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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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Quasi-continuous observation of several atmospheric species are performed by measuring the absorption of visible and near ultraviolet sunlight scattered from the sky or in direct moonlight. Column abundance of molecules such as ozone, NO2, OClO, NO3, BrO, HCHO and IO are derived by means of a Differential Optical Absorption (DOAS) algorithm and a radiative transfer model. These activities are part of calibration and validation studies of different satellite experiments (GOME, SAGE III, SCIAMACHY). Since 1999 the instrument is part of the Network of the Detection of Stratospheric Change (NDSC). The instrument has been installed in 1995 as the second UV/vis instrument from the Institute of Environmental Physics. One similar setup in Bremen is continuously running with the exception of short maintenance breaks since 1993.
Photoinhibition of photosynthesis by UV radiation, the formation of UV-screening pigments, DNA damage by UV radiation as well as DNA repair mechanisms will be determined in marine macroalgae of the Kongsfjord. Moreover, algae from different water depths will be transplanted by divers into areas with opposite light climate or covered by UV-screening filters and their physiological reactions tested. Additionally, the susceptability of the unicellular algal spores to UV-radiation will be tested. The results will allow insights into the effect of UV and photosynthetically active radiation on the zonation of macrocalgae and on the structure of phytobenthic communities. The data will be used to model the effects of increased of UV-radiation due to stratospheric ozone depletion on the Kongsfjord phytobenthic communities.
The new seismological broad band station KBS at Ny-Ålesund replaces a former WWSSN station operated by the Institute for Solid Earth Physics of the University of Bergen. Both instrumentation and data acquisition of the old station were inadequate to meet all the demands for highest data quality for today's modern seismological research. The high technical standard of the new stations instrumentation now fulfils all the requirements of a modern broad band station. Therefore this station is integrated into the international Global Seismological Network, GSN, for monitoring the world-wide seismic activity. Special interests focus on regional seismicity at and around Svalbard itself and along the ridges in the arctic ocean. KBS is an open station, e.g., any interested scientist or international organization os allowed to retrieve data of special interest. Data are routinely processed and stored at the IRIS Data Management Center in Seattle. Copies are also available at the Geoforschungszentrum Potsdam (GFZ).
The changes in the stratospheric ozone layer due to anthropogen emissions lead to an increasing insolation of sunlight in the UV-B range (280nm - 320nm) on ground. One of the major objects of UV-B measurements is to detect long-term trends. The most interesting areas corresponding to ozone depletion are Antarctica and more recently the region around the northern pole. In interdisciplinary cooperation the data are also basis for research in the effects of increasing UV-B doses on plankton, algae, and other organisms. Since 1998 additional measurements of UV-A radiation (320-400nm) are done.
The FTIR (Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy) has been established as a powerful tool for measurements of atmospheric trace gases. Using the sun or moon as light source, between 20-30 trace gases of the tropo- and stratosphere can be detected by their absorption features. The analysis of the spectra allows to retrieve the total zenith columns of the trace gases. For a few trace gases the pressure broadening of the lines allows to get additionally some information on the vertical concentration profiles. Some important trace gases cannot be detected in the IR but in the UV/VIS. This makes it useful to record the whole spectral region from the IR from about 700/cm (14 µm) to the UV at 33000/cm (300 nm).
Microwave radiometers are part of the standard instrumentation at primary NDSC stations and are due to their long-term stability and self calibrating technique especially useful for monitoring purposes. Altitude profiles are retrieved from the shape of the pressure broadened thermally induced emission line of the observed species. The instruments for the observation of stratospheric ozone, chlorine monoxide and water vapour at the Koldewey Station in Ny-Ålesund were developed at the University of Bremen and upgrades and improvements are regularly carried out. The instruments have been automated during recent years and ozone and water vapour observation on Spitsbergen are carried out all year round. Chlorine monoxide is only observed in late winter and early spring, when enhanced concentrations in the lower stratosphere are to be expected. Routine operation and maintenance are done by the station engineer. Data analysis is carried out at the University of Bremen.
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.
The Baseline Surface Radiation Network (BSRN) is a cooperative network of surface radiation budget. Measurement stations operated by various national agencies and universities under the guiding principle set out by the World Climate Research Programme (WCRP). Presently about 15 stations have been established, one of them is Ny-Ålesund. The concept for a Baseline Surface Radiation Network has developed from the needs of both the climate change and satellite validation communities. The aims of the programme are the monitoring of long-term trends in radiation fluxes at the surface and the providing validation data for satellite determinations of the surface radiation budget. The BSRN station Ny-Aalesund was installed in summer 1992 and is regularly operating since August 1992.
Permanent monitoring of basic climate data for the purpose of better understanding the Arctic climate processes and detecting trends.
Stratospheric aerosols like Polar Stratospheric Clouds (PSCs) or volcanic aerosols are investigated by different types of balloon borne sensors in co-operation with the University of Nagoya, Japan, and the University of Wisconsin, Laramie, Wisconsin. The sensors flown are dedicated optilca particle counters (OPC) or backscatter sondes (BKS), respectively.
