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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.
The purpose of the BioBasis programme is to monitor basic qualitative and quantitative elements of biodiversity in the terrestrial ecosystems at Zackenberg in Northeast Greenland. The programme provides data on typical High Arctic species and processes that can be expected to react on year to year variation in climate as well as long-term climate change. It includes 30 variables of terrestrial and limnic plant, arthropod, bird and mammal dynamics in the Zackenberg valley.
Monitoring climatological and hydrological parameters in a low arctic environment.
The aim of the present project is to continue the monitoring of contaminants Greenland biota in order to detect temporal and geographical changes including screening and retrospective analyses of "new" contaminants of increasing concern. Furthermore, temporal trend monitoring of selected biomarkers (e.g. bone mineral density and histopathological changes) in polar bear are included in the monitoring as these have shown to be sensitive to stressors such as contaminants. The project will provide the fundamental basic knowledge of temporal trends and feed into international geographical trend studies of mainly long range transport of contaminants in the atmosphere and biota to Greenland. The project will provide an important input to international convention works such as the Stockholm Convention and the Long-range Trans-boundary Air Pollution.
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.
In 2000 it is proposed to operate an atmospheric programme consisting of a monitoring and a modelling part and composed of 3 programme modules. The monitoring programme consists of two parts. I. It is proposed to continue the weekly measurements of acidifying components and heavy metals at Station Nord in north-east Greenland for assessment of atmospheric levels and trends. The measuring programme includes also highly time resolved measurements of Ozone and of total gaseous Mercury (TGM). The results will also be used for continued development and verification of the transport model calculations. Receptor modelling of the pollution composition will be used for identification and quantification of the source types that influence the atmospheric pollution in north-east Greenland. Comparison of the two sets of modelling results is expected to give better models. II. The purpose of the project is the operation of a permanent air monitoring programme in the populated West Greenland at a location which is representative for transboundary air pollution. The most promising sites are located in the Disko Bay area and in the vicinity of Nuuk. The objectives are to obtain data on the concentration levels of air pollutants that can be used for assessing seasonal variations and trends and for studying long range transport of pollutants mainly from North America to West Greenland. The purpose is further to provide data for development and improvement of long range transport models that can be used to identify the origin of the pollution and its transport pathways. The results from measurements and model calculations will be used to assess the magnitude of deposition to sea and land in this populated region of Greenland. III. In the proposed modelling programme the operation, application and maintenance of the current basic hemispheric model will be continued. Results on origin, transport, and deposition of contaminants on land and sea surfaces in the Arctic are essential for interpretation and understanding the Arctic air pollution. The model will be developed to improve the spatial and temporal resolutions, as well as the accuracy by including physically and mathematically better descriptions of the key processes treated in the model. The work to expand the model to include also non-volatile heavy metals, such as Cadmium and Lead on an hemispheric scale will be continued. Since the atmospheric chemistry of Ozone and Mercury seem to be strongly connected in the Arctic it is planned to continue the development and testing of a model module for hemispheric transport and chemistry for ozone and mercury to assess the origin and fate of this highly toxic metal in the Arctic.