Seven proposals were successfully submitted and all complied with the eligibility criteria. Four proposals were selected by the Scientific Liaison Panel.
Ship time was offered on board of three vessels: RV Kronprins Haakon (Norway), IB Oden (Sweden) and MSV Fennica (Finland). Altogether seven proposals were submitted applying for ship time on two research vessels, RV Kronprins Haakon and IB Oden. No proposal was submitted for MSV Fennica, most likely due to the lesser knowledge the applicants had on the ship capabilities for research operations.
ProMis, IB Oden, Western High Arctic Ocean between Svalbard and Ellesmere Island
Production and export of phytoplankton-derived organic matter in the changing Arctic Ocean – Role of parasites, saprotrophs and mineral (ProMis)
Principal investigator: Dr. Birthe Zaencker, The Marine Biological Association of the UK
Project Partners: Dr. Michael Cunliffe, The Marine Biological Association of the UK; Dr. Brandon Hassett, The Arctic University of Norway; Dr. Jutta Wollenburg, Alfred-Wegener Institute, Germany
Research Icebreaker: IB Oden
Schedule: August to September 2020
Abstract: Arctic sea ice extent is decreasing rapidly. By the middle of this century, the Arctic will be mostly, if not completely, ice-free during the summer. Whether this will stimulate phytoplankton due to increased light exposure or inhibit phytoplankton growth due to increased water column stratification and photoinhibition is currently not understood. Phytoplankton are not only influenced by abiotic factors, but also by microbial interactions. For example, fungal parasites can attack diatoms and influence their production of organic matter (OM).
Part of the OM produced by phytoplankton can aggregate to form Transparent Exopolymer Particles (TEP), which are gel-like rich-carbohydrate particles. Due to their stickiness, TEP can aid in the formation of larger aggregates (e.g. marine snow) and thus can increase carbon export. Likewise, cryogenic gypsum can aggregate with phytoplankton and can increase the export of OM.
Our project aims to highlight the changes in microbe-particle interactions and microbe-microbe interactions and their impact on the biological carbon pump with regard to varying sea ice conditions. The abundance of particles such as gypsum and TEP will be analysed. In addition, identification of the associated microbial communities of both particle types will advance understanding of TEP degradation and the role of gypsum in export of particledegrading microbes. We will also be examining how fungal parasites influence major diatom producers of TEP precursors, and their OM production rates. Using DNA/RNA analysis in combination with microscopy, Raman spectroscopy and phospholipid fatty acid analysis will enable this project to gain a comprehensive overview of the role of parasites, saprotrophs and mineral ballasting in the export of phytoplankton-derived OM in the changing Arctic Ocean.
NoTAC, RV Kronprins Haakon, Fram Strait transect
Novel Tracers of Arctic Carbon and water exchange in the Fram Strait (NoTAC)
Principal investigator: Dr. Rafael Gonçalves-Araujo, Technical University of Denmark
Project Partners: Dr. Piotr Kowalczuk, Institute of Oceanology Polish Academy of Sciences, Poland; Dr. Lumi Haraguchi, Finnish Environment Institute, Finland; Dr. Juliana D’Andrilli, Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium, United States of America; Dr. Jixin Qiao, Technical University of Denmark; Dr. Colin A. Stedmon, Technical University of Denmark; Dr. Christopher L. Osburn, North Carolina State University, United States of America
Research Icebreaker: RV Kronprins Haakon
Schedule: August-September 2020 and 2021
Abstract: NoTAC is an international collaboration across several institutions from Denmark, Finland, Poland and USA with a diverse team varying from early career (ECS) to senior scientists. The project focuses on assessing the application of novel, cost-effective water masses tracers, with special interest in tracking the Arctic outflow entering the Atlantic basin through a major gateway, the Fram Strait. Initial pilot studies undertaken by the research team indicate a consistent dissolved organic matter (DOM) signal within the surface waters exiting the Arctic Ocean. Therefore, a major objective is to assess the variability in DOM composition and concentration within the targeted water masses (halocline and Atlantic waters) in order to develop an empirical model for retrieving water fractions from the optical properties of DOM. The model will be calibrated and validated with in situ radioisotope analysis. Additionally, to check for the consistency on DOM signal and reactivity, we will determine the importance of photochemical and microbial degradation on the mineralization of distinct DOM-pools through incubation experiments. Apart from investigating the potential of DOM as a water mass tracer, microbial community (e.g., phyto- and zooplankton) biomass and composition will be explored as an alternative tracer, given the dependency of those organisms to the water mass physico-chemical characteristics. As the Arctic oceanographic community move towards autonomous, sensor-based sampling, the project will calibrate and validate the use of state-of-the art in situ bio-optical data to expand existing techniques for tracing water mass origin in the Arctic. Finally, apart from the scientific planned activities, NoTAC will also promote training for ECS through the opportunity to join the expeditions (pre-cruises preparation and sample and data analysis) and post-cruises workshops, enabling interaction with scientists from other disciplines and institutions.
