Advective pathways of nutrients and key ecological substances in the Arctic (APEAR)

Lead Research Organisation: National Oceanography Centre
Department Name: Science and Technology

Abstract

The fast decline of Arctic sea ice in the last decades is commonly viewed as manifestation of the climate change. The sea ice reduction exposes a large area of the previously ice-covered Arctic Ocean to the atmosphere, and intensifies air-ocean exchanges. This leads to changes in ocean circulation and impacts ocean ecosystems. Due to multiple influences between ocean and sea ice the future state of the Arctic ecosystem is not well understood.

The proposed project will address changes in the ocean currents in the Arctic Ocean and the regional differences the marine ecosystems between the two provinces in the Arctic Ocean: the Atlantic and Pacific sectors. Using historical data, new observations and high-resolution ocean and ecosystem models the project will investigate current changes in the ocean currents, nutrients supply and ecologically important key substances, such as CO2. The data from the "Multidisciplinary drifting Observatory for the Study of Arctic Climate" Observational Programme (MOSAiC; see also http://www.mosaic-expedition.org/) will be used. The programme is planned to take place in 2019/2020 and will cover a large part of the Eurasian Basin and central Arctic.

The project will examine nutrient supply to the upper ocean and the changes in marine ecosystems in the future climate change scenarios for the next assessment of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and will quantify the impact of the emerging new Arctic climate on the ecosystems, fisheries, Arctic industries and societies. The project brings together leading researchers from the UK, Germany and Sweden, building on the research expertise in the Polar Sciences. The project will facilitate a new understanding of the Arctic and climate in the UK, Europe and worldwide.

Planned Impact

The rapid decline of Arctic sea ice in the last decades is commonly viewed as manifestation of the climate change. This sea ice reduction has lead to debates in the maritime industries and beyond on the possibility of an increase industrial activities in the area, including in cargo transportation and off-shore exploration, and whether the economical benefits outweigh the risk and the potential damage to the environment. This has generated political debates over the future of the Arctic, public interest, discussions in the media and also a momentum in the Arctic research. For example there was a a Royal Society meeting on Arctic sea ice in 2014 and series of Arctic-related events, including "The Year of Polar Prediction" coordinated by the WMO and the revision of the new Polar Code for Arctic navigation completed in 2016. The knowledge of how the changing Arctic sea ice and ocean can affect the Arctic environment and what are the timescales for the change is crucial for mitigation of the climate impacts in the region and policy making. The change affects UK and international governments and businesses. Better scientifically-based predictions of Arctic sea ice, ocean and ecosystems has a substantial economical value, and also impacts social and environmental policies.

This project brings together leading researchers from the UK and Germany, with the partnership from the Sweden, capitalising on the critical mass of the expertise in the Arctic sea ice, ocean and ecosystems modelling, Arctic physical oceanography and ecosystems, and climate science.

The key practical outcome from the project will be future projections of the changes in the Arctic ecosystems during the 21st century. These projections will include analyses of model uncertainty and will quantify the impact of the emerging influence of the new Arctic physical climate on the ecosystems, helping assessments of the impact on the fisheries, Arctic industries and societies. The results will be utilised for the offshore industries, marine transport and insurance sector. They will assist making informed policy and sustainable development decisions for the Arctic regions. The principal beneficiaries will be: the climate research and forecasting centres, e.g. the UK Met Office; climate research (the IPCC); policy makers (e.g., DEFRA and FCO) and international independent advisory organisations, such as the Arctic Council and Artic Economic Council; off-shore O&G industries, shipping classification societies; environmental monitoring bodies, e.g., Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Programme of the Arctic Council Working Group and the general public and local communities.

Related Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Award Value
NE/R012865/1 01/07/2018 31/10/2019 £430,173
NE/R012865/2 Transfer NE/R012865/1 01/11/2019 31/12/2021 £252,090
 
Description The key findings: changes in currents and sea ice loss lead to higher ocean temperatures, easier connectivity with global oceans, invaders and changes in Arctic productivity.
We use quality-controlled observational data, validated model configurations and ocean pathways analysis for the present and future climates, along with detailed observational plans for the partners in the MOSAiC campaign, which started in October 2019 to examine future impact so fat exchanges on the Arctic ecosystems.
Exploitation Route The results of the model validation and tuning is shared between the projects of the Changing Ocean programme and through the "Multidisciplinary drifting Observatory for the Study of Arctic Climate" (MOSAiC). The outputs formed a part of the United Kingdom Marine Climate Change Impacts Partnership (MCCIP), http://www.mccip.org.uk/impacts-report-cards/full-report-cards/2020 and of the talk at the Cryosphere Pavilion at the UN Climate Change Conference (COP25, Madrid).
Sectors Aerospace, Defence and Marine,Agriculture, Food and Drink,Education,Environment,Transport

