Session Chair: Marlen Kolbe
Session Convener: Jan-Lukas Menzel Barraqueta
Session Coordinators: Andrea Bueno, Christina Bonsell, Paul Alvarez
Time: 20 May from 14:45 - 17:15 GMT
Presenter: Doris Friedrich
Institution: The Arctic Institute; University of Vienna
Type: Oral Presentation
Abstract: In many predator-related conflicts, natural science research on the ecological role of predators, their behavior, and the best ways to “manage” them is often fiercely contested by those opposing their presence. Social science studies on the relations and interactions between humans and predators are regularly allocated more credibility. However, as my research confirms, findings from social sciences have even less influence on political decision-making and the development of the conflict than natural science studies. There is thus a substantial gap not only between different disciplines, but also between scientific knowledge on one hand and local knowledge and attitudes on the other hand.
My dissertation examines wolf-related conflicts and associated power relations in Norway and Austria from the perspective of social and cultural anthropology, which allows the tying in of different kinds of knowledge.
First, the local population plays a critical role in anthropological research. In my project, I conducted interviews with locals and accompanied as many as possible on activities such as hunting and hiking trips during several months in the field.
Second, natural sciences, as well as other social science disciplines, such as psychology and political science, are integrated into my research through the inclusion of relevant literature and the dialogue with scientists from various disciplines throughout the research.
The third point on which I will briefly touch upon in my research is how knowledges are or can be “linked” through the communication between science and the local population.
After an overview of my endeavors of weaving together various knowledges, a discussion with the conference attendees aims at shedding light on best practices regarding multi-disciplinary, inclusive projects that incorporate multiple kinds of knowledge and bridge the gap between natural and social sciences.
15:05 - 15:20 GMT: Mapping And Monitoring Thermokarst Ponds In The Sporadic And Discontinuous Permafrost Zones Using Synergistic Remote Sensing Platforms
Presenter: Pedro Freitas
Institution: Centre of Geographical Studies, IGOT, Universidade de Lisboa, Portugal
Type: Oral Presentation
Abstract: Permafrost is the largest natural carbon store on Earth, estimating to represent twice the concentrations present currently in the atmosphere. Warming of the circumpolar north is accelerating permafrost thaw, with large implications for landscapes, hydrology, ecosystems and the global carbon cycle. Rapid permafrost degradation is creating widespread thermokarst lakes and ponds, acting as hotspots for large amounts of carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane (CH4) emissions, through photochemical and microbial transformations. These dynamics are affecting greenhouse gas emissions to an extent that still needs to be fully integrated in Earth System Models. Scarce attention has been given to waterbodies below 10 000 m2. Yet, these are known to be biogeochemically more active than larger lakes. Variations in the shape and spectral properties of small thermokarst lakes and ponds can provide insights into their potential for greenhouse gases emissions. UAV data acquisition using optical and multispectral sensors is being conducted in several long-term monitoring sites of Centre d'études nordiques (CEN) in Subarctic Canada, from the discontinuous (BGR) to the sporadic (SAS and KWAK) permafrost zones, with acquisitions in 2015, 2017 and 2019 and also planned for 2020. The ultra-high-resolution data, together with field observations on water properties and lake depth, enables the detailed characterization of the lakes and ponds, allowing to better understand local-scale phenomena (e.g. effects of bottom color, water vegetation, vegetation surrounding the lakes, shadows and wind) that impact on coarser spatial resolution satellite imagery like PlanetScope and Sentinel-2.
This research is funded by the FCT under the project THAWPOND (Portuguese Polar Program), by the FCT/Centro de Estudos Geográficos under grant UID/GEO/00295/2019, and by ArcticNet (NCE), Sentinel North (CFREF) and CEN at Université Laval. P. Freitas is funded by the Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology under grant SFRH/BD/145278/2019. This presentation will be a contribution for T-MOSAiC session.
