Session Chair: Natalia Ribeiro / Gabriela Roldan
Session Convener: Gabriela Roldan
Session Coordinators: Helen Ockenden, Lina Madaj, Swan Li San Sow
Time: 20 May 2020 from 8:00 - 10:50 GMT
08:05 - 08:20 GMT: Understanding Factors Influencing Seabird Assemblage Distribution In The African Sector Of Southern Indian Ocean And Southern Ocean
Presenter: Shailja Mamgain
Institution: Forest Research Institute Deemed to be University, Dehradun, Uttarakhand, India
Type: Oral Presentation
Abstract: Seabird assemblages are determined by varied environmental, oceanographic and geographical factors. This work looks at seabird distribution in the African sector of the southern Indian Ocean and Southern Ocean with respect to these factors. We collated the seabird data from primary as well as secondary data sources. The seabird records were analysed to understand the latitudinal variation in distribution, abundance, species richness and biomass. Over 5, 00,000 sighting records compiled from various sources resulted in 96 species of seabirds. It includes 17 species of petrels, 16 of albatrosses, 9 of penguins, 9 of shearwaters, 7 of storm-petrels and 6 of prions and terns each. Species richness was found to be comparable for sub- tropical, temperate zone and sub- Antarctic zones (64-68 species) declining towards the high-Antarctic zone (47 species). Species abundance was highest in the temperate zone (mean abundance 5 with standard error 86) and least in the sub- tropical zone (mean abundance 2 with standard error 13). The correlation between sea surface temperature and chlorophyll a is also studied for a small part in the study area. Annual comparison for two years has also been done. Latitudinal variation in species richness and abundance when analysed with the changes in sea surface temperature and chlorophyll a for the month of January for the years 2009 and 2015 shows that the species richness is maximum (10-15 species) in temperate and sub- Antarctic zones with the varying sea surface temperature due to mixing of warm and cold water in the region for both years. Species abundance i.e. number of individuals recorded are also quite high (mean abundance 127 with standard error 302) in this region for both the years having values of chlorophyll a around 0.6 mg/m3. This study provides a substantial dataset for seabird distribution in the southern Indian Ocean sector from African peninsula up to Antarctic coast. Further analysis to understand changes in species distribution and abundance over spatio-temporal scale could be undertaken.
08:20 - 08:35 GMT: Reconstruction Of Glacier Dynamics Of The Changme Khangpu Valley, Sikkim Himalaya
Presenter: Manasi Debnath
Institution: North-eastern Hill University, India
Type: Oral Presentation
Abstract: The Changme Khangpu (CK) valley in the Sikkim Himalaya has been investigated to reconstruct the palaeo-glacier dynamics post late Quaternary period using the proxy of preserved glacial and lacustrine landform-sediment assemblages. The Indian summer monsoon (ISM) and North-East monsoon (NEM) provide precipitation in this N-S trending valley. The satellite data, strengthened by elaborate field-based mapping and sediment-stratigraphical analysis (grain size, facies contact, geochemistry & clast fabric), and the 14C isotope AMS dates, supported by the Schmidt Hammer rebound value analysis have been employed for determining upper age of the palaeo glacier extent as well as relative terminal position at each episode.
Preserved moraines in the valley represent glacier extents have been termed as: Phase-I, II, III, and IV. Contemporary debris-covered CK glacier stretches between 5900 to 4810 m a.s.l. altitude (27.9583 N, 88.6844 E), surrounded by the Phase-IV latero-frontal moraine within active paraglacial landsystem. The CK glacier advanced at Phase-IV in response to a -0.56°C temperature depression. The Phase-III is related to the age group of 1.3 – 3.2 ka, when the CK glacier advanced in response to a -0.8°C temperature drop. The Phase-II advance blocked the ablation valley drainage and formed a 700 m long lake, dated 31.47 ± 0.15 ka Cal BP. We suggest that this advance of the CK glacier was initiated by an intense monsoon precipitation where temperature dropped -1.73°C, compared to the present. The ductile deformation of glacigenic sediments on an exposed section of the Phase-II moraine indicate towards a subglacial environment.
