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The Northern Contaminants Program aims to reduce and where possible eliminate long-range contaminants from the Arctic Environment while providing Northerners with the information they need to make informed dietary choices, particularly concerning traditional/country food. To achieve these objectives the NCP conducts research and monitoring related to contaminants in the Arctic environment and people. Monitoring efforts focus on regular (annual) assessment of contaminant levels in a range of media, including air, biota and humans. Environmental research is conducted into the pathways, processes and effects of contaminants on Arctic ecosystems while human health research focuses on assessing contaminant exposure, toxicity research, epidemiological (cohort) studies, and risk-benefit assessment and communications. Main gaps: Contaminant measurements in Arctic seawater, toxicity data specific to Arctic species. Network type: - Thematical observations: Contaminants levels and relevant ancilliary parameters - Field stations: Atmospheric observing stations at Alert, Nunavut and Little Fox Lake, Yukon. - Community based observations: Numerous communities throughout the Canadian Arctic participate in sample collection - Coordination: National coordination of the program provided by the NCP secretariat, which also acts as liaison with AMAP.
To provide for the collection, interpretation, and dissemination of surface water quantity data and information and services that are vital to meet a wide range of water management, engineering and environmental needs across Canada. Main gaps: The current hydrometric network is deficient in terms of understanding the regional hydrology and river regimes across Canada. The map below integrates Environment Canada’s two key frameworks: the National Drainage Area Framework with the National Terrestrial Ecological Framework to identify network deficiencies. In order to have sufficient information there needs to be at least one active hydrometric station measuring natural flow in each corresponding ecodistrict within a sub-sub drainage area. This strategy ensures that there will be sufficient information to understand the hydrological processes and the interrelationships with the landscape. This information is essential for research and enhancing our predictive capabilities and data transfer. As the map shows, areas of sufficiency are concentrated in the southern, more populated regions of the country. Network sufficiency declines to the north and northeast, with great extents of northern Canada having no coverage at all. Network type: in-situ.water level and streamflow monitoring stations
The main objective of the Arctic Avian Monitoring Network is to characterize the occurrence of birds in the Arctic to support regulatory responsibilities and conservation of birds and the biodiversity on which they depend. Temporal and spatial changes can be used to indicate changes in ecosystems that might otherwise be difficult to detect (e.g. marine areas) and can also be used to model predicted changes due to human activity. Main gaps: Large gaps both spatially and temporally. Many datasets cover short periods. Some species groups not well covered (e.g. landbirds and shorebirds) Network type: Network consists of programs divided into three species themes that combine common aspects of biology and human use: Waterfowl: e.g. ducks geese and swans • centered on aerial surveys of high density breeding areas and following non-breeding birds using satellite telemetry Seabirds: e.g. gulls, terns and auks • centered on surveys at breeding colonies and of birds at sea (either by direct observation or through the use of data loggers) Shorebirds: e.g. sandpipers, plovers and phalaropes • focused on broad-scale, stratified sampling of terrestrial areas and aerial surveys of non-marine habitats
ArcticNet brings together scientists and managers in the natural, human health and social sciences with their partners in Inuit organizations, northern communities, government and industry to help Canadians face the impacts and opportunities of climate change and globalization in the Arctic. Over 110 ArcticNet researchers and 400 graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, research associates and technicians from 28 Canadian universities and 8 federal departments collaborate on 28 research projects with over 150 partner organizations from 15 countries. The major objectives of the Network are: • Build synergy among existing Centres of Excellence in the natural, human health and social Arctic sciences. • Involve northerners, government and industry in the steering of the Network and scientific process through bilateral exchange of knowledge, training and technology. • Increase and update the observational basis needed to address the ecosystem-level questions raised by climate change and globalization in the Arctic. • Provide academic researchers and their national and international collaborators with stable access to the coastal Canadian Arctic. • Consolidate national and international collaborations in the study of the Canadian Arctic. • Contribute to the training of the next generation of experts, from north and south, needed to study, model and ensure the stewardship of the changing Canadian Arctic. • Translate our growing understanding of the changing Arctic into regional impact assessments, national policies and adaptation strategies. Main gaps: [Not specified] Network type: Thematical observations:Yes Field stations: Yes on Land (see CEN sheet) and Marine (CCGS Amundsen) Community based observations: Yes Coordination: Yes
The Centre for Northern Studies (www.cen.ulaval.ca; CEN: Centre d’études nordiques) is an interuniversity centre of excellence for research involving Université Laval, Université du Québec à Rimouski and the Centre Eau, Terre et Environnement de l'Institut national de la recherche scientifique (INRS). Members also come from the following affiliations: Université de Montréal, Université du Québec à Chicoutimi, à Montréal and à Trois-Rivières, Université de Sherbrooke, and the College François-Xavier Garneau. The CEN is multidisciplinary, bringing together over forty researchers including biologists, geographers, geologists, engineers, archaeologists, and landscape management specialists. The CEN community also counts two hundred graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, and employees. CEN’s mission is to contribute to the sustainable development of northern regions by way of an improved understanding of environmental change. CEN researchers analyze the evolution of northern environments in the context of climate warming and accelerated socio-economic change and train highly qualified personnel in the analysis and management of cold region ecosystems and geosystems. In partnership with government, industry and northern communities, CEN plays a pivotal role in environmental stewardship and development of the circumpolar North. CEN research activities are focused on three themes: 1 -Structure and function of northern continental environments. 2 -Evolution of northern environments in the context of global change. 3-Evaluation of the risks associated with environmental change and development of adaptation strategies. In 2009, CEN organised an international workshop with the European SAON network SCANNET and also partners throughout Canada. The workshop culminated in the formal incorporation of CEN stations within SCANNET (http://www.scannet.nu/). Main gaps: [Not specified] Network type: CEN operates the CEN Network, an extensive network of meteorological and field stations that were established in consultation with northern communities. The CEN Network comprises over 75 climate and soil monitoring stations and eight field stations distributed across a 4000 km North-South gradient from boreal forest to the High Arctic. The eight field stations are situated at the following sites: Radisson, Whapmagoostui- Kuujjuarapik, Umiujaq, Lac à l’Eau Claire (in the proposed new park Tursujuq), Boniface River, Salluit, and Bylot and Ward Hunt Islands, which are part of two National Parks in Nunavut. The main field station at the heart of the CEN Network is at Whapmagoostui-Kuujjuarapik.
