CULTURAL / HISTORICAL / POLICY / EDUCATION
Chair: Heather Mariash
Alexey K. Pavlov, Amelie Meyer, Anja Rösel, Mats A. Granskog, Sebastian Gerland, Stephen R. Hudson, Jennifer King, Polona Itkin, Lana Cohen, Paul Dodd, Laura de Steur, Jean Negrel, Norwegian Polar Institute, Fram Centre, Tromsø, Norway,
Abstract: As polar researchers, we are keen to share our passion for polar regions and science with a broad audience. We are encouraged to do so by journalists, policy-makers and funding agencies and many of us want to become better science communicators. But how can this be achieved in a small lab or research group without specifically allocated resources such as funds and communication officers? And how do we sustain communication on a regular basis and not just during the limited lifetime of a specific project?
One solution is to use the emerging platforms of social media, which have become powerful and inexpensive tools for communicating science to different target audiences. Many research institutions and individual researchers are already advanced users of social media, but small research groups and labs remain underrepresented.
As a group of oceanographers, sea ice, and atmospheric scientists at the Norwegian Polar Institute (@OceanSeaIceNPI), we share our experiences developing and maintaining researcher-driven outreach for over a year through Instagram, Twitter and Facebook platforms. We will present our solutions to some of the practical considerations such as identifying key target groups, defining the framework for sharing responsibilities and interactions within the research group, and choosing an up-to-date and appropriate social medium. Doing so, we aim to inspire and assist other research groups and labs in conducting their own effective science communication.
If you have questions about our @OceanSeaIceNPI initiative, you can tweet them with an #ask_oceanseaicenpi hashtag anytime. We will get back to your question during the presentation!
11:30 - 11:45 GMT: Ambivalent Marine Invasions in Arctic Marine Ecosystems: Crustaceans in the Barents Sea
Melina Kourantidou, University of Southern Denmark, Denmark
Abstract: Two relatively new cructacean invasions in the Barents Sea have recently given rise to the development of lucrative fisheries, thus jeopardizing decision making processes with regard to their management. The Snow Crab (SC) (Chionoecetes opilio) has recently established in the North East Atlantic, and has been lately expanding its geographical range and abundance. The SC’s main habitat is located in the northern parts of the Russian EEZ as well as in international waters of the Barents Sea (Loophole). Concerns have been expressed that the SC is expected to spread towards Arctic regions such as Spitzbergen - Svalbard, taking into account the current scenarios for climate warming. There has been a lot of discussion recently on whether the SC can be considered a ‘sedentary species’ and therefore not regulated under the UN Fish Stocks Agreement but rather under international regulation. Characterizing the SC as a sedentary species is playing a critical role in decisions for the management of the stock under international agreements such as UNCLOS, that may regard it either as a fish stock in international waters or as a resource of the continental shelf. Invasions like the SC that can both contribute to the development of a promising fishery and at the same time can pose threats to the native ecosystem, certainly have both private and public good characteristics. While the fishing industry is looking at the new species as a profitable resource that can be harvested and bring along significantly high levels of fishing rents, ecologists looking at the potential impacts of the invasions on the ecosystem and the rapid spread of the species make it look more like a (weakest-link) public good. The experience from the older invasion in the Barents of the Red King Crab (Paralithodes camtschaticus) shows that delayed management may have detrimental impacts for the ecosystem, especially for soft-bottom benthic fauna species. The different perceptions of ecosystem damages, along with the different incentives for the management of the fishery have led to separate quota regulated areas for Russia and Norway (quota regulated east of 26o and open access fishery west of 26o), that do not ensure an optimal path. In order to effectively address those challenges we need to assume the existence of benevolent social planner who decides on an optimal strategy that maximizes the overall social welfare.
11:45 - 12:00 GMT: Meeting the Sleeping Beauty or a Monstrous South? Antarctica in Contemporary British Literature
Johanna Grabow, Leipzig University, Germany
Abstract: Antarctica is one of the last large-scale ecosystems of our planet, yet it is a continent bereft of indigenous inhabitants and their corresponding creation myths. It is a place where sounds become muffled, smells are deep-frozen and colours disappear. The enormous icy wastes are an inhospitable place, still difficult to access and whoever manages to set a foot on the Frozen South will have a temporary stay. My paper aims to investigate the perception of Antarctica, one of the last large-scale ecosystems of our planet, in recent literary examples. With the help of James Vance Marshall’s White Out (1999) and Matt Dickinson’s Black Ice (2003), I will explore how the gap between terrain and self and between human and nature is depicted. Literature can thereby evoke the idea of Antarctica as the best place on earth and the worst; a place that embodies a sleeping ice beauty and a monstrous south simultaneously. Travelling to Antarctica, however, does not only entail a journey downwards in a geographical sense, but also a journey inwards. Both texts project inner psychological processes on the icy exterior landscapes and vice versa. The frozen continent therefore confronts humans both with their deepest fears and their hidden, forbidden desires. Ultimately, meeting Antarctica is not only waking a sleeping ice beauty or fighting a monstrous south, but also coping with a place where humans have to re-define themselves in relation to their natural surroundings.