15:20 - 15:35 GMT: Mercury Methylation And Monomethylmercury Demethylation In Sediments From Permafrost Thaw Lakes
Presenter: Martin Jusek
Institution: Instituto Superior Técnico
Type: Oral Presentation
Abstract: In the Arctic, mercury and monomethylmercury are being mobilized via permafrost degradation, being the formation of thaw lakes one of the most important features. Thus, the study of the mercury cycle in these systems is crucial to better understand the consequences and impacts to the arctic ecosystems. Sediments and bottom water from two permafrost thaw lakes (SAS-1A and SAS-2A) were sampled in the sub-arctic region of Nunavik (Canada) in a sporadic permafrost area. Mercury and monomethylmercury levels and Hg methylation and monomethylmercury demethylation rates were determined using Hg stable isotope techniques. Three different enrichments: iron(III) chloride, sodium molybdate and sodium 2-bromoethanesulfonate where used to increase or inhibit the activity of iron-reducing bacteria, sulphate-reducing bacteria and methanogens respectively, which are well known as Hg methylators. Results showed that the concentrations of both Hg species were higher in lake SAS-1A (SAS-1AUp 346 ng/g), than in SAS-2A (SAS-2AUp 53 ng/g). Sediment mercury methylation rates appear to be influenced by the Hg content and by organic matter content and quality. Microbial diversity plays a major role in mercury methylation, however, their influence in monomethylmercury demethylation was not clear. Concerning Hg methylation, sulfate-reducing bacteria and methanogens were shown to be largely involved in methylation processes, nevertheless our results clearly point differences between lakes. In conclusion, permafrost thaw lakes are important freshwater systems not only due to their increasing area in the arctic but also because they are a source of Hg previously retained on permafrost.
15:35 - 15:40 GMT: Characterization Of The Antarctic Soil Of King George Island By Gamma Spectrometry.
Presenter: Marcos Tassano
Institution: Laboratorio de Radioquímica, Centro de Investigaciones Nucleares, Facultad de Ciencias, Universidad de la República, Uruguay.
Type: Flash presentation
Abstract: Ice-free areas are the most biologically active places on the Antarctic continent. Only a few plants and animals have managed to colonize and survive in ice-free regions and it is mainly limited to the few exposed rock areas, mostly around the coast and especially associated with the Fildes Peninsula, King George Island (near the Artigas Antarctic Scientific Base - Uruguay). 137Cs is an artificial radioactive isotope byproduct of nuclear tests from the 1950s-1970s, which has a global distribution and can be used as a soil tracer. To be able to measure it, the high-resolution gamma spectrometry technique (with hyperpure germanium crystals) is used, which, together with the 137Cs measurements, can determine amounts of Uranium, Thorium and Potassium of the samples tested, allowing a general radioisotopic characterization of the superficial soil. The ranges of values obtained for 238U, 232Th and 40K were similar to previous studies on King George Island. But the relatively important values (between 98.5 to 670.6 Bq / m2) of 137Cs, prompts future work in the use of this element for Antarctic soil studies.
15:40 - 15:55 GMT: How Multidisciplinary Early Career Researchers Contribute To Investigate Airborne Microorganisms Dispersal From Antarctica In Microairpolar Project
Presenter: Sofía Galbán
Institution: Biology Department, Science Faculty, Autonomous University of Madrid, Spain
Type: Oral presentation
Abstract: Microairpolar, a multidisciplinary project with researchers from the Autonomous University of Madrid (UAM) and the Spanish Meteorology Agency (AEMET), was born with the aim of understanding the dispersal and colonization capacity of airborne microorganisms in Antarctica. The main objective of this project is to understand the distribution and the biogeography of microorganisms in this polar region, where climate change is promoting deglaciation processes. These melting process lead to glacier retreats, appearing new ice-free areas that had been covered for thousands of years. For this reason, it is crucial to understand how this colonization and primary succession processes of new communities will take place in these highly susceptible areas.
The understanding of the dispersal and colonization capacity of microorganisms is a complex task that requires the participation of different disciplines addressing technological, biological, meteorological and mathematical work. We executed all this work at three geographical scales: continental, regional at the Antarctic Peninsula and local focused on Byers Peninsula, a place with a great ecologic value.
Five Early Career Scientist have participated in this project working on different tasks. In this talk, we will present the role that played each Early Carreer Researcher in the group and how they collaborated among them to achieve a goal only possible working from a multidisciplinary perspective. We will show some of the field and laboratory work carried out during the 2018-19 Antarctic Campaign. Evenly, we will address the collaboration with the Inuit WindSled project, using a sustainable vehicle, that allowed to obtain frequently samples of microorganisms from untouched and inhospitable regions of Antarctic Plateau for the first time.
