|Title||PIs||CoPI(s)||Other Project Members||Start Date||End Date||Abstract||Programs||Funding Agency||Implementation Categories||Keywords||Region||Grant/Project Funding Amount||Project Identifer(s)||Project Web Link||Weblink to data and/or metadata||Outreach/Education Description|
|Seasonality of Circumpolar Tundra: Ocean and Atmosphere Controls and Effects on Energy and Carbon Budgets|
Michael Steele (email@example.com)
Martha (Tako) Raynolds
The goals of this project are:
The project is divided into the three broad components:
Component 2: Atmosphere and ocean controls of terrestrial seasonality. Our research will focus on analyzing the seasonal NDVI patterns in relation to characteristics of the near-shore ocean and sea-ice environment, atmospheric circulation, regional winds, and land characteristics. We will devote particular attention to the climate mechanisms behind the striking contrast between the vegetation response to declining sea ice in Berengia and west-central Eurasia by examining the seasonality of the atmosphere and marine systems in the 50-km coastal zone in these regions.
Component 3: Land energy and carbon linkages. One method for assessing the effects of changing vegetation seasonality on carbon budgets is to use phenomenological relationships that exist between remotely-sensed indices of vegetation and field observations of aboveground biomass.
Published relationships exist between the normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) and the biomass of aboveground vegetation (or some components of aboveground vegetation) for arctic tundra ecosystems (Hope et al. 1993, Boelman et al 2003, 2005, Reidel et al. 2005). Epstein additionally has an extensive dataset of NDVI and aboveground vegetation biomass (manuscript in prep.) collected from sites throughout the Arctic of both North America (Epstein et al. 2008) and Russia, including data from all five of the arctic bioclimate subzones (Subzones A-E; sensu Walker et al. 2005). Growing season curves of the NDVI generated from satellite data (Component I) could thus be translated into growing season aboveground biomass curves, and the accumulation of carbon in aboveground tissue could be estimated. For an additional whole-season approach, the temporally-integrated (within a growing season) NDVI (TI-NDVI) has been related to the peak season aboveground biomass (Jia et al. 2006), and these relationships could be used to assess interannual changes in the stocks of aboveground carbon.
The seasonal progression of arctic terrestrial biomass, and the timing and magnitude of peak biomass are changing. This change is not consistent across all tundra ecosystems, for reasons that are still unclear. Preliminary research indicates a potential link with the seasonality of nearby marine surface conditions, i.e., sea ice and upper ocean properties. We propose to perform both statistical and model-based analyses to better understand these important linkages. We follow this with a modeling analysis of the effects of changing vegetation seasonality on plant functional type composition and arctic terrestrial carbon accumulation (or loss). The results will be a synthetic view of changing seasonality across the land/ocean boundary of the Arctic Ocean.
|Arctic System Science Program||National Science Foundation||Understanding Change|
East Siberian Sea
We are working with the University of Alaska Fairbanks Museum to provide data and graphics of sea ice concentration, NDVI (over Arctic tundra), surface temperatures (over Arctic Tundra) for a visualization to appear at the museum on a Magic Planet Display. This display is about 30 inches in diameter and project onto a sphere to provide an Arctic view. The museum project was funded by NASA and partners with the Imaginarium Discover Center at the Anchorage Museum and the Challenger Learning Center in Kenai. There is also a traveling device, so our tundra greening story will be presented throughout Alaska in outreach and educational venues.
"Skip Walker on satellite observations of Arctic Greening", Program #5733 of the Earth & Sky Radio Series, aired 05-March-2009.
