International Polar Foundation

Brussels, Belgium

International Polar Foundation

Brussels, Belgium
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Ingels J.,Ghent University | Van Den Driessche P.,Ghent University | De Mesel I.,Institute for Marine Resources and Ecosystem Studies | Vanhove S.,International Polar Foundation | And 2 more authors.
Marine Ecology Progress Series | Year: 2010

The present study explored the selective feeding properties of Antarctic and Arctic deep-sea nematodes within an experimental setup. Nematodes are assumed to play an important role in the carbon flux within the polar bathyal food webs, but knowledge about their natural diets is limited. For the first time, deep-sea multicore sediment samples from both polar regions were incubated aboard research vessels with either13C-labelled bacteria or diatoms to determine whether the nematode community prefers freshly settled phytodetritus to a bacterial food source. The cores were collected at 2112 to 2400 m water depth and incubated onboard for 1, 3 and 6 d in the Arctic (Hausgarten) and for 1, 7 and 14 d in Antarctica (Kapp Norvegia). Natural carbon isotope signals of nematodes and organic sedimentary carbon showed a clear average offset (+3.2‰). The contribution of bacteria to the diet of nematodes explained this13C offset and observed natural13C isotopic signatures. The nematodes showed a clear, relatively rapid (maximum at 6 to 7 d) and significant selective response to the pulse of13C enriched bacteria in surface sediments of both regions. This indicated that bacteria were preferred over fresh phytoplankton as a carbon source for both Arctic and Antarctic deep-sea nematode communities. The results also suggest that bacteria may provide a path through which unused detritus may enter the traditional metazoan food web by microbial reworking of organic matter. At the same time, uptake rates of nematode communities were minimal, which suggests the contribution of nematodes to benthic mineralisation of freshly deposited organic matter may be limited in deep polar seas. © Inter-Research 2010.

Tin T.,British Petroleum | Sovacool B.K.,National University of Singapore | Blake D.,British Antarctic Survey | Magill P.,Australian Antarctic Division | And 4 more authors.
Renewable Energy | Year: 2010

This article showcases a range of small and large scale energy efficiency and renewable energy deployments at Antarctic research stations and field camps. Due to the cold and harsh environment, significant amounts of fuel are needed to support humans working and living in Antarctica. The purchase, transportation and storage of large amounts of fossil fuel entail significant economic costs and environmental risks and have motivated developments in energy efficiency and renewable energy deployment. Over the past three decades, improved building design, behavioral change, cogeneration, solar collectors, solar panels and wind turbines have been found to be effective in Antarctica, demonstrating that harsh environmental conditions and technological barriers do not have to limit the deployment of energy efficiency and renewable energy. The ambition to run entire stations or field camps on 100% renewable energy is increasingly common and feasible. While the power requirements of Antarctic research stations are small compared to urban installations on other continents, these case studies clearly demonstrate that if energy efficiency and renewable energy can be deployed widely on the coldest, darkest and most remote continent of the world, their deployment should be more widespread and encouraged on other continents. © 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Cheek J.,International Polar Foundation | Huyge B.,International Polar Foundation | De Pomereu J.,International Polar Foundation
Polar Research | Year: 2011

One of the priorities of the fourth International Polar Year (IPY) was to increase awareness of the polar regions and polar science among the general public through education, communication and other forms of outreach. This paper reports on the media coverage of Princess Elisabeth Antarctica (PEA), Belgium's "zero-emission"Antarctic research station designed by the nonprofit International Polar Foundation (IPF) to run on wind and solar energy and to employ state-of-the-art forms of energy management and other "green"technology. This paper provides background information on PEA, a review of IPF's media strategy for the project, a description of media coverage of the station and a discussion of the way in which the IPF's main messages were reported in the media. IPF staff surveyed approximately 300 media reports released between February 2004, when the PEA project was announced to the general public, and June 2010, when the IPF presented their findings at the IPY conference in Oslo. PEA was featured 580 times in print and web media in Belgium, and 303 times outside Belgium. Major international agencies such as the Associated Press, Agence France Presse, the BBC, Al-Jazeera and Reuters covered the project. On television and radio, PEA was featured in news broadcasts from all four major television networks in Belgium, most major radio stations and 34 different television and radio news outlets outside Belgium. The paper concludes that the media coverage for PEA was significant and suggests reasons why the project was so widely reported. © 2011 J. Cheek et al.

Goosse H.,Catholic University of Leuven | Brovkin V.,Max Planck Institute for Meteorology | Fichefet T.,Catholic University of Leuven | Haarsma R.,Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute | And 23 more authors.
Geoscientific Model Development | Year: 2010

The main characteristics of the new version 1.2 of the three-dimensional Earth system model of intermediate complexity LOVECLIM are briefly described. LOVECLIM 1.2 includes representations of the atmosphere, the ocean and sea ice, the land surface (including vegetation), the ice sheets, the icebergs and the carbon cycle. The atmospheric component is ECBilt2, a T21, 3-level quasi-geostrophic model. The ocean component is CLIO3, which consists of an ocean general circulation model coupled to a comprehensive thermodynamic-dynamic sea-ice model. Its horizontal resolution is of 3° by 3°, and there are 20 levels in the ocean. ECBilt-CLIO is coupled to VECODE, a vegetation model that simulates the dynamics of two main terrestrial plant functional types, trees and grasses, as well as desert. VECODE also simulates the evolution of the carbon cycle over land while the ocean carbon cycle is represented by LOCH, a comprehensive model that takes into account both the solubility and biological pumps. The ice sheet component AGISM is made up of a three-dimensional thermomechanical model of the ice sheet flow, a visco-elastic bedrock model and a model of the mass balance at the ice-atmosphere and ice-ocean interfaces. For both the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets, calculations are made on a 10 km by 10 km resolution grid with 31 sigma levels. LOVECLIM1.2 reproduces well the major characteristics of the observed climate both for present-day conditions and for key past periods such as the last millennium, the mid-Holocene and the Last Glacial Maximum. However, despite some improvements compared to earlier versions, some biases are still present in the model. The most serious ones are mainly located at low latitudes with an overestimation of the temperature there, a too symmetric distribution of precipitation between the two hemispheres, and an overestimation of precipitation and vegetation cover in the subtropics. In addition, the atmospheric circulation is too weak. The model also tends to underestimate the surface temperature changes (mainly at low latitudes) and to overestimate the ocean heat uptake observed over the last decades. © Author(s) 2010.

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