The full list of projects contains the entire database hosted on this portal, across the available directories. The projects and activities (across all directories/catalogs) are also available by country of origin, by geographical region, or by directory.
Detection of UV-B induced DNA damage on zoospores of brown algae
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.
Part of the international project Arctic Costal Dynamics (ACD) were Department of Physical Geography, University of Oslo participates. The working group consists of Trond Eiken (UoO), Bjørn Wangensteen (UoO) and Rune Ødegård (Gjøvik University College). The aim of this part of the ACD-project is to quantify coastal cliff erosion by the use of terrestrial photogrammetry.
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.
Observation how UV-radiation affects recruitment on hard substrate in the upper sublitoral zone.
1. To compare temporal influences of environmental variables (e.g. depth temperature, contaiminats) on species and families 2. To corroborate inferences made from the previous two datasets. We hope to determine whether temperature is still the most important variable influencing the macrofauna 3. To analyse between temporal and spatial trends to determine whether there has been any significant change in the benthic community structure, especially at stations near past exploration activity 4. To compare results with those from the South of the Faroe Islands being collated by Daniel Jacobsen of the University of Copenhagen.
1. To generate high-resolution quantitative palaeoceanographic/palaeoclimatic data from NE Atlantic coastal/shelf sites for the last 2000 years using a multidisciplinary approach 2. To develop novel palaeoclimatic tools for shallow marine settings by (i) calibrating the proxy data against instrumental datasets, (ii) contributing to transfer function development, and (iii) then to extrapolate back beyond the timescale of the instrumental data using the palaeoclimate record 3. To investigate the link between late Holocene climate variability detected in the shelf/coastal regions of western Europe and the variability of the oceanic heat flux associated with the North Atlantic thermohaline circulation, and to compare such variability with existing high-resolution terrestrial proxies to help determine forcing mechanisms behind such climate change 4. To lay a foundation for the identification of hazards and resources linked with, or forced by, such climate change.
1. To use a combination of archival and contemporary data to develop and test hypotheses on the impact of climatic change on rocky intertidal animals and plants. 2. Forecast future community changes based on Met. Office Hadley centre models and UKCIP models. 3. Establish a low-cost fit-for-purpose network to enable regular updates of climatic impact projections. 4. Assess and report likely consequences of predicted changes on coastal ecosystems. To provide general contextual time-series data to support marine management and monitoring. 5. Evaluate use of intertidal indicator species as sustainability indices. Disseminate the results as widely as possible. 6. Provide a basis for the development of a pan-European monitoring network.
1. Observations of the physics of vertical and open boundary exchange in Regions of Restricted Exchanges (REEs), leading to improved parameterisation of these processes in research and simplified models. 2. Study of the phytoplankton and pelagic micro-heterotrophs responsible for production and decomposition of organic material, and of sedimentation, benthic processes and benthic-pelagic coupling, in RREs, with the results expressed as basin-scale parameters. 3. Construction of closed budgets and coupled physical-biological research models for nutrient (especially nitrogen) and organic carbon cycling in RREs, allowing tests of hypotheses about biogeochemistry, water quality and the balance of organisms. 4. Construction of simplified 'screening' models for the definition, assessment and prediction of eutrophication, involving collaboration with 'end-users', and the use of these models to analyse the costs and benefits of amelioration scenarios.
1. To establish an environmental monitoring regieme during and following the period of reef complex construction using, where possible, the same static monitoring sites and transects established during the pre-deployment research, in addition to new stations 2. To develop and test models that will predict ecosystem changes caused by artifical habitat manipulation. The main model will examine whole ecosystem changes. Other models will examine hydrological profile alterations, habitat fractal dimensions and socio-economic cost benefit analysis.
The project aims to develop Molecular Imprinted Polymer (MIP)sensors into practical tools for the monitoring of a number of pollutants listed in the EU Water Framework Directive. (Further details in commercial confidence)
1. To develop a deep water observation system 2. Detailed design document, workplan and risk register and reviewed and agreed by steering group, procurement of components. 3. Deep water tests of acoustic communications system performed. pilot data dissemination and archival system. Dry test DWOS -1 4. Deployment in near lab test environment eg. Dunstaffnage bay with regular inspections. Collect, analyse, disseminate and archive sensor and house keeping data 5. Deploy in exposed but coastal stratified site in western Irish Sea, with two visual inspections. Collect, analyse, disseminate and archive sensor and house keeping data. Liaison with Met Office regarding deployment logistics. 6. Six months Deployment at Deep Water site; Collect, analyse, disseminate and archive sensor and house keeping data; Distribute data to customers. Revisit mooring site after six months recover and redeploy. 7. Final Technical Report and Final Project Report: Second six months Deployment at Deep Water site (as decreed by steering group); Collect, analyse, disseminate and archive sensor and house keeping data. Analysis of complete data handling chain performed; impact of data on customer base assessed, recommendations for continuance of DWOS as an operational system.