José Xavier, British Antarctic Survey (UK) / Marine and Environmental Sciences Centre of the University of Coimbra (Portugal)
Abstract: The presentation will provide a brief broad review of the most recent challenges in polar marine sciences and where opportunities in marine research (i.e. MSc, PhD, Post-Docs) may arise for APECS members, while providing examples of my research.
Bio: José Xavier is an Antarctic marine ecologist based at the British Antarctic Survey (UK) and at the Marine and Environmental Sciences Centre of the University of Coimbra (Portugal), focusing his research on predator-prey interactions in the Southern Ocean, particularly on foraging and feeding behavior of top predators to climate change. His contribution to Antarctic science, politics and education and outreach has been substantial. After his PhD at the University of Cambridge he played a key role in establishing the Portuguese Polar Research Programme and produced and co-organized the Portuguese education and outreach programmes. José is the Head of the Delegation of Portugal at the Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meetings (ATCM) and in the steering committee of the Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research (SCAR) programs. José has been involved with the Association of Polar Early Career Scientists (APECS) since day 1. José is the youngest scientist to be awarded the prestigious Marta T. Muse award for his substantial contribution to Antarctic science and policy.
BIOLOGICAL - MARINE / FRESHWATER / TERRESTRIAL
12:30 - 12:45 GMT: Using tagged seals to evaluate the MODIS record: can perturbations to the base of the Southern Ocean food web be detected in 12 years of data?
Lauren Biermann, Sea Mammal Research Unit
Abstract: The Southern Ocean maintains a complex marine food web based on its stock of photosynthesizing phytoplankton. For the same reason, it is our most significant sink of carbon, vital to the functioning of our global atmospheric systems. However, this key polar ocean is also responsive to atmospheric variability dominated by the Southern Annular Mode (SAM). In response to ozone depletion, the SAM has exhibited a significant trend to its positive phase since the 1970s. Consequently, the westerlies driving circulation have strengthened and contracted poleward, changing mixing regimes and shifting fronts further south. Inevitably, these changes must impact on phytoplankton patterns, with ramifications for the Antarctic marine food web. Based on satellite measures of [Chl-a] and light attenuation (Zeu) which were first validated by fluorescence and light data collected by tagged southern elephant seals, this talk addresses the possibility that changes to summer phytoplankton patterns in the Southern Ocean can already be measured in the 12-year MODIS record. Trends suggest overall declines and shifts in the timing of blooms. In some regions, changes also appear to be associated with the SAM. However, declines in surface [Chl-a] may point to increases in deep chlorophyll maxima rather than net losses to biomass, and, ultimately, it is the vertical distribution of phytoplankton that structures marine food webs. Southern elephant seals are tertiary consumers, yet their foraging patterns do not appear to be independent of vertically-integrated phytoplankton abundance. This suggests that perturbations to the base of the marine food web will persist through to the top.
Zofia Smoła1; Clara Hoppe2; Eva Leu3
1 Institute of Oceanology, Polish Academy of Sciences, Poland-Centre for Polar Studies KNOW (Leading National Research Centre)
2 Alfred-Wegener-Institute for Polar and Marine Research
3 Akvaplan-niva AS
Abstract: One of the most important limiting factor for primary producers growth in polar regions is specific light regime with dark period during polar night. During winter in water column scarce autotrophic protists exists. However every spring, those organisms forms blooms – main source of new organic carbon for polar ecosystems. Little is known how microalgae survive unfavorable conditions, about its physiology and mechanisms indicating germination after dark period.
Some protists can survive no light period in form a resting stages (cysts or spores). Some of them can wait for suitable conditions in viable form buried in sediments. To investigate whether buried in sediment autotrophic protists are able to germinate after light return and what environmental condition initiate Spring bloom, preliminary experiment in was conducted during January 2015.