15:55 - 16:10 GMT: Response Of Copepod Biogeographical Boundaries To A Rapidly Changing Arctic Marine Environment
Presenter: Zhixuan Feng
Institution: East China Normal University, China
Type: Oral Presentation
Abstract: Dramatic changes have occurred in the Arctic Ocean over the past few decades, especially in terms of sea ice loss and ocean warming. Those environmental changes may modify the planktonic ecosystem with changes from lower to upper trophic levels. This presentation will focus on how the biogeographic distribution of an important endemic copepod species, Calanus glacialis, may respond to multiple drivers, including ocean temperature and phytoplankton prey (food). A copepod individual-based model that is coupled to an ice-ocean-biogeochemical model is utilized to simulate temperature- and food-dependent life stage development of C. glacialis annually from 1980 to 2014. The annual success rates of diapausing C. glacialis individuals in a pan-Arctic transition zone between the northern shelf/slope seas increase dramatically over the 35-year study period. The significant upward trend in C. glacialis success rates are associated with the lengthening growth season (during which food is ample) and shortening critical development time (the period from the first feeding stage N3 to the diapausing stage C4). The overall poleward range expansion of suitable C. glacialis habitats may be linked to large scale oceanic processes, particularly diminishing sea ice, upper ocean warming, and increased and prolonged primary production, which could have potential consequences to the entire Arctic shelf/slope ecosystem.
16:10 - 16:25 GMT: On Board With MOSAiC: Engaging The Public With Collaboratively Designed Resources
Presenter: Jon Griffith
Institution: University of Colorado Boulder, United States
Type: Oral presentation
Abstract: The MOSAiC (Multidisciplinary drifting Observatory for the Study of Arctic Climate) expedition is one of the largest Arctic expeditions in history with more than 500 scientists from 19 countries participating. At the heart of the MOSAiC expedition is the German icebreaker, Polarstern, which is attached to an ice floe and drifting as a climate observatory with transpolar currents for an entire year. The expedition goal is to better understand the changing Arctic climate system by studying ocean, atmosphere, and ice processes. This unprecedented science from the central Arctic will be used to better inform climate models for the Arctic where at present there is considerable uncertainty.
To connect the public to the science and story of MOSAiC, the education and outreach team at the University of Colorado Boulder has developed a number of resources. We will highlight two of these resources and the collaborative process we used to develop them to show how public outreach efforts--particularly around polar science, a field unfamiliar to much of the general public--benefit from the input of a variety of perspectives and expertise. Photographers, scientists, and curriculum designers collaborated to construct immersive virtual reality Google Expeditions, which transport users to the Arctic allowing them to see and feel what it’s like to be an Arctic explorer and MOSAiC scientist. Another MOSAiC-related resource, a massive open online course (MOOC), was the product of more than 30 people with a wide variety of expertise - scientists, indigenous peoples, geography, etc. - joining forces with educators and videographers to create a free learning resource for the public on all aspects of the Arctic. We hope that by sharing these resources, and the collaborative nature in which they were developed, we can provide a model by which others can create more inclusive and complete resources connecting the public to the Arctic.
Presenter: Maria Scheel
Institution: Aarhus University, Denmark
Type: Flash presentation
Abstract: In recent years, permafrost-affected soils have been thawing (IPCC, 2019), making formerly frozen soil organic carbon stocks increasingly susceptible to microbial decomposition and transformation into greenhouse gases (Schuur et al., 2015). Thermokarsts, sites of eroding and collapsing permafrost, are affecting an estimated 20% of all Arctic permafrost areas (Olefeldt et al. 2016) and are predicted to increase permafrost-related radiative forcing (Turetsky et al. 2020). In 2018, a thermokarst developed into a thermal erosion gully within the Zackenberg Valley, NE Greenland, enabling a seasonal access and description of its physical progression. With the soil microbial community involved in biochemical processes such as nitrogen fixation, methanogenesis and oxidation as well as CO2 respiration, microorganisms in eroding permafrost soils significantly impact Arctic carbon fluxes, despite clear gaps in knowledge about functional and taxonomic microbial diversity. This work is describing both a thermokarst microbiome, through the use of 16S and ITS amplicon sequencing in order to reveal microbial community distribution along several stress gradients within eroding permafrost in Zackenberg.