Presenter: Mengzhu Zhang
Institution: Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies, University of Tasmania, Australia
Type: Flash presentation
Abstract: The Antarctic Treaty entered into force on 23 June1961 and China acceded to it in 8 June 1983 and became an Antarctic Treaty Consultative Party (ATCP) on the 7 October 1985. China has also acceded to other components of the Antarctic Treaty System; the Protocol on Environmental Protection on 4 October 1994 and the Convention on the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources 19 October 2006. Although China’s Antarctic activities started very late, its rapid development as an active ATCP has attracted increasing attention from all over the world. So far, China has four Antarctic research stations (two of them are year-round stations), two icebreakers, and has undertaken 35 Antarctic expeditions (Xinhua, 2019). As a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council and significant economic power, China’s participation in Antarctic matters in general and Antarctic science in particular, is of great significance. It has been stated that “science is the currency of credibility” within the Antarctic Treaty System (Davis 1990; Press 2013). The primary objective of this project is to track the China’s Antarctic science, analyze how it developed, how it participated in international cooperation, and evaluate its achievements.
08:40 - 08:55 GMT: Building Bridges: Anthropological Research Fostering Collaboration Across Sectors And Connecting Parallel Worlds In The Arctic Community Of Longyearbyen
Presenter: Zdenka Sokolickova
Institution: University of Hradec Kralove, Czech Republic / University of Oslo, Norway
Type: Oral Presentation
Abstract: Longyearbyen in Svalbard is a diverse and cosmopolitan community where parallel worlds sometimes struggle with reaching out to each other. The „tribe“ of natural scientists concentrated around the University Centre in Svalbard (UNIS) is only in a limited way connected to the „subculture“ of public sector employees working for the Governor’s Office and Community Council, which again is hardly linked to the „bubble“ of guides and service industry people dependent on tourism, or the Thai and Philippine ethnic minorities. There are numerous local stakeholders including NGOs, businesses and associations that might largely profit from a more fluent and participatory communication feeding in the decision making process in the quickly changing Longyearbyen. After having spent over 14 months on anthropological fieldwork at the research site, I would like to share my experience with collaboration across disciplines and sectors, and show how fruitful but also demanding cooperation is where our frameworks, missions and (not only disciplinary) languages differ. In my presentation, I will identify the main barriers I have encountered. I shall also outline some promising processes that have recently been initiated in order to foster a more thorough collaboration of all institutions and individuals that are eager to contribute to a better understanding and therefore also better governance of the unique community in the High Arctic, exposed to risks and hazards of all sorts. I will argue that social science is a necessary companion on our way towards a deeper comprehension of trends we witness in the Arctic, closely linked to what is happening worldwide (including the COVID-19 pandemics).
08:55 - 09:10 GMT: Monitoring Of Snow Cover Variation Over Hindu Kush Himalaya (hkh) For The Periods Of 2008-2018 Using Cloud Mitigated Moderate Resolution Spectroradiometer (modis) Snow Cover Data
Presenter: Nishu Bhardwaj
Institution: Remote Sensing Applications Centre Uttar Pradesh India
Type: Oral presentation
Abstract: Snow cover is an important resource of freshwater for the region of High Mountain Asia which directly affects the ecosystem as well as the 240 million people who live in the region fed by snow and glacier melt water. Mapping and monitoring of snow cover changes is of utmost importance for estimation of snow melt runoff using Hydrological models. An appropriate tool for such studies is satellite-based remote sensing that allows investigation over the large and inaccessible areas. Snow cover data from Moderate Resolution Spectroradiometer has been widely used for snow cover mapping in hydrological models for model calibration and updation. But the presence of cloud pixels in the snow cover data hinders its applicability; hence a methodology to remove cloud pixels in the data is required. The present study uses 8 day MODIS snow cover data (MOD10C2 and MYD10C2) at 0.05 degree resolution for snow cover mapping in High Mountain Asia region for the time period of 2008-2018. The cloud pixels have been addressed by applying three spatio-temporal filters such as combination of Terra/Aqua satellite images, Short term temporal filter and Neighborhood spatial filter. The MODIS data has been validated against snow cover area (SCA) maps generated from Landsat 7 (ETM) and 8 (OLI) optical multispectral data. The validation showed a high agreement of the MODIS product with the Landsat data with an average accuracy of 94%. This enhanced MODIS snow cover data can be further used to investigate the climatology and cryospheric properties of the HKH region.