In course of experiment, during polar night, surface layer of bottom sediment of Kongsfjorden (Spitsbergen) was incubated in different photoperiods and light intensities. During more than three weeks incubation, development of protists assemblages was measured. The biomass (chlorophyll a concentration), photosynthetic yield development, primary production and species composition evaluated.
Results indicated that light intensities about 50 µmol photons m-2 s-1 triggered development. Although we collected living microalgae cells containing photosynthetic pigments, the measurements of primary production (C14 method) in situ do not confirm carbon assimilation. Abundant presence of cells and cysts in sediment in turn, confirms the hypothesis about this type of microalgae survival strategy. Whereas growth of photosynthetic activity and yield in the relatively short and limited (presence of mineral particles in cultures) light exposition, suggest that phytoplankton is able to take active growth shortly after improving light conditions.
Ivan Alekseev, Evgeny Abakumov, Saint Petersburg State University, Russia
Abstract: Soils are significant components of all terrestrial ecosystems and play the key role as ecosystems spatial basis. At the same time, soils serve as supporting medium for terrestrial ecosystems and human infrastructure facilities by the regulation of the spatial stability of environment.
The concept of ecosystem services was suggested as a reply to recognition that human-being depends on the environment directly and indirectly. The terminology of ecosystem services is an essential effort to evaluate and identify the benefits which human can receive from environment. These direct and indirect benefits can be divided into few groups: supporting, provisioning, regulating and cultural services.
Arctic bioms provides many crucial soil ecosystem services: carbon sequestration and greenhouse gas cycle regulation, water quality and biodiversity levels control, contaminants accumulation and redistribution.
Intensification of human activities in the Arctic and high vulnerability of the Arctic environments results in soil degradation and further degradation of soil ecosystems benefits. These disturbances directly affect the lives of indigenous peoples of the Arctic. In this regard, it should be noticed that the notion of “ecosystem services” is problematic in sense of indigenous cultures of the North.
In natural conditions of the Arctic soils serve as the main recipient of negative effects providing by human activities. It makes sense in the context of developing hydrocarbons exploration and logistics in recent decades. At the same time, pronounced climatic changes have occurred and affected the environmental quality of vast areas of the Arctic.
Investigations of Arctic soils functioning and soil ecosystem services are crucial for the development of strategies for sustainable environmental management in response to anthropogenic disturbances and climatic changes.
There are many gaps in sense of knowledge about Arctic soils and their ecosystem services. Applying of soil ecosystem services approach seems to be preferable to traditional interpretation of soil ecological functions.
13:15 - 13:30 GMT: Temporal variability of total mass fluxes in Kongfjorden (Svalbard) as driven by glacier melting and enhanced coastal erosion
Alessandra D'Angelo, University of Siena and ISMAR - National Research Council, Italy
Abstract: Over the last 2-3 decades, the Arctic area has experienced more warming than any other region on Earth. This Arctic amplification may be due to feedback mechanisms from loss of sea ice or changes in atmospheric and oceanic circulation. Kongsfjorden is a small fiord at 79° N; 26 km long, 6-14 km wide, extended in SE-NW direction in the western part of Svalbard Islands. All glaciers reaching the Kongsfjorden are rapidly retreating. There is ample evidence that land-to-ocean fluxes of particulate material along the Arctic coasts are changing, too. Recent studies suggest that the increase of the hydrologic regime observed in the last decades is mainly the consequence of recent climate warming and closely related to changes in permafrost conditions.
To verify the temporal variability of particle fluxes and composition on long time-scale and monitoring variations of thermohaline characteristics, an instrumented mooring, equipped with an automatic sediment trap, a temperature and salinity recorder and two current meters, was deployed in September 2010 in the inner fjord at ~100m water depth. The first 4 years of the total mass fluxes are here presented and the mass flux, together with the organic and inorganic elements are discussed. The mass amount varied from year to year by a factor 5 according to the seasons. The highest peaks have been recorded in summer months, followed by reduced fluxes during winters; in particular, during the summer 2013 the TMF reached ~330 g m-2 day-1 and on this date it has been observed also the maximum value of %C inorg (3.78) and the minimum values of %OC (0.21).
The temporal variability of mooring data will be discussed concurrently with meteorological parameters recorded by the Amundsen-Nobile CCTower of CNR in Ny-Ålesund; the rain precipitation, for example, is used as a runoff proxy. We can make a comparison of these data, to elucidate the main processes involved in the particle sedimentation in the inner Kongsfjorden.
Chair: Heather Mariash