The main objective is to establish a scientific basis for the detection of the earliest signs of ozone recovery due to Montreal protocol and its amendments. To achieve this we will select the best long-term ozone and meteorological data sets available (by ECMWF and NCEP). Ozone data will be studied by using advanced multiple regression methods developed in this project. Meteorological data would allow to determine the dynamical changes and trends and assess their role in re-distribution of stratospheric ozone in recent decades and in order to force the Chemical Transport Models to assess the relative roles of chemistry and transport in ozone changes. Finally, the synthesis of the key objectives will improve the attribution of observed ozone changes to anthropogenic influences and to the variations in a natural atmosphere.
The International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has very recently revised the prediction of global average temperature increase during the next century from 1.0-3.5 to 1.4-5.8 K. The increase in the upper limit of the prediction is largely due to the role of aerosols in the climate of the Earth: it is believed that reduction of pollution will result in reduced direct and indirect (via clouds) scattering of sunlight back to the space. However, as can be seen from the large uncertainty of the estimated temperature increase, not enough is known about the role of natural and anthropogenic aerosols in climate processes. This is also reflected in the Key Action 2, under the RTD priority 2.1.1, calling for ”… quantification and prediction of … concentration of … aerosols, in particular the fine fraction of particles and their precursors”. The concentration of aerosols is controlled by their sources and sinks, and thus the prediction of particle concentration requires the quantification of aerosol source terms. The main objective of QUEST is to quantify the number of new secondary aerosol particles formed through homogeneous nucleation in the European boundary layer, and the relative contributions of natural and anthropogenic sources. The role of homogeneous nucleation in the formation of new atmospheric particles was realized in the 1990s, and considerable effort has been devoted to studies of aerosol formation in various parts of the Globe. The longest continuous data series of nucleation events has been obtained at a forest field station in Finland, where aerosol size distributions between 3 and 150 nm in diameter have been recorded in 10 minute intervals since the beginning of 1996 . Nucleation events occur in this rather clean Boreal area roughly 50-60 times per year, the highest event frequency taking place in the spring months (March-May). The concentration of new particles per cc of air formed during one event varies between roughly 100-10 000. Taking the average number to be one thousand, and assuming that the nucleation takes place in a well mixed boundary layer having a height of 1000 m, it can be estimated that the aerosol source term in the Boreal forest area is on the order of 51013 m-2 per year. This is on the same order as the global aerosol yield estimated from primary emissions . The number given here is very crude as we can at present only guess the vertical extent of the nucleation zone; however, it clearly shows that homogeneous nucleation events influence atmospheric particle concentrations at least at regional scales, and possibly also globally. Many features of the Boreal nucleation events have been revealed thus far. Necessary (but not sufficient) conditions include sunny weather, vertical mixing of air in the morning (prior to the detection of the event) , and a treshold value of a quantity that depends on radiation intensity (vapor source) and pre-existing aerosol size distribution (vapor sink) . The springtime events always seem to take place in Polar or Arctic air masses , but so far it is unclear whether the meteorology is similar during other seasons. Aerosol flux measurements  indicate that the particles are formed aloft, but the vertical extent of the nucleation layer is unknown. However, there is clear evidence from simultaneous measurements at various locations, that the horizontal extent of the areas in which the nucleation takes place can be hundreds and in some cases even thousands of kilometers . No direct correlation of nucleation events with SO2 concentrations has been found; however the product of SO2 concentration, ammonia concentration, and calculated OH concentration correlates with the events (personal communication). These results hint that the recently suggested ternary sulfuric acid-ammonia-water nucleation mechanism of small clusters, followed by the growth of the clusters due to condensation of other (possibly organic) vapors , may be operational in the Boreal forest area. Furthermore, there is experimental evidence that nucleation event particles in the 4-5 nm range are soluble in butanol (working fluid of condensation particle counters), which indicates organic composition. However, the confirmation of the ternary nucleation hypothesis requires simultaneous measurements of sulfuric acid vapor and ammonia, and further studies of the composition of the nucleated particles. Furthermore, to facilitate large-scale modelling studies, the vertical extent of the nucleation events, as well as the meteorological conditions during non-springtime events have to be investigated. Measurements of nucleation events at a more Central European location indicate that SO2 levels increase during the majority of nucleation events . It can be hypothesized that a part of observed nucleation events (minority in Central Europe, majority in the Boreal area) are ”natural” and a part are affected (or even caused) by pollution (majority in Central Europe, minority in the Boreal area). The confirmation of this hypothesis and implementation of the pollution type nucleation mechanism into a large-scale model requires carefully designed measurements from a location which is preferably Southern European as