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 - 16 of 16
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. Atmospheric Monitoring Network for Antropogenic Pollution in Polar Regions (ATMOPOL)

The project aims at establishing a long-term Arctic-Antarctic network of monitoring stations for atmospheric monitoring of anthropogenic pollution. Based upon the long and excellent experiences with different scientific groups performing air monitoring within the Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Programme (AMAP), an expanded network will be established including all AMAP stations and all major Antarctic “year-around” research stations. As an integrated project within the “International Polar Year 2007-08” initiative, the ATMOPOL co-operation intend to • Establish a long-term coordinated international Arctic-Antarctic contaminant programme. • Develop and implement a joint sampling and monitoring strategy as an official guideline for all participating stations. • Support bi-polar international atmospheric research with high-quality data on atmospheric long-range transport of contaminants (sources, pathways and fate). • Support future risk assessment of contaminants for Polar Regions based on effects of relevant contamination levels and polar organisms Based upon the well-established experiences of circum-Arctic atmospheric contaminant monitoring in the Arctic under the AMAP umbrella, a bi-polar atmospheric contaminant network will be established and maintained. In conjunction with the polar network of atmospheric monitoring stations for air pollution, surface-based and satellite instrumentation will be utilised to provide the characterization of the Arctic atmospheric-water-ice cycle. Together with numerical weather prediction and chemical transport model calculations, simultaneous measurements of pollutants at various locations in the Arctic and Antarctic will enhance our understanding of chemical transport and distribution as well as their long-term atmospheric trends. In addition to investigating the importance of atmospheric transport of pollutants an understanding of the transference and impact of these pollutants on both terrestrial and marine environments will be sought. A secretariat and a “scientific project board” will be established. During this initial phase of the project (2006), a guideline on priority target compounds, sampling strategies, equipment and instrumentation, analytical requirements, as well as quality assurance protocols (including laboratory intercalibration exercises) will be developed and implemented. The ATMOPOL initiative aims to address highly relevant environmental change processes and, thus, will strive to answering the following scientific questions: • How does climate change influence the atmospheric long-range transport of pollutants? • Are environmental scientists able to fill the gaps in international pollution inventories and identification of possible sources for atmospheric pollution in Polar Regions? • What are the differences in transport pathways and distribution patterns of various atmospheric pollutants between Arctic and Antarctic environments? Why are there such differences? What is the final fate of atmospherically transported pollutants and how does this impact on the environment and indigenous people?In order to understand the underlying atmospheric chemistry of pollution, e.g. atmospheric mercury deposition events, routine surface measurements of UV radiation as well as campaign related measurements of UV radiation profiles will also be included.The project will establish a cooperative network on atmospheric contaminant monitoring in Polar Regions far beyond the IPY 2007/08 period and is, thus, planned as an “open-end” programme. All produced data will be available for all participating institutions for scientific purposes as basis for joint publications and reports from the ATMOPOL database to be developed.

Pathways Atmospheric processes Heavy metals Long-range transport Contaminant transport Persistent organic pollutants (POPs) Atmosphere
5. 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
6. Enhanced deposition of atmospheric mercury during Arctic sunrice _ International campain/intercompariosn

The general objective of the project is to increase the understanding of the Mercury Depletion Events occuring at Arctic sunrise and to quantify the input of mercury to polar ecosystems during this events.

Atmospheric processes Long-range transport
7. Determination of heavy metals in aerosols and deposition

Total deposition sampling is performed at Ny-Ålesund to study atmospheric fluxes of heavy metals to the Arctic. In addition wet only deposition sampling is carried out with an automatic precipitation sampler. The samples are analysed at the home laboratory for tracer elements for seaspray components, earthcrust weathered material and anthropogenic elements by atomic absorption spectrometry and inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry (ICP-MS). One aim of our study is to distinguish element distribution between the dissolved and particulate phase. In addition to the element analyses the concentration of anions is determined by ionchromatography. In 1996 an automatically operating aerosol sampler was installed, which is combined with the automatic precipitation sampler to study element washout from aerosol particles via rain and snow.

Aerosols Heavy metals Long-range transport Contaminant transport Deposition Samples Emissions Arctic Atmosphere
8. Effects of atmospheric aerosol on climate, measured by sun and star photometer

In recent years, much attention has been directed towards understandig the effects of aerosols on a variety of processes in the earth atmosphere. Aerosols play an integral role in limiting visibility, they serve as nuclei for the formation of fog and cloud droplets, they affect the earth radiative budget, and thus climate, both directly and indirectly, and they inhibit the propagation of electromagnetic radiation. The Arctic aerosols, especially Arctic Haze and tropospheric ice crystals possible have important climatic and ecological and global change implications. Since 1991 Sun photometer observations of the polar atmopheric aerosol have been performed at the Koldewey Station in Ny-Aalesund, Spitzbergen. In order to complete the coverage and quality of measurements during the polar night a high sensitive Star photometer is installed since January 1996. Both measurements, the daylight Sun photometer measurements and night Star photometer measurements will be continued.