Presenter: Jingwei Zhang
Institution: UTAS/CSIRO, Australia
Type: Flash presentation
Abstract: The Southern Ocean is a critical area of for us to understand the response of the climate system to anthropogenic climate change, because it connects three other major oceans and it is the largest sink for both heat and carbon uptake. It also plays a critical role in the contribution of Antarctic Ice Sheet to sea-level rise, through ocean-ice shelf interaction, as well as complex interactions among the ocean-atmosphere-ice sheet system. Our understanding about those interactions are still in the early stage, partially due to very limited observations. In this PhD project, the student is expected to carry out a series of numerical perturbation experiments based on a suite of ocean and climate models to understand the response of Southern Ocean to various forcing, focusing on freshwater input. The ocean – sea ice models are based on the ACCESS-OM2, which includes the suite of ACCESS Ocean Models at three different resolutions (1o, 0.25o, 0.1o). Different Freshwater input, e.g., from iceberg discharge and Meltwater from the Antarctic Ice Sheet will be applied, to diagnose their impacts on the circulation and sea level in the Southern Ocean. It would be desirable to repeat some of perturbation experiments in the fully coupled ACCESS climate model.
09:15 - 09:30 GMT: Estimating Spatio-temporal Variability Of Satopanth & Bhagirath-kharak Glaciers Using Geospatial Tools
Presenter: Suman Kumari
Institution: Indian Institute of Remote Sensing, India
Type: Oral presentation
Abstract: Glaciers replicates the climate change response and recent studies have revealed that glacial sustainability is declining abruptly and irreversibly. This adversity might lead to severe irreparable damages such as natural hazards and global sea level rise. So, calibration and quantification of these glaciers are of immense importance to understand spatial and temporal variability. Geospatial technology provides easily available multi-temporal imageries for analysis which minifies the ground-based surveying in these hostile and cost extensive areas with the advantage of synoptic view. For understanding of ice-dynamics, precise surface displacements are important and can be used as a proxy for overall glacier motion. Understanding glacier velocity is a foundation for analysis of ice thickness, flux measurements, mass- balance and glacier health. In this study, two glaciers of Uttarakhand, India, Satopanth (SPG) and Bhagirath-Kharak (BKG) glaciers were chosen for displacement and velocity estimation studies by using the Landsat-8 (OLI) of 15m spatial resolution from the year 2014 to 2019. The glacier boundaries were demarcated using GLIMS boundary (RGI). One of the established methodologies for glacier surface displacement and velocity analysis is image-to-image cross-correlation at sub-pixel level using multi-temporal repeat satellite imageries. The acquired images were orthorectified, co- registered and correlated using COSI-Corr which is a software-module integrated in ENVI. The main factors influencing glacier movement is its slope, debris-cover and warming climate. The maximum velocity was observed for the SPG & BKG were around 40.56 m/year & 44.55 m/year for the year 2018-19. Further minimum velocity of the Satopanth glacier was recorded as 14.85m/year in the year 2016-17 and that of Bhagirath -Kharak as 14.38 m/year in the year 2015-16. The mean velocity of the SPG & BKG from the year 2014-2019 were estimated to be around 24.85m/year & 23.70m/year respectively. The increase in velocity pattern has been observed from glacial trunk to snout.
Presenter: Daniel Pinheiro
Institution: University of Lisbon, Portugal
Type: Flash presentation
Abstract: Arctic warming is leading to an increased reduction in sea ice, with models for 2100 indicating a reduction in the Arctic sea ice area from 43 to 94% in September and from 8 to 34% in February (IPCC, 2014). The increase of the sea-ice free season duration will result in more exposure of the coasts to wave action, with changing climate also modifying the contribution of terrestrial erosion processes (Fritz et al., 2015, Ramage et al 2018, Irrgang et al 2018). Coastal erosion can also be increased by warmer sea waters and sea-level rise, with more frequent storms and associated surge events leading into increase in flooding.
Our work focusses on the hamlet of Tuktoyaktuk (Northwest Territories, Canada), where we have conducted extensive ultra-high-resolution surveys with UAVs, allowing to generate orthophoto mosaics, digital surface models, derived land use, geomorphological and socio-economical activities maps. The DSM, bathymetry and meteorological data will be used as inputs for flood modelling, while the validation’s assured by tide gauge and DGPS data obtained in 2019. The work is done in cooperation with the community with the results being provided as a tool for strategical spatial planning, culminating in more resilient mitigation and adaptation measures to climate change.
UAV surveys have been conducted in 2018 and 2019 and the hamlet of Tuktoyaktuk has been fully mapped.
The activities are funded by the European Commission H2020 project NUNATARYUK and by the project “The acceleration of coastal change: assessment, education, and knowledge transfer towards climate change adaptation in Tuktoyaktuk” by the Climate Change Preparedness in the North Program.