|UpTempO: Measuring the Upper Layer Temperature of the Arctic Ocean|
Michael Steele (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Ice-based buoys exist that can measure temperature profiles, but these are not optimized for observing the open sea. Thus the objective of this proposal is to fill this gap in the Arctic Observing Network measurement strategy, i.e., to measure the time history of summer warming and subsequent fall cooling of the seasonally open water areas of the Arctic Ocean. The PIs will focus on those areas with the greatest ice retreat, i.e., the northern Beaufort, Chukchi, East Siberian, and Laptev Seas. Their method will be to build up to 10 relatively inexpensive ocean thermistor string buoys per year, to be deployed in the seasonally ice-free regions of the Arctic Ocean. The Arctic-ADOS (Autonomous Drifting Ocean Station) buoy will float at the ocean surface, equipped with (i) a sea level pressure sensor, (ii) a 50 m long string of 11 thermistors, and (iii) a high precision conductivity/temperature pair at 5 m depth on some buoys for thermistor calibration. Data will be recorded every 2 hours and downloaded in near real time via ARGOS satellite to the web site of the International Arctic Buoy Program (IABP). Daily average and vertically interpolated data (to 1 m bins) will also be provided on the IABP website, and will be sent to data archives (CADIS and NODC). The PIs will also work with scientists at mission-oriented agencies to better incorporate ocean surface data into their global products such as Sea Surface Temperature analyses. Real-time data will also be made available to the operational community via the Global Telecommunications System (GTS). Buoy deployment will use existing assets such as C130 aircraft coordinated by the National Ice Center (NIC), ship cruises planned as part of other projects, and springtime ice surveys conducted by other projects and/or by the U.S. Navy north of Alaska.
|Arctic Observing Network||National Science Foundation|
East Siberian Sea
|An Array of Autonomous Ocean Flux Buoys to Directly Observe Turbulent Vertical Fluxes of Heat, Salt and Momentum as a Component of the Arctic Observing Network|
Tim Stanton (email@example.com)
Funds are provided to continue observations of turbulent fluxes, heat content, and current profiles in the ocean boundary layer below sea ice in the Beaufort Sea and Transpolar Drift regions of the Arctic Ocean. A series of ice-deployed Autonomous Ocean Flux Buoys (AOFB) will robustly measure heat, salt and momentum fluxes near the ocean-ice interface using direct, eddy-correlation techniques. Significant scientific and logistic leverage results from collaboratively deploying the AOFBs on the same ice floes as systems concurrently measuring the ocean temperature and salinity structure, the conductive fluxes through the ice cover, and at some stations, the bulk atmospheric and radiative fluxes, all of which are components of the Arctic Observing Network.
|Arctic Observing Network||National Science Foundation|
|Flux and Transformation of Organic Carbon across the Eroding Coastline of Northern Alaska|
Chien-Lu Ping (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Intellectual Merit: Terrestrial arctic ecosystems store 25.33% of the world's soil organic carbon (OC), and large amounts of the long-sequestered OC is rapidly released by erosion along the ~2000 km coastline of northern Alaska. This eroded OC becomes available for biogeochemical cycling and makes a substantial, but poorly known, contribution to marine ecosystems and to CO2 and methane emissions to the atmosphere. While crude estimates of the flux of OC across the eroding coastline have been developed and are known to be affected by ground-ice stability, little is known about the transformation of terrestrial OC as it crosses the land/ocean interface. This team hypothesizes that the wave-washed foreshore zone is critical to the transformation of OC once it is released from storage through physical dispersion, leaching, and oxidation. How the bioavailability of OC is controlled by the age, size and composition of the organic matter, and how these factors relate to geomorphic environments that have influenced past soil development is critical to quantifying OC transformation. How much of this OC becomes bioavailable to marine ecosystems and is released to the atmosphere as it crosses this narrow, transient zone, and how much returns to long-term sequestration in near-shore sediments is critical to understanding carbon budgets of the Arctic Ocean and to assessing feedbacks associated with climate and sea-ice changes. The feedback of greatest concern to coastal processes is the potential for released OC to: alter biogeochemical cycling, increase CO2 and methane emissions, contribute to climate warming, accelerate sea ice retreat, increase fetch and wave energy to exposed coasts; and ultimately further increase erosion rates and OC flux.
Accordingly, this research has four components designed to: (1) characterize the nature and abundance of soil OC and ground ice in relation to geomorphic environments, (2) estimate the total OC flux along the entire coast and develop empirical models to assess the vulnerability of the coast to increased erosion resulting from decreasing summer sea-ice, (3) determine the biogeochemical transformation and bioavailability of OC associated with various dissolved and particulate forms across the land/sea interface through field study and laboratory experimentation; and (4) integrate results to the pan-arctic scale through international collaboration. The study will involve extensive sampling at 50 sites along the entire Alaskan Beaufort Sea coast to develop precise estimates of erosion and OC flux. Intensive sampling at three primary sites along dominant coastline types will be conducted to evaluate the transformation of the eroded OC. Three secondary sites will be added to broaden the monitoring to other coastline types and to involve local communities in assessing coastal changes.