Aerosols Atmospheric processes Arctic haze Climate variability Long-range transport Climate Climate change Arctic Tropospheric ice crystals Atmosphere
9. Investigations of tropospheric aerosols by lidar

A tropospheric lidar system with a Nd:YAG-Laser was installed at the Koldewey-Station in 1998. It operates at a laser wavelengths of 355, 532, and 1064 nm with detection at 532 nm polarised and depolarised, and at Raman wavelengths like 607nm (nitrogen). It records profiles of aerosol content, aerosol depolarisation and aerosol extinction. During polar night the profils reach from the ground up to the tropopause level, while during polar day background light reduces the altitude range. The main goal of the investigations is to determine the climate impact of arctic aerosol. Analysis of the climate impact will be performed by a high resolution regional model run at the Alfred Wegener Institute (HIRHAM). The lidar system is capable to obtain water vapour profiles in the troposphere. Water vapour profiles are crucial for the understanding of the formation of aerosols. The water vapour profiles are also used for the validation of profiles measured by the CHAMP satellite from 2001 onwards.

aerosols Atmospheric processes Arctic haze Geophysics tropospheric aerosols Climate variability Long-range transport Climate ASTAR Climate change Arctic Local pollution water vapour Atmosphere troposphere water vapor
10. Effects of Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) on the Immune Response of Glaucous Gull (Larus hyperboreus)

The present project includes one pilot study of wild adult glaucous gull (Larus hyperboreus) and one experimental study of glaucous gull chicks raised in captivity. The pilot study of adult gulls gave us enough blood and tissue samples to develop the methods needed for immune system analysis in the laboratory experiment. In the experimental study a total of 39 glaucous gull chicks were hatched and raised in captivity in Svalbard, Norway. The chicks were divided into two groups. One experimental group (20 chicks) was given food that mimicked the “natural” food found in the marine environment. The control group (19 chicks) was given “clean” food. After 56 days the chicks were sacrificed in order to collect samples for analyses of organochlorines (OCs) and immunocompetence measurements. The experimental group had 2.8, 3.9, 5.0, and 6.1 time’s higher concentrations of HCB, Oxychlordane, ?DDT, and ?PCB, respectively, compared to the control group at day 56. All chicks used in the experiment were immunised with various vaccines and sera in order to test their ability to respond against foreign antigens. The experimental chicks produced low levels of virus neutralising antibodies when tested against the herpes virus and reovirus. They produced higher levels of neutralising antibodies when tested to tetanus toxoid. There was, however, no difference between the experimental groups with regard to the mean antibody titres. The chicks in both groups also responded to the influenza virus by increasing the production of specific antibodies. However, the mean antibody titre in the exposed group was significantly lower than in the control group. The mitogen-induced response of blood lymphocytes to PHA and LPS was significantly higher in the exposed group compared to the control group. The specific response of blood lymphocytes to Con A, PWM, KLH, TET, and PPD was higher in the exposed group compared to the control group. However, do to high variance in the exposed group there was no significant difference between groups with regard to the lymphocyte response to these mitogens. The results from the present study indicate a toxic effect of OCs on the glaucous gull chicks, which induced a systematic activation of the immune system. Further work on data will be performed.

effects Biological effects Organochlorines PCBs Fish Long-range transport glaucous gull Persistent organic pollutants (POPs) Seabirds immune system Pesticides
11. Persistent organic pollutants in marine organisms in the marginal ice zone near Svalbard: Bioconcentration and biomagnification

Due to the high organochlorine concentrations reported in Arctic top predators, and the potential transport of contaminants with the drifting sea-ice in the Arctic, organisms constituting lower trophic levels living in association with sea-ice have been proposed as susceptible of uptake of high loads of organic pollutants. The present project studies the organochlorine occurrence in organisms living in the marginal ice zone north of Svalbard and in the Fram Strait. This includes both ice fauna (ice-amphipods), zooplankton, polar cod and different seabird species foraging in the marginal ice zone. Our objectives are to investigate: *The bioaccumulation of organochlorines in ice-associated amphipods in relation to diet preference, spatial variation due to sea ice drift route, size, sampling year, uptake and distribution within the body. *Comparison of organochlorine contamination in pelagic and ice-associated organisms at the similar trophic position, to investigate the effect of sea ice as a transporter and concentrator of pollutants. *Spatial variation in zooplankton species, related to differences in water masses and exposure to first year or multi year sea ice. *The contamination load in different seabirds feeding in the marginal ice zone, in relation to diet choice and estimated trophic position, taxonomically closeness and the induction of hepatic CYP P450 enzymes.