9:35 - 9:50 GMT: “Staying 5 Metres Away From Penguins”: Tour Guides Implementation Of Polar Policy In Antarctica
Presenter: Gabriela Roldan / Hanne Nielsen
Institution: University of Canterbury, New Zealand / University of Tasmania, Australia
Type: Oral presentation
Abstract: Antarctic tourism is the fastest growing human activity in Antarctica. The management of this industry is decided at high-level meetings within the Antarctic Treaty System (ATS), the governing body of Antarctica. All tour operators in the Antarctic region must observe and implement the ATS recommendations and guidelines. Additionally, most of the Antarctic tourism companies have joined the International Association of Antarctica Tour Operators (IAATO), a lobby group that promotes advocacy and responsible tourism management within its membership. In addition to ATS regulations, IAATO provides guidelines and resources to ensure safe management of tourism in the Antarctic. This presentation examines the role of the Antarctic tour guide as the front-line actor in interpreting and enforcing these directives in-situ and before Antarctic visitors, and asks how guides interpret Antarctic governance in the cruise setting. We investigate how the Antarctic governance framework is contextualized in the tourism setting, and where do tour guides place themselves as mediators between regulation and practice in the polar human-environment interactions.
From the perspectives of the humanities and social sciences, we discuss how the tourism industry and policy-makers can collaborate effectively across knowledge and practice systems, for a comprehensive approach to the management of Antarctica.
9:50 - 10:05 GMT: Mapping Landfast Ice Over Mcmurdo Sound By Interferometric Sar And Laser Altimetry
Presenter: Rodrigo Gomez Fell
Institution: Gateway Antarctica, University of Canterbury, New Zealand
Type: Oral presentation
Abstract: The McMurdo Sound is located at the margins of the Western Ross Sea. Is an environment that combines the Erebus ice tongue, the McMurdo Ice Shelf, icebergs, sea ice and landfast ice. During most of the year the sound is cover in fast ice. Sea ice start to develop at the beginning of Autumn and retreats at the end of the Summer. The abundance and variability of the ice attached to the Antarctic coast is a consequence of oceanic, atmospheric, and glaciological processes, including coastal currents, ice shelf melting and supercooling and wind patterns. Our hypothesis is that the stability of ice tongues is a result of such interactions. This combined with its relative easy access makes the sound a perfect area for a first step approach into the interactions between landfast ice and ice tongue dynamics. In order to establish such a relationship a time series of landfast ice extent and deformation is assessed.
We map fast ice extent over the McMurdo Sound in the Western Ross Sea, from 2017 to 2019 using SAR interferometry. This method has been successfully tested in the Arctic (e.g. Dammann et al., 2019) for fast ice with relatively small deformation and showing strong radar phase coherence. We use Sentinel -1 in image (IW) mode with a 12 day repeat pass orbit image pairs. Sentinel-1 has been in operation since 2016 enabling the development of a 4 year InSAR time series showing fast ice extent and deformational patterns. In addition, ICESat-2 elevation data reveal freeboard and allow estimation of fast ice thickness. We present preliminary results of how fast ice deformation is related to its thickness.
Presenter: Eoghan Griffin
Institution: Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research (SCAR), United Kingdom
Type: Oral presentation
Abstract: SCAR and COMNAP (in collaboration with IAATO) will be offering Fellowships to Early Career Researchers in 2020 and this presentation will provide details and guidance on applications, eligibility, deadlines and resources for advice. Given the current restrictions on travel we will also discuss the response of the organisations with regard to implementation of the schemes.
10:20 - 10:50 GMT: Keynote: Linking science to education and policy making: can this make you a better scientist?
Presenter: Jose Xavier
Institution: University of Coimbra, Portugal / British Antarctic Survey, UK
Type: Keynote presentation
Abstract: This presentation aims to provide information on the relevance on understanding the importance of the polar science into education (e.g. science communication) and policy making (e.g. produce laws to protect the environment). Through the personal experience of Prof. José Xavier as an Antarctic marine ecologist, coordinator of various projects related to education and being the head of the delegation of Portugal at the Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meetings, he will provide show how his science has been linked into Antarctic education and the development of policies. Present challenges and opportunities in linking science-education-policy making will also be discussed, always from an early career scientist perspective (as he was always been a member of APECS International and APECS Portugal (now as a mentor)).