Broader Impacts: This project will provide information critical to understanding the biogeochemical consequences of coastal changes in northern Alaska and can be used to estimate pan-arctic coastal OC and sediment inputs through international collaboration. Results can be used to increase our predictive capabilities in related models that address the carbon cycle and the arctic climate system. Of particular relevance will be the characterization of the bioavailability of long-sequestered OC across a range of soil environments, quantification of ground ice that is essential to assessing terrain stability in northern Alaska under a warming climate; and an improved understanding of the role of coastal erosion to the input of carbon and nutrients to the Arctic Ocean. This project will integrate research, professional and student training, and community involvement at Barrow, Nuiqsut, and Kaktovik, in partnership with local village representatives, the oil industry, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, to communicate study results and inform local residents about the coastal processes that are import to marine ecosystems and their subsistence activities.
|Study of the Northern Alaska Coastal System||National Science Foundation|
|Storm Climate of the Western Arctic and its Impact on Shelf-Basin Exchange|
Robert Pickart (email@example.com)
It is predicted that one of the consequences of a warmer climate will be an increase in the intensity and frequency of cyclones that influence the arctic domain. This carries with it strong ramifications, including increased precipitation, more severe coastal flooding and erosion, and enhanced transfer of momentum to the pack-ice and the water beneath it. At present it is not well understood how such changing atmospheric conditions would influence the communication between the shelves and the interior Arctic Ocean. There is increasing evidence that wind-forcing is a dominant driver of such exchange, and that the impacts of this forcing involve multiple aspects of the food web. However, wind-forced shelf-basin exchange is not simply a regional phenomenon, but one that involves a mix of time and space scales, including understanding the behavior and evolution of storm systems centered thousands of kilometers away from the areas in question. In addition, the pack-ice significantly modulates the oceanic response. Therefore, it is necessary to address simultaneously different aspects the of the atmosphere-ice ocean system -over a myriad of scale- to understand fully the causes and effects of storm-driven shelf-basin exchange.
This project brings together multiple fields (meteorology, oceanography), disciplines (physics, biochemistry), and tools (atmospheric and oceanic modeling, data analysis) to enhance the understanding of the system-wide nature of wind-driven exchange and its impact on the ecosystem of the interior and coastal Arctic. The oceanic scope is the Chukchi/Beaufort Sea region, but the atmospheric connections extend into the North Pacific, which in this context clearly needs to be considered as part of the arctic system. The project will unfold in three phases. In phase I NCEP reanalysis fields, AMSR-E ice concentration data, and SBI mooring data will be used to investigate the present storm climate, elucidating the conditions (e.g. upper-level atmospheric currents, orography of Alaska, configuration of pack-ice) leading to the strongest upwelling and downwelling. In Phase II detailed case studies of three storm events will be performed using the MIT ocean/ice model, driven by output from the high-resolution WRF atmospheric model, and analyzed in tandem with the SBI physical mooring data and biochemical shipboard data. This will enable the understanding of how regional variations in the wind and ice fields, together with the topography, influence the shelf-basin exchange. Net fluxes of biochemically important properties for each of the storms will be computed, and scaled up to obtain annual fluxes. In Phase III automated cyclone tracking applied to the full NCEP data set, together with historical ice concentration data, will be used to investigate the storm climate and associated upwelling/downwelling over several decades that encompass different climatic regimes. This will allow an assessment of possible impacts of a future warmer climate.
This research will strive to determine what factors dictate the development and evolution of storms that lead to strong shelf-basin exchange, how the distribution of pack-ice modulates this, and the detailed dynamics that accomplish the exchange. Obtaining quantitative estimates of the associated biochemical fluxes will enable us to address the ramifications on the ecosystems of the shelves and central Arctic.
|Shelf-Basin Interactions Project III||National Science Foundation||Understanding Change|
Climatology / Meteorology
|IPY: Collaborative Research: Aerial Hydrographic Surveys for IPY and Beyond: Tracking Change and Understanding Seasonal Variability|
James (Jamie) Morison (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Annual springtime, large-scale airborne surveys of the Arctic Ocean will be conducted in two regions: the central Arctic Ocean (annual surveys), and the southern Beaufort Sea (odd-year surveys). The surveys will sample the two main circulation features of the Arctic Ocean, the Transpolar Drift Stream and the Beaufort Gyre. The total number of stations will reach a maximum of about 25 at each location during IPY, decreasing to a lower level after IPY as part of a long-term Arctic Observing Network (AON). The proposed surveys have two main goals: (a) observe Arctic Ocean change by taking sea ice and ocean sections across frontal features, and (b) advance understanding of seasonal variability in the sea ice - upper ocean system to map the growth and melt of ice and to reduce seasonal bias in comparisons of past and future hydrographic records.