habitats Biology sea ice drift route Organochlorines PCBs Fish Long-range transport Spatial trends Sea ice Contaminant transport Ice trophic positions Arctic Persistent organic pollutants (POPs) Seabirds Food webs metabolism Pesticides ice-associated organisms Diet zooplankton
12. Contaminants in marine sediments, Svalbard 1997

Surface samples collected around Svalbard in 1997 have been analysed for total content of heavy metals, Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs), Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs) and a selection of pesticides. Sample localities have been selected to include areas not covered by previous investigations. Based on the data set and results from previous expeditions in the area, contamination levels as well as potential sources for the pollutants are discussed. The PAH levels for most stations are moderately elevated with a high contribution of aromatic hydrocarbons associated with petrogenic sources. Hence the dominant sources for the PAHs is most likely derived from petroleum seepage and or coal mining. Long-range transport of aromatics associated with anthropogenic input is a minor component of the observed PAH levels. The highest concentration of PAH is found in Storfjorden with a value higher than the elevated concentrations earlier reported from the south-eastern Storfjorden and over the Central Bank. The concentration levels of the metals arsenic, lead, chromium and nickel were moderately elevated. Because of sparse information on the natural geomorphology, background metal concentrations are not known for this area. Hence, no quantitative comparison of natural and anthropogenic inputs for metals can be made. However, the most dominant source is assumed to be natural and related to the geological conditions in the area. All PCB levels were low, suggesting a dominant influence of long-range transport of these compounds to the area. Pesticide data showed low contamination of all compounds and suggests a predominant long-range atmospheric source for these pollutants.

Pathways Sources Organochlorines PCBs Mapping Heavy metals PAHs Long-range transport Pollution sources Contaminant transport Petroleum hydrocarbons Persistent organic pollutants (POPs) Local pollution Sediments Pesticides Oil and Gas
13. Monitoring Heavy Metals and Organic Pollutants in Air at Svalbard

To monitor concentrations of heavy metals and persistent organic pollutants in air in the Arctic.

Ny-Ålesund Heavy metals Arctic air Long-range transport HM POP Svalbard Persistent organic pollutants (POPs) Zeppelinfjell Atmosphere
14. Environmental assessment of the Isfjorden complex, Svalbard

The project aims to carry out an environmental assessment of the marine environment close to the three main settlements in the Isfjorden complex; Barentsburg, Longyearbyen and Pyramiden. The study comprises analyses of sediment geochemistry and soft-bottom benthic fauna. Attention is given to distinguishing atmospheric transport of contaminants from those arising from local sources.

Biological effects Sources Pollution sources Contaminant transport Mining Primary recipient Radionuclides Modelling Dioxins/furans Sediments Pesticides Waste secondary recipient Biology Organochlorines PCBs Mapping Heavy metals PAHs Long-range transport Discharges Spatial trends Environmental management Petroleum hydrocarbons Biodiversity Arctic Persistent organic pollutants (POPs) Local pollution Data management Temporal trends Ecosystems
15. Polybrominated diphenylethers (PBDEs) in the Arctic environment

Polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) are persistent and lipophilic compounds used as flame retardants in electronic equipment, plastic material and synthetic fibbers among other things. The PBDEs are mainly used as Deca-BDE and Bromokal 70-5DE, a mixture of tetra-, penta- and hexa-BDE. Due to its chemical and physical properties PBDEs, especially TeBDEs, tend to bioaccumulate. PBDEs were first reported in sediments in USA, and in fish from a Swedish river. More recently PBDEs have also been reported in seals, birds, mussels, whales and humans. In this study an SFE-method for rapid analysis of PBDEs in marine mammals was developed. This method was used to determinate the concentrations of these environmental pollutants in Pilot Whale samples caught in the Faroe Islands, Beluga Whales from the Arctic and Polar Bears from Svalbard. Using this method several PBDEs were analysed in the different species. In addition methoxylated PBDEs (Me-O-PBDE) were identified by interpretation of the different mass spectra’s. Of the 209 theoretical possible congeners only a few PBDE seem to accumulate in the environment. Accumulation of PBDE is related to the different chemical properties of the molecule. With the help of multivariate characterisation of a compound class using semi-empirical molecular orbital calculations, literature data and actual experimental measurements, the behaviour of PBDE in the environment can be modelled and predicted. Such models are essential in order to gain more insight in the behaviour of PBDE in the environment.

SFE extraction Long-range transport Brominated flame retardants Contaminant transport PBDE Supercritical fluid Terrestrial mammals Polybrominated diphenyl ethers Polar bear Persistent organic pollutants (POPs) Sediments Reproduction Marine mammals
16. Halocarbons in the atmosphere

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.

Atmospheric processes Sources Long-range transport Contaminant transport Climate change Halocarbons Emissions Anthropogenic Arctic Persistent organic pollutants (POPs) Local pollution Atmosphere Biogenic