the summer the ice and underlying seawater is always colder than the snow. In Antarctica superimposed ice may actually form layers of some decimeters in thickness. The objective of this study is to investigate the main processes and boundary conditions for superimposed ice formation, in recognition of its importance for Antarctic sea ice, and its possible importance for Arctic sea ice in case of environmental changes due to future climate change. This will be performed by means of modeling as well as by combined measurements of the temporal evolution of snow and ice properties and the energy budget.

Snow and ice properties Sea ice Climate change Modelling Ice Ice sheets Arctic Ice cores Superimposed ice formation
16. Physiological response of growth, photosynthesis and nutrient uptake of marine macrophytes in a UV- and CO2 - enriched environment

As a result of the increasing atmospheric CO2 levels and other greenhose gases due to anthropogenic activities, global and water temperature is rising. The objectives of our project might be summarized as follows: I. To measure the activity of the enzymatic systems involved in carbon, nitrogen and phosphorus uptake (carbonic anhydrase, nitrate reductase and alkaline phosphatase) in selected macroalgae. To assess the optimal concentration of inorganic nitrogen and phosphorus for growth and photosynthesis. To study the total concentration of carbon and nitrogen metabolites in the macroalgae (proteins, total carbohydrates, and lipids) in order to define the possible existence of nutrient limitation. II. To simulate the conditions of climate change, represented as CO2 enrichment and increasing UV radiation, on the activity of carbon, nitrogen and phosphorus uptake mechanisms. III. To screen the activity of the enzymatic systems previously detailed in macroalgae from the Konjsfjord, in order to know their nutritional state.

Biological effects nutrient uptake UV radiation Climate change Macroalgae eutrophycation Ecosystems
17. Diversity and nitrogen fixation activity of cyanobacterial communities in terrestrial arctic ecosystems

Biological nitrogen fixation by cyanobacteria is a key process for productivity in terrestrial Arctic ecosystems and the activity is dependent of size and diversity of cyanobacterial populations. Changes in biodiversity after pertubations of different types of habitats simulating climatic changes or other antropogenic effects will be studied by molecular methods and correlated to variations of nitrogen fixation activity.

Biology nitrogen fixation cyanobacteria Climate change Biodiversity Arctic
18. KINGSCALM Active Layer Monitoring

Monitoring of the active layer near Ny Ålesund as part of the international monitoring scheme CALM (Circumpolar Active Layer Monitoring)

Active layer Climate variability Climate Climate change Permafrost
19. Diversity and changes on temporal and spatial scales of the cyanobacterial community in the high arctic environment of Spitsbergen, Svalbard Islands

The structure and role of the cyanobacterial communities that colonise bare soils and fix nitrogen in the arctic ecosystem will be studied. The planned activities will focus on the isolation, identification and characterisation of cyanobacteria from arctic habitats and on the changes of the cyanobacterial community along a transect from a retreating glacier front to a more stable habitat characterised by the presence of mature vegetation. For these purposes, a polyphasic approach encompassing microbiological, morphological and molecular techniques will be applied to environmental samples and isolated cultures. The obtained results will give new insights on the diversity and role of nitrogen fixing cyanobacteria in the arctic and, in more general terms, on ecosystem development under changing climatic conditions.

Biology nitrogen fixation cyanobacteria Soils Climate change Biodiversity Arctic Ecosystems
20. ESPRI

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.

Biological effects Biology Populations Climate variability Climate Climate change Terrestrial mammals Arctic Reindeer Temporal trends Ecosystems