SAGE III was successfully launched on 10. Dec. 2001 on a Russian M3 rocket. It provides accurate data of aerosols, water vapour, ozone, and other key parameters of the earth's atmosphere. The science team of the SAGE III experiment at NASA has nominated the Koldewey-Station as an anchor site to contribute within the Data Validation Plan as part of the Operational Surface Networks. Data directly relevant to the SAGE III validation are aerosol measurements by photometers and lidar, as well as temperature measurements and ozone profiling by balloon borne sondes, lidar and microwave radiometer. Data will be provided quasi online for immediate validation tasks.
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 exercises for the commissioning phase of SAGE III. The German Arctic research station Koldewey in Ny-Ålesund/Spitsbergen contributed to (i), (ii), and (iii) by performing measurements of stratospheric components like ozone, trace gases, aerosols (PSCs), temperature and winds. The main observation periods were from December 1999 to March 2000.
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.
The stratospheric multi wavelength LIDAR instrument, which is part of the NDSC contribution of the Koldewey-Station, consists of two lasers, a XeCl-Excimer laser for UV-wavelengths and a Nd:YAG-laser for near IR- and visible wavelengths, two telescopes (of 60 cm and 150 cm diameter) and a detection system with eight channels. Ozone profiles are obtained by the DIAL method using the wavelengths at 308 and 353 nm. Aerosol data is recorded at three wavelengths (353 nm, 532 nm, 1064 nm) with depolarization measurements at 532 nm. In addition the vibrational N2-Raman scattered light at 608 nm is recorded. As lidar measurements require clear skies and a low background light level, the observations are concentrated on the winter months from November through March. The most prominent feature is the regular observation of Polar Stratospheric Clouds (PSCs). PSCs are known to be a necessary prerequisite for the strong polar ozone loss, which is observed in the Arctic (and above Spitsbergen). The PSC data set accumulated during the last years allows the characterization of the various types of PSCs and how they form and develop. The 353 and 532 nm channels are also used for temperature retrievals in the altitude range above the aerosol layer up to 50 km.
This study aims at reconstructing the Barents Sea marine ecosystem before the exploitation by man. This reconstruction will be made by using the existing archival resources on catch statistics from the 17th to 19th centuries in the Netherlands, Germany, Denmark and the United Kingdom, in combination with the present knowledge an animal behaviour and food web structure. Fieldwork is planned in two former hunting areas in Spitsbergen: the Smeerenburgfjord and the Storfjord to study both the structure of the recent marine ecosystem and the composition, size and dating of the recent bird rookeries. This information in combination with the historical data will be used to reconstruct the original ecosystem.
The ecology of the Greenland Right Whale is studied using the historical information from written sources from Dutch archives. The Spitsbergen and Davis Strait populations of the Greenland Right Whale were so heavily hunted that they are almost exterminated now in the northern waters. The whale bones on the beaches of Arctic islands are the archaeological evidences of this exhausting hunt. Very often whaling logbooks, crew statements and lists of catch figures are the only sources of information preserved of this animal in these regions. In this project recent biological information of the animal in the seas around Alaska and historical information of the whale in the North Atlantic and Davis Strait is used to reconstruct the migration, distribution and ecological behaviour of the Greenland Right Whale in the North Atlantic Ocean.
The aim of this international project is to measure and model arctic UV-radiation and assess the effects on freshwater planktonic organisms and foodwebs. The fieldwork and experiments are conducted at Ny-Alesund, Spitsbergen. The specific aim of our participation is to study the food web effects of UV-B stress by means of in-situ enclosure studies. In the laboratory we found that UV-B stressed algal cells may increase in volume and form a thicker cell wall. These changes in the algal cells may reduce their digestibility by zooplankton. Further the role of photopigments (like melanin and carotenoids), present in some zooplankters, will be studied in relation to the survival of these animals at high UV-B exposure. Research activities Grazing experiments with Daphnia pulex (melanic and hyaline) are performed in in-situ enclosures (under different UV exposures) in the Brandal Lagune during July. The green alga Chlamydomonas will be incubated in-situ under different UV exposures to assess the potential use of this alga as a biodosimeter for UV-B. Further the survival of melanic and hyaline daphnids will be tested in-situ.
Determining ecological constraints for Barnacle Geese during the Arctic summer to understand individual breeding success. Geese are individually marked, measured and observed over their lifetime in order to study individual reproductive strategies and their consequences. Also the interaction between the geese and their food plants is studied in detail. Research activities Every year, during summer, fieldwork in Ny Ålesund, every two years counting geese along Norden-skioldkysten. Both areas are located on Spitsbergen.