there is very little available nucleation data from this area. One of the few observations of new particles in Southern Europe  is from the Italian site where we plan to study the frequency, meteorology, vertical extent, and chemical precursors of nucleation events. Another type of nucleation events has been observed all along the western coast of Europe and have been studied more particularly at the west coast of Ireland . These events, which have a duration of the order of 4 hours and up to 8 hours, occur almost daily around low tide and under conditions of solar radiation, indicating photochemical source. Incredibly, the peak new particle concentrations often exceed 106 cm-3, making this the strongest natural source region of atmospheric particles. The exact chemical mechanisms leading to the production of coastal particles still remains an open question. As in other environments, there appears to be sufficient sulphuric acid vapour to participate in ternary nucleation with ammonia and water, however, there is insufficient sulphuric acid to grow these particles to detectable sizes . The most probable chemical species involved in the production or growth of these particles is Iodine, or an Iodine Oxide, produced photochemically from biogenic halocarbon emissions . The production of particles from the photolysis of CH2I2 in the presence of ozone has been confirmed by recent smog chamber experiments . While the concentration of new particles in this environment is extraordinarily high, its impact on background particle and CCN contribution remains unclear and needs to be quantified. A limited single study  has shown that the coastal aerosol plume is detectable up to several hunderds of km downwind and that the new coastal particles readily grow into CCN sizes (larger than 100 nm). An intensive campaign at the coast of Ireland will quantify the flux of both biogenic halocarbon precursor gases and the yield of new, and radiatively-active particles in the European coastal boundary layer. The objective of QUEST is to determine the source strength of new particle formation in the three above mentioned cases. The specific objectives are: 1) To fill in gaps that exist in the understanding of chemical and physical pathways leading to homogeneous nucleation of new aerosol particles; 2) To understand the meteorological conditions required for the events to take place and to be able to predict the horizontal and vertical extent of the events; 3) To implement parametrized representations of the nucleation mechanisms, based on the information from 1) and 2), to an European scale model in order to determine the source strength of homogeneous nucleation of aerosol particles in the European boundary layer.
The project primary goal is to relate among-year variation of tundra wader numbers and nesting success to breeding conditions on southeastern Taimyr.
The German Aerospace Center (DLR) Bi-spectral Infrared Detection (BIRD) small satellite is a technology demonstrator of new infrared push-broom sensors dedicated to recognition and quantitative characterisation of thermal processes on the Earth surface. BIRD was successfully piggy-back launched on October 22, 2001 with an Indian Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV-C3) into a circular sun-synchronous orbit with an altitude of 572 km and a North - South local equator crossing time at 10:30 h. Besides cameras working in the visible and near infrared spectral range there are two cameras working in the middle infrared (MIR, 3.4 – 4.2 µm) and in the thermal spectral range (TIR, 8.5 – 9.3 µm) respectively. The objective is to validate these two cameras in cooperation with the Koldewey-Station in Ny-Ålesund. Therefore meteorological and aerological data as well as radiation measuring data will be used.
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.
By launching several hundred ozonesondes and by ozone lidar measurements at many Arctic and sub-Arctic stations, one of them Ny-Ålesund, the stratospheric chemical ozone loss will be determined. The launches of all stations will be coordinated by analysis of trajectory calculations based on analysis and forecast wind fields. The aim is to get as many ozone sounding pairs as possible, each of them linked by trajectories in space and time. A statistical description of the ozone differencies given by the first and the second measurement of individual sonde pairs will yield the chemical ozone loss with spatial and time resolution. Four similar campaigns took place in the Arctic and in the mid-latitudes covering the time period of Januar to March in each of the last four winters. In the first three winters high ozone depletion rates (20 - 50 ppbv per day) were determined in some height levels within the polar vortex. In the height level of the ozone maximum an integrated ozone loss (during the winter) in the order of 60 % have been found. These are record ozone losses for the Arctic polar region. In the last winter the ozone depletion rates had been much lower due to moderate temperatures in the stratosphere.
The active layer, the annually freezing and thawing upper ground in permafrost areas, is of pivotal importance. The moisture and heat transfer characteristics of this layer also determine the boundary layer interactions of the underlying permafrost and the atmosphere and are therefore important parameters input for geothermal or climate modeling. Finally, changes in the characteristics of the permafrost and permafrost related processes may be used as indicators of global ecological change provided the system permafrost-active layer-atmosphere is understood sufficiently well. The dynamics of permafrost soils is measured with high accuracy and high temporal resolution at our two sites close to Ny-Ålesund, Svalbard. Using these continuous data we quantify energy balance components and deduce heat transfer processes such as conductive heat flux, generation of heat from phase transitions, and migration of water vapor.
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.