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.

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Displaying: 1 - 20 of 33 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. Observations of the mesospheric OH structure using FTIR and LIDAR measurements

The study of the OH layer between about 80 to 95 km altitude reveals important infomation about the mesopause region. An interesting information, which can be drawn from the relaxation of chemically excited OH molecules, is the rotational temperature of this layer, which forms the boundary between mesosphere and thermosphere. Under certain circumstances, the rotational temperature of the OH molecules can be related to the ambient temperature of the air at the mesopause region. The OH molecules are formed by the reaction of O3 and H2, which leaves the OH molecules at a highly excited vibrational state. The course of the deexcitation is still subject of discussion and will be studied using a FTIR spectrometer, which is able to observe the transistions reching from the higlhy excited state to the ground state of the OH molecule. The ground state of the OH molecule can be observed by LIDAR. A method to do this will be developed in a project at the Universität Bremen in cooperation with the AWI Potsdam.

Atmospheric processes Climate variability
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. Ice caves in order to reconstruct Holocene glacier recessions

The objective of the project was the investigation of englacial melt water channels of Svalbard glaciers in order to find in situ organic material within glacier caves. Specified organic material found beneath glaciers was meant for radiocarbon dating and creation of reliable geochronologies of glacier recessions with considerable smaller glacier termini than present on Svalbard. First radiocarbon dating results ever from organic material found under a glacier’s bottom of glacier Longyearbreen will be published this year. The different moss species ranging from Tomentypnum nitens, Sanionia uncinata, Distichium spp., Syntrichia ruralis gave ages between 1900 and 1100 cal yr BP (Humlum et al., 2004).

Glaciers Geology Climate variability Ice caves Radionuclides Ice
5. 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
6. 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
7. 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
8. Detection of spatial, temporal, and spectral surface changes in the Ny-Ålesund area 79 N, Svalbard, using a low cost multispectral camera in combination with spectroradiometer measurements.

Changes in surface reflection at the arctic tundra at Ny-Ålesund, Svalbard (79 N) were monitored during the melting season 2002 using a low cost multispectral digital camera with spectral channels similar to channels 2, 3, and 4 of the Landsat Thematic Mapper satellite sensor. The camera was placed 474 m above sea level at the Zeppelin Mountain Research Station and was programmed to take an image automatically every day at solar noon. To achieve areal consistency in the images (which is necessary for mapping purposes) the images were geometrically rectified into multispectral digital orthophotos. In contrast to satellite images with high spatial resolution the orthophotos provide data with high spatial and high temporal resolution at low cost. The study area covers approximately 2 km2 and when free of snow, it mainly consists of typical high arctic tundra with patchy vegetation and bare soil in between. The spectral information in the images was used to divide the rectified images into maps representing different surface classes (including three subclasses of snow). By combining classified image data and ground measurements of surface reflectance, a model to produce daily maps of surface albedo was developed. The model takes into account that snow-albedo decreases as the snow pack ages; and that the albedo decreases very rapidly when the snow pack is shallow enough (20-30 cm) to let surface reflectance get influenced by the underlying ground. Maps representing days with no image data (due to bad weather conditions) were derived using interpolation between pixels with equal geographical coordinates. The time series of modeled albedo-maps shows that the time it takes for the albedo to get from 80% to bare ground levels varies from less than 10 days in areas near the coast or in the Ny-Ålesund settlement till more than 70 days in areas with large snow accumulations. For the entire study area the mean length of the 2002 melting period was 28.3 days with a standard deviation of 15.1 days. Finally, the duration of the snowmelt season at a location where it is measured routinely, was calculated to 23 days, which is very close to what is the average for the last two decades.

Digital camera Hydrography Mapping Geophysics Climate variability Orthophotograph Spatial trends Remote sensing Orthophoto Modelling Arctic GIS Spectral Temporal trends Ecosystems
9. 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

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
11. ASTAR 2000

ASTAR, Arctic Study of Tropospheric Aerosol and Radiation is a a joint German (AWI Potsdam) - Japanese (NIPR Tokyo) campaign with participation from NASA LaRC Hampton, VA (USA). In addition to AWI, NIPR, and NASA LaRC the following institutions contributed to the project: Hokkaido University (Japan), Nagoya University (Japan), Norwegian Polar Institute Tromsoe/ Longyearbyen (Norway), NILU Kjeller (Norway), MISU Stockholm (Sweden), NOAA-CMDL Boulder, CO (USA) and Max Planck Institute for Aeronomy Katlenburg-Lindau (Germany). The campaign is based on simultaneous airborne measurements from the German research aircraft POLAR 4 and ground-based measurements in Ny-Ålesund. The main goals of the project are - to measure aerosol parameters of climate relevance, like extinction coefficient, absoprtion coefficients and phase function. - to create an Arctic Aerosol Data Set for climate impact investigation by using the regional climate model HIRHAM. - to carry out comparison measurements with the SAGE II (Stratospheric Aerosol and Gas Experiment) and the ground based Raman-Lidar.