 
Description The member of the project lead and contribute dot the following non-academic impacts. 1. Aksenov gave a talk at the Cryosphere Pavilion at the UN Climate Change Conference (COP25, Madrid). (https:// www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q_XZPKyFFME&list=PLu5U7DV5jenUOtkdM6H4qjInPVbB9Fi66?dex=17&t=0s). 2. Rabe contributed to white papers through the Ocean Observations Panel for Climate, WCRP/GOOS/GCOS and the CLIVAR Northern Oceans Regional Panel. 3. Aksenov co-authored a report for H2020 Blue Action on the environmental and policy decisions in the Yamal region. https:// zenodo.org/record/3341291#.XhcoAxf7QdU. 4. Rynders delivered a talk 'Predicting ocean waves and sea ice and the Polar Oceans' at the YOPP Arctic Science Workshop 2019, Finland. 5. Aksenov co-authored a report for the United Kingdom Marine Climate Change Impacts Partnership (MCCIP), to be launched in Jan 2020. full reports http://www.mccip.org.uk/impacts-report-cards/full-report-cards/2020. 6. Yool leads the marine biogeochemistry of the UK ESM. Through the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project 6 he contributes to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Assessment Report 6. (https://ukesm.ac.uk/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/Colin_Jones_introoverview.pdf). 7. Yool was interviewed by the 'BBC Today' as part of series on the changing Arctic, broadcasted in March 2019. ( https:// www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m00035t9). 8. Rynders co-convened EGU-2019 session "Plastic in the aquatic environment" and leads the session at EGU-2020. 9. Luneva presented at the Arctic Science Summit Week 2019 session 'UK-Rus- sia Arctic Scientific Cooperation' and gave an interview to ITAR-?ASS (https://tass.ru/v-strane/6925897, in Russian (translation in pdf is attached). TASS stands for Information Telegraph Agency of the Soviet Union, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/TASS. 10. Luneva give a talk at the ''UK-Russia Arctic marine science workshop: Building collaborations', Northumbria University, 2019.
First Year Of Impact 2020
Sector Education,Environment,Leisure Activities, including Sports, Recreation and Tourism,Security and Diplomacy,Transport
Impact Types Societal,Economic,Policy & public services

 
Description Citation in "Chokepoints and Vulnerabilities in Global Food Trade" by Bailey, R., and Wellesley, L., Chatham House Report Energy, Environment and Resources Department, June 2017
Geographic Reach Multiple continents/international 
Policy Influence Type Citation in other policy documents
Impact Influenced assessment of trends and changes in the transport sector and food technology, how a shift in the nature of trade and transport, and the advancement of disruptive technologies, could change the outlook for food production and trade via emerging routes and a new transport chokepoints.
 
Description Citation in "Future of the Sea: Implications from Opening Arctic Sea Routes" by Melia et al., commissioned by the UK Government Office for Science, Foresight Future of the Sea project.
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Citation in other policy documents
Impact Impacted review "Future of the Sea: Implications from Opening Arctic Sea Routes" commissioned by the UK Government Office for Science, Foresight Future of the Sea project, which assesses projections and scenarios for the Arctic maritime transport and industries for the next two decades.
 
Description Ocean Regulation of Climate by Heat and Carbon Sequestration and Transports (ORCHESTRA)
Amount £7,094,230 (GBP)
Funding ID NE/N018095/1 
Organisation Natural Environment Research Council 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 03/2016 
End 03/2021
 
Title Combined MIZ and pack sea ice rheology code 
Description The model code which includes the implemented combined granular rheology of Marginal Ice Zone sea ice and pack sea ice rheology. 
Type Of Material Computer model/algorithm 
Year Produced 2019 
Provided To Others? Yes  
Impact Improved sea ice rheology which include granular behaviour of sea ice to be used in the next generation climate models. 
 
Description Interview for BBC Radio 4 Arctic special "Today" programme 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Media (as a channel to the public)
Results and Impact Aksenov has been interviewed on the BBC Radio 4 Arctic special for the "Today" programme aired Thur the 14 Mar on the changes in the Artic and links with the industrial applications.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Presentation at the EGU 2018: Aksenov, Y., Rynders, S., Hosekova, L., Feltham, D., Nurser, A. J., Madec, G., ... & Coward, A. (2018, April). Waves, Ice and Ocean in future projections of the Arctic and Southern Ocean. In EGU General Assembly Conference Abstracts (Vol. 20, p. 14180). 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Presentation delivered at the EGU General Assembly Conference Abstracts (Vol. 20, p. 14180). New data and results made available for the professionals and media. discussion followed the presentation helped to shape science directions.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018