16:30 - 16:45 GMT: Brazilian Individuals Traveling To Antarctica On Board A Ship Present Changes In The Thyroid Hormones Concentration And Mood State
Presenter: Rúbio Sabino Bruzzi
Institution: Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, Belo Horizonte, MG, Brazil
Type: Oral presentation
Abstract: Displacement to Antarctica usually occurs on board ships, which represent an isolated and confined environment with artificial luminosity, particularly in the cabins and main areas of coexistence. There is evidence that days of total darkness in Antarctica (i.e., reduced exposure to natural luminosity) can induce the "polar syndrome" that is characterized by an increase in thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) simultaneously to a reduction in thyroxine (T4).This study aimed to assess whether traveling on board a polar ship changes thyroid hormones (TSH and T4) concentration, which can lead to important metabolic and mood changes. The volunteers (n = 17, all tropical inhabitants) spent three weeks on board the Brazilian Ship Alte. Maximiano (H41) during summer. Data collection was carried out 4 and 19 days after boarding in Punta Arenas (Chile). Blood samples were collected and analyzed by fluoroimmunoassay to determine TSH and T4 concentrations, and mood state was evaluated using the Brunel Mood Scale (BRUMS). Student t-test was applied; α = 5%. Data are presented as means ± SD. Compared to the initial measures, T4 reduced by 6.6% at the final measure (P=0.023), whereas TSH remained unchanged (P=0.63). Also, there were increases in Anger (0.8±1.1 to 2.5±2.7; P=0.027) and Depression (0.5±0.6 to 2.1±2.6; P=0.038) and a reduction in Vigor (9.2±3.2 to 7.6±2.4; P=0.044). In the context of an Antarctic expedition, short-term ship travels reduce the concentration of T4 and provokes negative changes mood in tropical inhabitants, possibly due to reduced exposure to natural luminosity.
16:45 - 17:00 GMT: Cryospheric Hazards And Sustainability Strategy Metrics Of The Sea-level Rise In Hall Beach, Nunavut, Canada
Presenter: Estee Barinov
Institution: Circucity Institut
Type: Oral presentation
Abstract: The sea-level rise and changing periglacial shoreline environment and increased development in this region have led to numerous environmental ramifications, one of the most prominent being shoreline changes. The purpose of this study is to investigate the impacts climate change, natural mechanisms, and increased anthropogenic activity have had on the shoreline in the hamlet of Hall Beach in Nunavut from 1985 to 2020 using Sentinel/Landsat satellite imagery. Shoreline changes are quantified and given a rate and directional vector over time in order to determine the predominant trends of erosion or deposition. The results of this investigation indicate that periglacial shoreline environment is one of the leading mechanisms of shoreline change in this region. Metal exploration companies in Canadian Arctic will always have room to improve the productivity of resources and so reduce their overall environmental impact. Indeed, in trying to go beyond compliance, firms have increasingly adopted a wide spectrum of social community and environmental prerequisites into their strategies and practices.
17:00 - 17:15 GMT: Structural Characterization Of Dissolved Organic Matter From Thaw Lakes In Sporadic Permafrost Regions
Presenter: Diogo Folhas
Institution: Instituto Superior Técnico, University of Lisbon, Portugal
Type: Oral presentation
Abstract: Thermokarst lakes result from the thawing of ice-rich permafrost and are widespread across northern landscapes. These waters are strong emitters of methane, especially in permafrost peatland regions, where they are stained black by high concentrations of dissolved organic matter (DOM). In the present study, we aimed to structurally characterize the DOM from a set of peatland thermokarst lakes that are known to be intense sites of microbial decomposition and methane emission. Samples were collected at different depths from three thermokarst lakes in the Sasapimakwananisikw River valley near the eastern Hudson Bay community of Kuujjuarapik-Whapmagoostui (Nunavik, Canada). Samples were analyzed by spectrofluorometry, Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy (NMR) and CHNS elemental analysis. The results showed common features, but also significant differences among sites and depths. Overall, the DOM displayed Fluorescence Index (FI) values consistent with both microbial and terrestrial origins, although in one lake, a lower H:C atomic ratio likely resulted from its proximity to a decomposing permafrost peat mound (palsa). Fluorescence analyses indicated considerable amounts of fresh DOM in the surface waters of one of the lakes, possibly derived from seasonal macrophyte communities in the surrounding wetlands. The three lakes differed in their aliphatic versus aromatic content. These results highlight the usefulness of complementary analytical approaches to characterize the complex mixture of organic molecules that constitute the DOM pool in permafrost peatland waters and represent a first step towards greater comprehension of the organic geochemical properties of these permafrost-derived systems.
This research was funded by FCT (Fundação para a Ciência e Tecnologia) under PERMACHEM II from the Portuguese Polar Program (PROPOLAR) through projects UID/QUI/00100/2013, (CQE, Instituto Superior Técnico), UID/AMB/50017/2019 (CESAM, University of Aveiro), UID/QUI/00062/2019 (QOPNA, University of Aveiro), and IF/00798/2015 (Investigator FCT Contract) and the Portuguese NMR network.