The Canadian Ice Service (CIS), a branch of the Meteorological Service of Canada, is the leading authority for information about ice in Canada’s navigable waters. CIS provides the most timely and accurate information about sea ice, lake ice, river ice and icebergs to: • Ensure the safety of both mariners and Canadians, their property and their environment through the provision of hazardous ice condition warnings • Provide present and future generations of Canadians with sufficient knowledge to support sound environmental policies In summer and fall data collection and analysis is focussed on the Arctic and the Hudson Bay regions with daily satellite acquisitions. In winter and spring, the data collection is focussed on the Great lakes, the St. Lawrence River and the Gulf of the St. Lawrence and the Newfoundland and Labrador coasts The following products are produced: • In situ briefings, warnings, daily ice charts, image analysis charts, regional charts, observed charts, short- and long-term forecasts and iceberg bulletins and charts; specialised ice information services for Other Government Departments and research communities • Oil spill monitoring; satellite image analysis for oil spill detection • Annual Ice Atlas • Archive of climatic ice information Main gaps: Satellite monitoring of Arctic sea ice is limited to: • Canadian waters, • Bi-Weekly acquisitions from January to March • Weekly acquisitions from April to May • Daily acquisitions of areas where shipping is active from June to November Network type: various: satellite data, observations from ships and aircraft. CIS acquires and analyses thousands of satellite images, conducts millions of square kilometres of airborne reconnaissance and receives hundreds of ship and shore ice reports annually.
The main objective of the Arctic Marine Biodiversity Monitoring Network is to develop and implement, for priority marine ecosystems, an integrated, long-term biodiversity monitoring plan to detect changes in biodiversity temporally and spatially, and to establish links between such changes and anthropogenic drivers. Main gaps: Large gaps both spatially and temporally. Many datasets cover short periods. Network type: - Thematical observations: all trophic levels and appropriate proxy variables for biodiversity - Field stations: fixed locations on land; research ships and icebreakers of the Canadian Coast Guard; other ships of opportunity as available; moorings - Community based observations: connected to scientific projects - Coordination (e.g. not directly involved in observations, but coordinates data and use (for instance AMAP) : national coordination of the network, development of plans, data analysis, reporting
Observations of the Arctic Ocean have been made since the 1800s at varying levels of intensity. The objective is to gain a better understanding of the physical and chemical composition of Arctic waters, the circulation of the waters within the Arctic Ocean, and flows into and out of the Arctic Ocean. Physical observations are conducted on properties of the water column including ocean temperature, sea surface temperature, salinity, pH, carbon, changes in ice coverage and extent, hydrographic measurements, nutrients, etc. Surface drifters either embedded in the ice, or (lately) able to float and operate in ice infested waters, provide measurements of a limited number of surface ocean and meteorological variables. . Additional observations are obtained on ocean currents, waves and tides. Biological observations are captured within a separate inventory item titled “Arctic Marine Biodiversity Monitoring”. Recently, a focus has been on increasing understanding of the impacts of climate change on Arctic waters (e.g., increasing temperature, decreasing pH, decreasing salinity, changing ice conditions, etc.). Data is gathered by ship with in situ measurements, deployment of moorings and buoys, helicopters (e.g. for ice measurements), and satellites (e.g. sea surface temperature). Main gaps: Large geographic areas of the Arctic are not covered regularly. Network type: - Thematical observations: of all oceanographic parameters - Field stations: Research ships and ice breakers of the Canadian Coast Guard; other ships of opportunity as available; moorings and buoys - Community based observations: - Coordination: National coordination of the program provided within Fisheries and Oceans Canada, and the National Centre for Arctic Aquatic Research Excellence (NCAARE)
To acquire atmospheric data in support of both the prediction and detection of severe weather and of climate trend and variability research. This serves a broad range of users including researchers, policy makers, and service providers. Main gaps: Long-term, atmospheric monitoring in the North poses a significant challenge both operationally (e.g. in-situ automated snowfall measurements) and financially (charterd flights for maintenance and calibration).Most monitoring in the North is limited to populated areas. Attempts to develop an AMDAR capacity out of First Air and Canadian North fleets failed due to economical and technical difficulties. As demonstrated through impact studies, benefits of AMDAR in the North would be tremendous, however would require acquisition and deployment of specialized sensing packages such as TAMDAR (which includes measurements of relative humidity), development of datalink capacity through satellite communications (e.g. Iridium), and upgrading some aircraft systems when possible, especially the aircraft navigation systems. Network type: Atmospheric observing stations over land and sea composed of: - Surface Weather and Climate Network: o In-situ land stations comprising both Hourly stations and Daily Climate observations - Marine Networks: o Buoys (moored and drifting) o Ships: Automatic Volunteer Observing System - Upper Air Network: o In situ (radiosonde) o In situ Commercial Aircraft (AMDAR)