Five meridional sections will be done during IPY from the North Pole south to 85N, with possible extensions. Pairs of sections will be done annually after IPY. In the Beaufort Sea, the work will include two meridional sections extending to 78N and two nearly zonal sections that will pre-sample summertime icebreaker cruise tracks. After IPY, subset of sections will be done in in odd-numbered years. To resolve seasonal change, station locations will be chosen to provide end-of-winter comparisons with end-of-summer measurements made by Ice Tethered Platforms (ITPs) and icebreakers. At each station a variety of physical and chemical ocean data, including temperature, salinity, and dissolved oxygen will be collected using proven methods. A new nitrate sensing system will expand the high-resolution chemical profiling. Bottle samples of tracers such as dissolved oxygen, barium, phosphate, silicate, nitrate, nitrite, ammonium, alkalinity, and oxygen isotopes will be taken. In collaboration with US and European sea ice scientists, snow and sea ice thickness data will be acquired both along our flight tracks using remote sensing and in situ while on station. In collaboration with US, European, and Canadian scientists, we will extend our section data from the central Arctic toward the coastlines.
Together with information from ITPs, this project will give the most comprehensive, synoptic view of springtime, Arctic Ocean sea ice- ocean conditions since the Soviet airborne survey programs in the 1970s. This proposed component of the AON will effectively track Arctic Ocean change, and, with corresponding summer measurements, will provide seasonal coverage with which to test system models and their ability to capture system variability. We will help to ensure continuity in the US capability to undertake and remain at the forefront of such science efforts by training two graduate students and so directly engage the next generation of polar scientists. The public will be engaged in polar discovery through a range of activities including, giving public lectures, communicating with the press, giving K-12 presentations, being on the Advisory Board for the Earth & Sky NPR radio program's proposed IPY Polar Heroes project, being a science advisor for the San Francisco Exploratorium proposed IPY project, being on the Science Advisory Team of MacGillivray Freeman Films' proposed IPY "Polar Quest" IMAX movie, and contributing to the annual Seattle Pacific Science Center-Polar Science Weekend.
Arctic Observing Network
International Polar Year
|National Science Foundation|
Education / Outreach
|$703,627||Continuing Grant 0634226|
|RUSALCA 2004 Stations|
Jackie Grebmeier (email@example.com)
The Russian-American Long-term Census of the Arctic (RUSALCA) is an extensive activity that is being conducted jointly with the Russian Academy of Science (RAS). This field program is built around ship-based cruises to the Bering and Chukchi Sea region that are planned to occur every 4 years. The first of these cruises was in summer 2004. Cruise objectives are to determine the physical and nutrient state of the water column and provide an initial census of key pelagic and benthic biota. Additional field activities may occur between the major cruises utilizing ships of opportunity. Detecting ecological change and relating it to climate change requires a very long time horizon. Fortunately, there have been a few previous studies in the region to provide historical context and there is likely to be data from Russia that has not been made available to the US. Based on the historical data and new observations, it is anticipated that over the next decade, a clear set of relationships between physical environment and ecosystem response will be evident. To the extent possible, these relationships will be tested in climate-ecosystem models.
|Cooperative Institute for Arctic Research||National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration||Observing Change|
|The Trophic Role of Euphausiids in the Eastern Bering Sea: Ecosystem Responses to Changing Sea-ice Conditions|
Evelyn Lessard (firstname.lastname@example.org)
The principal investigators' primary hypothesis is that seasonal and interannual variation in the timing and coverage of sea-ice and associated food resources will lead to differences in age structure, diet history and nutritional condition for euphausids, which ultimately translate into differences in production rates and availability as prey to higher trophic levels. Funds are provided to quantify the age structure and diet history of important euphausids together with detailed information on their consumption and growth and to link field collections and analysis with laboratory rearing for age calibrations and shipboard feeding experiments to test the validation and retention of trophic lipid markers as well as the quality and quantity of food resources.
