Norsk Polarinstitutt

Tromsø, Norway

Norsk Polarinstitutt

Tromsø, Norway
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Grant
Agency: European Commission | 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: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: MC-ITN | Phase: PEOPLE-2007-1-1-ITN | Award Amount: 2.66M | Year: 2008

The NSINK Initial Stage Network training network targets one of the most vital, interdisciplinary problems facing future Arctic environmental management: namely the enrichment of Arctic terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems by reactive atmospheric nitrogen from low latitude emission centres. This problem will greatly exacerbate ecosystem response to climate change, and urgently requires holistic, sources to sinks type studies of nitrogen dynamics. Thus training in atmospheric sciences, snow physics, hydrology, biogeochemistry and aquatic/terrestrial ecology is necessary, bringing UK, Norwegian, Swedish, Austrian and German expertise (already operative in Svalbard) into a single interdisciplinary project at Ny lesund, the site of Europes most significant high Arctic environmental monitoring infrastructure. Further, in order to constrain recent change in the nitrogen accumulation in this environment, training in the interpretation of ice core and lake sediment archives will also be offered, and a reanalysis of instrumental observations collected over the last 15 years will be undertaken. NSINK will therefore prepare talented researchers for careers as independent scientists/practitioners across a range of environmental sciences (e.g. biogeochemistry, atmospheric sciences, hydrology) and related sectors either in academia or in industry. The scale of the NSINK ITN is significant (nine Early Stage Researchers, three Experienced Researchers, four training partners and 9 associated or industrial partners) because it addresses the demand for training in this area resulting from the urgent science problem and a major growth in public interest in the environmental sciences that is being experienced by universities across the entire EU.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | 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: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-CSA-Infra | Phase: INFRA-2010-1.1.19 | Award Amount: 9.36M | Year: 2011

Environmental change and particularly amplified global climate change are accelerating in the Arctic. These changes already affect local residents and feedback from the Arctics land surface to the climate system, will have global implications. However, climate change and its impacts are variable throughout the wide environmental and land use envelopes of the Arctic. Unfortunately, the Arctic is generally remote, sparsely populated and research and monitoring activities are more restricted in time and space than elsewhere. This limitation comes when there is a rapidly expanding need for knowledge as well as increasing technological opportunities to make data collection in the field and accessibility more efficient. INTERACT is a network under the auspices of SCANNET, a circumarctic network of terrestrial field bases. INTERACT specifically seeks to build capacity for research and monitoring in the European Arctic and beyond. Partnerships will be established between Station Managers and researchers within Joint Research Activities that will develop more efficient networks of sensors to measure changing environmental conditions and make data storage and accessibility more efficient through a single portal. New communities of researchers will be offered access to Arctic terrestrial infrastructures while local stakeholders as well as major international organisations will be involved in interactions with the infrastructures. This will lead to increased public awareness of environmental change and methods to adapt to them, increased access to information for education at all levels, and input to major international research and assessment programmes.The whole consortium will form a coherent and integrated unit working within a concept of a wide environmental and land use envelopes in which local conditions determine the directions and magnitudes of environmental change whereas the balance and synergies of processes integrated across the whole region have global impacts.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | 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.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | 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: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: CSA | Phase: SC5-05-2016 | Award Amount: 2.59M | Year: 2016

To better constrain the response of Earths climate system to continuing emissions, it is essential to turn to the past. A key advance would be to understand the transition in Earths climate response to changes in orbital forcing during the mid-Pleistocene transition (900 to 1200 thousand years ago) and in particular the role of greenhouse gases. Unravelling such key linkages between the carbon cycle, ice sheets, atmosphere and ocean behaviour is vital for society to better design effective mitigation and adaptation strategies. Only ice cores contain the unique and quantitative information about past climate forcing and atmospheric responses. But the ice providing essential evidence about past mechanisms of climate change more than 1 Ma ago required for our understanding of these changes (termed the Oldest Ice core), has not been found to date. The consortium BEYOND EPICA OLDEST ICE (BE-OI), formed by 14 European institutions, takes on this challenge to prepare the ground for obtaining 1.5 million year old ice from East Antarctica. BE-OI has the objectives to: - support the site selection through creation and synthesis of all necessary information on Antarctic sites through specific geophysical surveys and the use of fast drilling tools to qualify sites and validate the age of their ice; - select and evaluate the optimum drill site for the future Oldest Ice core project and establish a science and management plan for a future drilling; - coordinate the technical and scientific planning to ensure the availability of the technical means to implement suitable drill systems and analytical methodologies for a future ice-core drilling, and of well-trained personnel to operate them successfully; - establish the budget and the financial background for a future deep-drilling campaign; - embed the scientific aims of an Oldest Ice core project within the wider paleoclimate data and modelling communities through international and cross-disciplinary cooperation.

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