In the seventeent and eighteenth centuries intensive European whaling and walrus hunting took place in the waters around Spitsbergen, with many stations on the coast of the islands. The hunt was carried out in areas along the edge of pack ice and is therefore very sensitive to changes in the ice situation and climate. When, around 1650, climate and ice distribution changed, whales moved to the north. The whaling stations in the south of Spitsbergen were abandoned when stations in the north were still functioning. When, later, the ice situation deteriorated in the north as well, the stations were abandoned there too. Shore whaling changed into pelagic whaling. Because of these whaling and walrus hunting activities two very numerous large mammals were largely depleted and almost disappeared from the Spitsbergen waters. The pelagically feeding Greenland Right Whale and the bentically feeding walrus, whose initial stocks are estimated at 46,000 Greenland Right Whales and 25,000 walrus, were eliminated. This elimination has caused a major shift in the foodweb. The plankton feeding seabirds and polar cod strongly increased because of the elimination of the Greenland Right Whale, and the eider ducks and bearded seals increased because of the decrease of the number of walruses. This development has led to the enormous amount of seabird rookeries on the West coast of Spitsbergen.
In the wake of topical research issues such as global change and energy resources, one can recognize two priority targets for the study of fossil plant remains: - insight into the role of land plants and phytoplankton as monitors, recorders, motors and moderators of climatic and environmental change; -insight into the predictive value of organic remains with respect to genesis, composition, occurrence, quality and quantity of fossil fuel reserves. In harmony with these targets, current research at the Laboratory of Palaeobotany and Palynology (LPP) is aimed to provide for basic contributions to the palaeoecological study and interpretation of Palaeozoic, Mesozoic and Cenozoic plant life. Four interconnected areas of scientific emphasis are currently distinguished: - biotic change: documentation and causal analysis of changes of past plant biota in terrestrial and marine environments, both at short and long time-scales; - selective preservation: identification of the biological, physical and chemical factors that determine selective preservation of organic matter during transport, sedimentation and burial; - methodology: development and introduction of new analytical methodology relevant to the study and interpretation of fossil plant remains; - systematics: generation and compilation of systematic data aimed at the accurate identification and classification of fossil plant remains. Overview of results LPP strives after a balance between the study of land plant remains and organic-walled marine phytoplankton (mainly dinoflagellates). Research objectives are related to both short (latest Pleistocene-Holocene) and long time-scales (late Palaeozoic-Cenozoic). Short time-scales Modern land plant communities can be understood only in the light of their history since the onset of the last deglaciation (15,000 yr BP). In western and southern Europe this history is governed by the climatically induced spread of forest communities and their subsequent recession as man's influence expanded. Through fine-scale analysis (temporal and spatial, as well as systematic), of assemblages of microscopic and macroscopic plant remains, research concentrates on the accurate discrimination between autogenic, climatically induced, and anthropogenic vegetational change in contrasting physiographic entities: (1) crystalline mountains in France and the Iberian peninsula; (2) landscapes characterized by Pleistocene-Holocene eolian (sand, loess) deposition in the Netherlands and Germany; (3) fluvial plains in the Netherlands; (4) littoral landscapes in Portugal, and (5) Arctic landscapes of Spitsbergen, Jan Mayen and Greenland. Following earrlier research experiences with respect to the palaeoecological analysis of pollen assemblages from the Vosges (France), in the research period special attention was given to deciphering the complex, altitude related, late Pleistocene-Holocene pollen signals from other low mountain ranges. Results have demonstrated that the spatial distribution of vegetation patterns can be followed through time by recognizing: (1) common time-proportionate trends in pollen values, and (2) local pollen components characteristic for altitudinal vegetation zones and lake/mire development. Long time-scales For the recognition and evaluation of biotic change on long time-scales, LPP concentrates on the study of land plant and phytoplankton records from sedimentary successions that contrast with respect to: (1) time of formation (selected late Palaeozoic, Mesozoic and Cenozoic intervals); (2) paleotectonic and palaeogeographic history (intracratonic; passive and active plate margins); (3) depositional environment (terrestrial to deep-marine); and (4) biogeographic provinciality. Temporal and spatial distribution patterns of plant remains are explored for proxy variables indicative of terrestrial and marine environmental change. Investigated variables include land temperature, humidity, precipitation, runoff, sea-level, sea surface temperature, salinity, nutrient supply, productivity, organic burial rate and CO2 level. In the review period particular attention has been given to the development of palaeoecological models of dinoflagellate cyst distribution in marine sediments. It has been shown that: (1) the potential of dinoflagellates in Mesozoic and Cenozoic time-resolution may frequently exceed that of planktonic foraminifera and calcareous nannoplankton, and (2) dinoflagellates can be applied in novel ways to further the environmental understanding of depositional sequences and sedimentary cycles defined by physical (seismic, sedimentological) analysis. Although research related to global change programmes is generally restricted to the Late Tertiary-Quaternary, there is one notable exception. It is recognized that a better understanding of the patterns and processes of past mass extinctions can contribute to an understanding of present and future man-induced extinction processes. Work by LPP concentrates on the profound biotic crises at the Permian/Triassic (P/Tr) and Cretaceous/Tertiary (K/T) junctions. Study of the P/Tr land plant record has now revealed ecosystem collapse in the terrestrial biosphere. At the K/T junction, it has been demon-strated that dinoflagellates have remained immune to extinction. Independent of configurations predicted by meteorite-impact or massive volcanism, therefore, palynological studies enable high-resolution reconstruction of environmental change, both during pre-crisis times and the phases of K/T ecosystem decline and recovery.