VACAO, IB Oden, Arctic Ocean
Ventilation and Anthropogenic Carbon in the Arctic Ocean (VACAO) – Supporting measurements of noble gases and 39Ar in the Central Arctic.
Principal investigator: Dr. Tim Stöven, GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel, Germany
Project Partners: Prof. Dr. Werner Aeschbach, Heidelberg University, Germany; Prof. Dr. Leif Anderson, University of Gothenburg, Sweden; Dr. Céline Heuzé, University of Gothenburg, Sweden; Dr. William Smethie, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University, United States of America; Prof. Dr. Minggang Cai, Xiamen University, China; Dr. Adam Ulfsbo, University of Gothenburg, Sweden
Research Icebreaker: IB Oden
Abstract: The Arctic Ocean has the unique characteristic that here climate change becomes clearly more apparent than in any other region of the world. The elevated heat flux into the Arctic causes drastic changes in the multi-year ice coverage, which in turn influences the prevailing physical and biogeochemical processes. Especially the modification of the inflowing surface waters into the Arctic is an essential part of the global overturning circulation. The formation of deep water encompasses the transport of dissolved gases, such as carbon dioxide, into the ocean’s interior. This process, named ventilation, is responsible for the storage of anthropogenic carbon in the world oceans and acts as buffer for greenhouse gas emissions. The uptake capacity of the oceans as well as the uptake rate are the crucial factors for reliable future scenario predictions. The ventilation timescales can be determined using transient tracer measurements, which carry time information by their time dependent input function or radioactive decay rate. The specific time ranges of the different tracers limit this established method in oceanography. The new Atom Trap Trace Analysis (ATTA) method now allows for standard measurements of the radioisotope 39Ar in seawater. This isotope perfectly covers the age range of deep waters, which could not be precisely resolved in the past. The age distribution function and ventilation timescales can now be determined for the whole water column in combination with further tracers, like CFC-12 and SF6. This approach will be supported by measurements of noble gases to determine saturation anomalies at the surface. This project is focused on the current and historic ventilation timescales of the Arctic Ocean to finally derive its carbon inventory. To this end, we want to measure the tracers during an Arctic expedition on the icebreaker ODEN in the Central Arctic Ocean in 2020.
TRACE, IB Oden, Western High Arctic Ocean between Svalbard and Ellesmere Island
TRace gAses (N2O, CO) Cycling in the Arctic marine Ecosystem (TRACE)
Principal investigator: Dr. Damian L. Arévalo-Martínez
Project Partners: Prof. Dr. Hermann Werner Bange, GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel; Prof. Dr. Carolin Regina Löscher, University of Southern Denmark; Prof. Dr. Annie Bourbonnais, University of South Carolina, United States of America
Research Icebreaker: IB Oden
Schedule: August to September 2020
Abstract: This project addresses the biogeochemical cycling of the climate-relevant trace gases nitrous oxide (N2O) and carbon monoxide (CO) at the sea-air and sea-ice interfaces in the Arctic Ocean (AO). Although the ocean is generally acknowledged as an overall source of these gases, at regional and basin-scales there is a large range of variability in terms of their sources and sinks, which in turn, poses challenges to the accurate assessment of their role in the marine nitrogen and carbon cycles. Environmental changes such as warming and decrease in sea ice coverage are expected to affect production/consumption pathways of both N2O and CO, but the direction of the future trends is highly uncertain. In response to the particular sensitivity of the AO to climate change, we will conduct TRACE, a multidisciplinary study of pathways and emissions of these two gases within the context of the 2020 ODEN expedition, as an important contribution to the Synoptic Arctic Survey 2020. TRACE aims to fill the gaps of both data coverage and process understanding with respect to the marine cycling of N2O and CO in the AO.
For further information on each of the proposals selected for funding, click on the proposal acronyms above.