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Tromsø, Norway

Day J.J.,University of Bristol | Day J.J.,Japan Agency for Marine - Earth Science and Technology | Bamber J.L.,University of Bristol | Valdes P.J.,University of Bristol | Kohler J.,Norsk Polarinstitutt
Cryosphere | Year: 2012

The observed decline in summer sea ice extent since the 1970s is predicted to continue until the Arctic Ocean is seasonally ice free during the 21st Century. This will lead to a much perturbed Arctic climate with large changes in ocean surface energy flux. Svalbard, located on the present day sea ice edge, contains many low lying ice caps and glaciers and is expected to experience rapid warming over the 21st Century. The total sea level rise if all the land ice on Svalbard were to melt completely is 0.02 m.

The purpose of this study is to quantify the impact of climate change on Svalbard's surface mass balance (SMB) and to determine, in particular, what proportion of the projected changes in precipitation and SMB are a result of changes to the Arctic sea ice cover. To investigate this a regional climate model was forced with monthly mean climatologies of sea surface temperature (SST) and sea ice concentration for the periods 1961-1990 and 2061-2090 under two emission scenarios. In a novel forcing experiment, 20th Century SSTs and 21st Century sea ice were used to force one simulation to investigate the role of sea ice forcing. This experiment results in a 3.5 m water equivalent increase in Svalbard's SMB compared to the present day. This is because over 50 % of the projected increase in winter precipitation over Svalbard under the A1B emissions scenario is due to an increase in lower atmosphere moisture content associated with evaporation from the ice free ocean. These results indicate that increases in precipitation due to sea ice decline may act to moderate mass loss from Svalbard's glaciers due to future Arctic warming. © 2012 Author(s). Source


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP | Phase: Ocean.2010-1 | Award Amount: 14.85M | Year: 2011

The Arctic is engaged in a deep climatic evolution. This evolution is quite predictable at short (year) and longer scales (several decades), but it is the decadal intermediate scale that is the most difficult to predict. This is because the natural variability of the system is large and dominant at this scale, and the system is highly non linear due to positive and negative feedback between sea ice, the ocean and atmosphere. Already today, due to the increase of the GHG concentration in the atmosphere and the amplification of global warming in the Arctic, the impacts of climate change in the region are apparent, e.g. in the reduction in sea ice, in changes in weather patterns and cyclones or in the melting of glaciers and permafrost. It is therefore not surprising that models clearly predict that Artic sea ice will disappear in summer within 20 or 30 years, yielding new opportunities and risks for human activities in the Arctic. This climatic evolution is going to have strong impacts on both marine ecosystems and human activities in the Arctic. This in turn has large socio-economic implications for Europe. ACCESS will evaluate climatic impacts in the Arctic on marine transportation (including tourism), fisheries, marine mammals and the extraction of hydrocarbons for the next 20 years; with particular attention to environmental sensitivities and sustainability. These meso-economic issues will be extended to the macro-economic scale in order to highlight trans-sectoral implications and provide an integrated assessment of the socio-economic impact of climate change. An important aspect of ACCESS, given the geostrategic implication of Arctic state changes, will be the consideration of Arctic governance issues, including the framework UNCLOS (United Nations Convention for the Law of the Sea). ACCESS dedicates a full work package to integrate Arctic climate changes, socioeconomic impacts and Arctic governance issues.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP | Phase: ENV.2008.1.1.1.1. | Award Amount: 13.64M | Year: 2009