The investigators' objectives include:
1. To determine the potential impact of climate driven changes in sea-ice conditions on lipid content and lipid classes in major euphausid species and thus nutritional condition and reproductive potential over seasonal and interannual time scales.
2. To understand the feeding history, feeding rates and grazing strategies of euphausids under changing spatial (i.e. ice-covered, ice-edge, and open water zones) and temporal (i.e. seasonal and interannual) prey fields. Multiple approaches (i.e. feeding experiments, gut content analysis) will be used for validation and determination of retention of specific lipid dietary markers.
3. To apply recent advances in biochemical approaches to determine the age structure in field populations of euphausids and the potential effects of climate change on maintenance or disruption of cohort populations seasonally and interannually. Laboratory rearing conducted in parallel by Alaskan colleagues will allow calibrating precise ages in cohorts.
This project is part of a larger program designed to develop understanding of the integrated ecosystem of the eastern Bering Sea shelf, a highly productive region of US coastal waters. This ecosystem is home to a major portion of the commercial fisheries of the US and also provides significant resources to subsistence hunters and fisherman of Alaska. Euphausids are believed to be a critical link in the food web connecting plankton to fish resources in the region. Understanding the ecology of these organisms is critical to understanding how the commercial and subsistence fisheries may respond to a changing environment.
|Bering Ecosystem Study||National Science Foundation|
|Synthesis and Scaling of Hydrologic and Biogeochemical Data on the North Slope and Coastal Zones of Alaska: A Basis for Studying Climate Change|
Marc Stieglitz (email@example.com)
Understanding land-ocean-atmosphere coupling is essential for developing an integrated view of the arctic system, and is a key component of the Study of the Northern Alaska Coastal System (SNACS) program. As an important contribution to SNACS, this is an investigation of the linkage between hydrologic variables and constituent (nutrients and organic matter) fluxes from the North Slope of Alaska to the Alaskan Beaufort Sea. The overarching goal of the work is to develop a generalized understanding of discharge-constituent relationships in arctic basins. The primary question is: What are the relationships between discharge and constituent concentrations in the three largest North Slope basins (Kuparuk, Colville, and Sagavanirktok) and have these relationships changed over the past 25 years of rapid warming in the Arctic? Three sub-questions that emphasize specific spatial and temporal components of the primary question are: 1) What are the contemporary fluxes of C, N and P from the three largest North Slope basins to the Alaskan Beaufort Sea. 2) How do discharge- constituent relationships differ among the 3 largest North Slope basins? 3) How do the discharge-constituent relationships over the past 25 years inform us about future changes?
To address these questions, the group take advantage of extensive data collected in the Kuparuk River as a core part of the Arctic LTER project. Researchers have been actively involved in gathering nutrient and organic matter data and recording discharge in the Kuparuk River since the late 1970s. The team will use these data to define discharge-constituent relationships over the open-water season. They will develop transfer functions for use with an existing hydrologic model (the NASA Catchment-based Land Surface Model, CLSM) to estimate contemporary and long-term constituent fluxes from the Colville and Sagavanirktok river basins. This approach is necessary because we lack sufficient historical data on the Colville and Sagavanirktok for a direct analysis. Estimates of contemporary fluxes will be compared to measurements made on the Sagavanirktok and Colville rivers during Year 2 and Year 3 of the project.
The generalized discharge-constituent transport relationships that will be defined are needed to synthesize information now being collected at many locations and at many scales. For example, at the Arctic LTER site a current BioComplexity project is modeling hillslope and small catchment hydrology and biogeochemistry. The LTER streams group is studying nutrient spiraling at the scale of the entire Kuparuk catchment. At a much larger scale, work supported by the Freshwater Initiative is quantifying contemporary land-ocean fluxes from the Ob, Yenisey, Lena, and Kolyma rivers in Russia, and Mackenzie and Yukon rivers in North America.
Education and Outreach will be emphasized throughout the project. In addition to graduate student participation, the group intends for REU students (Research Experience as Undergraduate) to participate in Years 2 and 3 of the project, both in the field and in the lab.
|Study of the Northern Alaska Coastal System||National Science Foundation||Understanding Change|
Education / Outreach
North Slope, Alaska