Radiation Atmospheric processes Phase function Absoprtion coefficients HIRAM Climate variability Climate Climate change Aerosol Arctic Raman-Lidar Atmosphere Extinction coefficient SAGE II
12. SOLVE: SAGE III Ozone Loss and Validation Experiment

In preparation to the launch of the SAGE III experiment in March 2001, NASA and the European Union performed the SOLVE / THESEO-2000 campaign, which had three components: (i) an aircraft campaign using the NASA DC-8 and ER-2 airplanes out of Kiruna/Sweden, (ii) launches of large stratospheric research balloons from Kiruna, (iii) validation excercises for the commissioning phase of SAGE III. The German Arctic research station Koldewey in Ny-Ålesund/Spitsbergen contributes to (i), (ii), and (iii) by performing measurements of stratospheric components like ozone, trace gases, aerosols (PSCs), temperature and winds. The measurement results were transmitted quasi online to the flight planning center in Kiruna, in order to allow a better directing of the air plane flights. In addition the Koldewey-Station has been designated a validation anchor site for the SAGE III validation. The activities are organized within a NASA accepted proposal of ground-based validation support by the NDSC Primary Station at Ny-Ålesund, Spitsbergen and by a SAGE III validation working group for Ny-Ålesund. The main observation periods are from December 1999 to March 2000.

Atmospheric processes Ozone UV radiation trace gases Climate variability Climate SAGE III Climate change aerosol THESEO-2000 PSCs Atmosphere satellite validation
13. BOS: High altitude ozone observations with a Balloon-borne Optical Sensor

In order to get detailed vertical ozone profiles above the range of standard electrochemical ozonesondes (typically 35 km), a radiosonde together with an optical ozonesensor is launchend with a special plastic foliage balloon. The balloon payload consists of a digital radiosonde (DFM 90) using GPS for altitude measurements and a two channel filter spectrometer (optical sensor) to measure the vertical ozone distribution up to more than 40 km altitude. The ozone profiles obtained by the optical sensors will be compared with ground-based microwave and lidar ozone observations as well as with the standard balloon-borne ozone measurements with electrochemical ozone sensors.

optical ozonesensor Atmospheric processes Ozone UV radiation Climate variability stratosphere Climate ozone profile Climate change ozonesonde Arctic Atmosphere balloon-borne troposphere
14. Aerosol-FTIR

The aim of the project is to study the properties (radiative effects, composition) of aerosols using FTIR emission spectroscopy. To determine seasonal changes in aerosol properties the measurements will be carried out year round on a weekly schedule.

aerosols Atmospheric processes emission spectroscopy FTIR Climate variability Climate Climate change radiative effecs Emissions Arctic Atmosphere
15. Remote sensing of the radiative properties of arctic aerosols at solar and thermal infrared wavelengths and retrieval of aerosol microphysical properties

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.

Aerosols Atmospheric processes Arctic haze FTIR Climate variability Climate Climate change Arctic Atmosphere Troposphere

Aim of the project is to develop a cost-effective long-term European observation system for halocarbons and to predict and assess impacts of the halocarbons on the climate and on the ozone layer. Beside the routine observations within the NDSC it is planned to perform with FTIR (Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy) absorption measurements of CFCs (e.g. SF6, CCl2F2, CHF2Cl) and related species on much more observation days.

Atmospheric processes SOGE Ozone FTIR Climate variability Climate NDSC Climate change Halocarbons Modelling Arctic Atmosphere Temporal trends
17. SCIAMACHY validation with FTIR

The aim of the project is to perform solar and lunar absorption measurements of atmospheric trace gases for the valdation of the SCIAMACHY satellite. Besides the routine observations within the NDSC it is planned to perform more intense measurements, especially during the satellite overpasses.

Atmospheric processes Ozone FTIR Trace gases Climate variability Stratosphere Climate NDSC Climate change Arctic SCIAMACHY Atmosphere Troposphere Satellite validation
18. Marine aerosols with LIDAR and photometer

Situated in the Arctic Ocean the planetary boundary layer over Ny Ålesund is dominated by marine aerosols. Hight and time variation of boundary layer aerosols are examined with the tropospheric lidar system in Ny Ålesund. To determine the aerosol and its optical properties more exactly information from more wavelenghts are necessary as the sun-photometer at the Koldewey Station can provide. First combined evaluation of photometer and LIDAR data during the ASTAR-campaign in spring 2000 demonstrated feasibility and advantages of this method for the free troposphere. Furthermore this method is to be applied on boundary layer aerosol to research also its optical properties.

Aerosols Atmospheric processes Climate variability Climate NDSC ASTAR Climate change Arctic Water vapour Atmosphere LIDAR Troposphere Boundary layer Photometer
19. Arctic Airborne Measuring Program 2002

The subject is to determine the horizontal distribution of aerosol and trace gases by airborne measurements with the Gulfstream III (transarctic flight), ground based measurements in Ny Ålesund (Koldewey Station, Rabben) and satellite measurements with SAGE II / SAGE III. Objective is to get vertical and horizontal aerosol profiles, to research the trace gase variations in the Arctic and to compare remote sensing und in situ measurements.

Aerosols Atmospheric processes Trace gases Climate variability Climate Spatial trends Climate change Arctic Atmosphere
20. Water vapour balloon soundings

In situ measurements of the tropospheric and tropopause and if possible lower stratospheric water vapour content will be carried out with different balloon sondes. Start of up to three balloons with Snow White Sensor-Package prepared by a team from the University of Nagoya and University of Kyoto. Possibly water vapour sondes from NOAA (S. Oltmans) will be started within the scope of an EU-project. This may happen earliest in autumn.

Aerosols Atmospheric processes Climate variability Stratosphere Climate Climate change Soundings Arctic Water vapour Tropopause Atmosphere Tropospere