The melting of continental ice (glaciers, ice caps and ice sheets) is a substantial source of current sea-level rise, and one that is accelerating more rapidly than was predicted even a few years ago. Indeed, the most recent report from Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change highlighted that the uncertainty in projections of future sea-level rise is dominated by uncertainty concerning continental ice, and that understanding of the key processes that will lead to loss of continental ice must be improved before reliable projections of sea-level rise can be produced. The ice2sea programme will draw together European and international partners, to reduce these uncertainties. We will undertake targeted studies of key processes in mountain glacier systems and ice caps (e.g. Svalbard), and in ice sheets in both polar regions (Greenland and Antarctica) to improve understanding of how these systems will respond to future climate change. We will improve satellite determinations of continental ice mass, and provide much-needed datasets for testing glacier-response models. Using newly developed ice-sheet/glacier models, we will generate detailed projections of the contribution of continental ice to sea-level rise over the next 200 years, and identify thresholds that commit the planet to long-term sea-level rise. We will deliver these results in forms accessible to scientists, policy-makers and the general public, which will include clear presentations of the sources of uncertainty. The ice2sea programme will directly inform the ongoing international debate on climate-change mitigation, and European debates surrounding coastal adaptation and sea-defence planning. It will leave a legacy of improved understanding of key cryospheric processes affecting development of the Earth System and the predictive tools for glacier-response modelling, and it will train a new generation of young European researchers who can use those tools for the future benefit of society.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: ENV.2013.6.1-1 | Award Amount: 11.52M | Year: 2014

The ICE-ARC project aims to understand and quantify the multiple stresses involved in the change in the Arctic marine environment. Particular focus is on the rapid retreat and collapse of the Arctic sea ice cover and to assess the climatic (ice, ocean, atmosphere and ecosystem), economic and social impacts of these stresses on regional and global scales. It is not possible to look at one aspect of this system in isolation; a coupled atmosphere/cryosphere/ocean/ecosystem approach is needed. Our observations will focus on reducing the uncertainty in understanding of Arctic physical processes which are vital in climate and ecosystem change and which may not be adequately represented in present models. Results of the observational programme will be fed into an ice-ocean-atmosphere model which, after validation, will make projections - with reduced uncertainties - of the rate and nature of future changes in the ice cover, ocean structure and atmospheric temperature and circulation. In parallel with this an ecosystems model will perform the same role for marine living resources. The resulting projections of the two models will be fed into an economic impact model (PAGE-ICE) that is specially reconfigured for cryosphere-driven impacts. This will calculate the impacts of the projected physical changes upon the global economic and social system, including those of the Arctic region itself. This will be the first time that a leading global impact model has been coupled with a physical climate model to directly assess the economic impact of observed and projected climate change events. It is being applied to the oceanic region of greatest current concern to the global community because of the speed of visible change there. The outputs of the entire project, will undoubtedly lead to more effective policy and management options for societal responses to climate change, and because of this we have an extensive dissemination and engagement programme within ICE-ARC.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-CSA-Infra-PP | Phase: INFRA-2010-2.2.3 | Award Amount: 6.68M | Year: 2010

Environmental change and climate change in particular, are expected to be most pronounced in the polar regions. For this reason, a multi-disciplinary research infrastructure covering all important elements of the coupled Earth System in the Arctic is a very valuable tool to quantify the ongoing global change and to verify the capability of Earth System models to predict future changes. The proposed EFRI project Svalbard Integrated Arctic Earth Observing System (SIOS) is intended to take this role. The main goal of the SIOS Preparatory Phase (SIOS-PP) project is to define, work out and decide on the formal framework needed to establish and operate the geographically distributed and thematically composed multi-national research infrastructure with a node function in different aspects, that SIOS will manifest. This covers, on one side, aspects common for all ESFRI initiatives, such as legal status, governance structure, financial strategy, a data management and utilization plan, and an (on- and offshore) logistics plan. In addition, SIOS-PP will address topics that are special for this infrastructure: a dedicated remote sensing strategy, an internal scientific and observational, as well as an international integration and cooperation plan, which will link SIOS to regional European Arctic and pan-Arctic scientific infrastructure networks. The SIOS-PP project will be carried out by a consortium of 27 partners from 14 countries including 4 non-EU and non-associated countries; three of the partners are national funding agencies. In addition, 19 associated partners with infrastructure or strong scientific interests on Svalbard will cooperate during the preparatory phase. The project has a duration of 3 years.

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