First ICE-ARC field work under way!

Steffan Olsen, from the Danish Meteorological Institute and colleagues are working on ice with Inuit hunters for observing ocean and sea-ice in the Arctic. They’ll profile the water column & install instruments to measure the variability in ocean currents and sea-ice surface properties. Data serve to build a better understanding of the ocean processes maintaining the layering in the water column partly inhibiting warm water from below to reach to the sea-ice. The region studied is hunting grounds for the village of Qaanaaq in NW Greenland with it traditional Inuit culture which relies on the fast ice for transport and hunting.

<p>Regions of the Arctic</p>

Regions of the Arctic

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Directly assessing the social and economic impact of Arctic sea-ice loss

ICE-ARC (Ice, Climate, Economics – Arctic Research on Change) will look into the current and future changes in Arctic sea ice – both from changing atmospheric and oceanic conditions. The project will also investigate, in a robust way, the consequences of these changes both on the economics of the area, and social aspects such as on indigenous peoples.

The four year project brings together physicists, chemists, biologists, economists, and sociologists from 21 institutes from 11 countries across Europe. With a budget of €11.5M we aim 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 Arctic sea-ice cover. The most spectacular retreat is occurring in summer, and the complete loss of summer sea ice may occur in a very short period of time – years to decades.

There is also a significant reduction in sea ice extent in all seasons, which, if continued, will result seasonal ice cover and a widening annual window of the ice-free season.

The outcome of the project will be a better understanding of, and ability to predict, Arctic marine change. This will provide an improvement in the scientific baseline for guiding EU and international policies on the protection of the Arctic marine environment, at a time of increased socio-economic pressure, especially in the field of resource exploitation.

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Last updated on 17-07-2014 12:39