Posts Tagged «NSF»

Recent advances in proteomics, biomarkers and biosensor technology sciences enable new approaches to understanding major biogeochemical processes. This project will examine the physicochemical reactivity of a model protein “RuBisCO” in seawater, and will quantify RuBisCO along ocean transect Line P (48°39.0′ N, 126°40.0′ W to 50°00′ N, 145°00′ W) in the North Pacific Ocean. The project will use two independent methods that complement and validate each other: immune-sensors and multiple-reaction monitoring (MRM) mass spectrometry.Intellectual Merit: Chemical analyses have shown that a significant fraction of dissolved organic matter (DOM) in the ocean is in the form of proteins. Proteins are a…

The Arctic Ocean is (currently) a remarkably quiet place, as the presence of sea-ice isolates the ocean from the mixing effects of wind.  In this interdisciplinary project, we examine how the upper Arctic may change if sea-ice retreat increases.  We use observations and models to study Arctic mixed layer depths, internal wave energy, and the mixing of nutrients into the photic zone, with particular interest on  impacts on Arctic ecosystems.

This project will produce authoritative SAT data sets covering the Arctic Ocean from 1901 to present, which will be used to better understand Arctic climate change.

Atlantic Waters (AWs) are volumetrically the largest inflow to the Arctic Ocean.  They form the major subsurface circum-arctic oceanic transport system, and are the greatest pan-arctic reservoir of oceanic heat. This project draws on a variety of observational data to study flow pathways,  fundamental properties and change in the Atlantic waters in the western Arctic.

The Bering Strait is the only Pacific gateway to the Arctic Ocean. Waters flowing through the strait are a key source of nutrients, heat and freshwater for the Arctic. Since 1990, APL-UW has measured the properties of this throughflow using long-term in situ moorings, supported by annual cruises. Project details, data, cruise reports and papers are available on the project web site.

The Bering Sea – lying at the northern end of the Pacific Ocean and north of the Aleutian Chain – is the source of over 50% of the total US fish catch and the home to immense populations of birds and marine mammals. This project uses a state-of-the-art numerical ocean-ice model to investigate prior (and predict future) changes in the Bering Sea ice cover and study the impacts of these changes on Bering Sea marine and eco-systems.

PI: Jinlun ZhangThis project will investigate future changes in the seasonal linkages and interactions among arctic sea ice, the water column, and the marine production cycles and trophic structure as an integrated system. This is a collaborative project led by Jinlun Zhang with Mike Steele, Univ. of WA, Y. Spitz, Oregon State Univ., C. Ashjian, Woods Hole, and R. Campbell, Univ. of Rhode Island.Read More

This international, multidisciplinary effort will explore the Arctic Ocean’s Eurasian and Makarov basins (EMB) . Three August-September cruises, one every two years, are proposed, with extensive measurements along continental margins, a boundary current conduit; cruises will cover vast areas from Svalbard to the East Siberian Sea. The program ties together oceanographic, chemical, and ice observations using moorings, repeated oceanographic sections, and Lagrangian drifters to provide vital information about Arctic Ocean changes.

The objectives of this research are to quantify the connection between seasonal warming of arctic surface waters and the absorption of solar energy, and additionally to identify the presence and seasonal cycling of materials responsible for this absorption. Seasonal changes in the attenuation of solar radiation within the sea ice and upper 30m of the water column will be measured at high temporal resolution (hourly) by a new proof of concept buoy system. Temperature and PAR (photosynthetically active radiation) irradiance measurements will be made using optical sensors paired with thermisters within the water column and sea ice. A fluorometer will…

We are using field and remote sensing data to investigate Elevation Change Anomalies (ECAs) discovered recently in the Ross Sea sector of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS), which reveal the filling and draining of subglacial lakes.

This project characterizes the Greenland Ice Sheet’s subglacial microbial communities to investigate the effect of microbes on lithospheric weathering and nutrient fluxes from the GrIS margin in West Greenland.

Our overarching goals are to study and understand the physical processes in the high latitude oceans, including large-scale circulation, shelf-basin interactions, and water mass formation; linkages between polar oceans and the lower latitudes; and the role of polar processes in climate. We do this primarily with observations, drawing on theory and modelling results to explain processes we observe. Our primary tools are subsurface moorings in ice-covered waters, which we deploy in several regions to study different questions.

This project is to examine over 30 years of landfast ice records, cyclone tracks and intensity along with frequency and timing of coastal high wind conditions, nearshore pack ice drift, and coastal weather observations in two representative arctic coastal regions.

In recent years the ice extent in the Arctic has been much reduced from that of historical norms and the ice-albedo feedback is often cited as a major factor in causing this accelerated summer ice retreat. An important countervailing feedback is the ice thickness-growth feedback wherein thin ice grows much more quickly in the winter than thick ice. The strength of this negative feedback mechanism depends on the rate heat is lost from the surface to the atmosphere.  The primary objectives of this project are to better understand how rapidly the extra summer heat absorbed in the Arctic Ocean in…

Observations of surface air pressure (SAP) and surface air temperature (SAT) provide the foundation of our ability to forecast weather and ice conditions, and our ability to understand the earth’s climate and climate change. These basic variables are monitored through out the globe by weather stations on land, moored buoys along the coast, and drifting buoys in most of the world’s oceans. However, the Southern Ocean and sea ice around Antarctica continue to be one of the least sampled areas of the planet. This lack of observations around Antarctica hinders our ability to accurately predict weather (Bromwich and Cassano, 2001),…

The participants of the IABP work together to maintain a network of drifting buoys in the Arctic Ocean to provide meteorological and oceanographic data for real-time operational requirements and research purposes including support to the World Climate Research Programme and the World Weather Watch Programme.

PI: Ian Joughin The West Antarctic Ice Sheet is losing mass, in large part because of rapid thinning of the Amundsen Coast glaciers. Estimates of Amundsen Coast thinning range from 46 to 86 Gtons/yr, with the 40-Gton/yr difference in estimates being nearly equivalent to the combined outflow of Mercer, Whillans, Kamb, and Bindschadler ice streams (46 Gtons/yr). While warmer ocean temperatures may drive this thinning, the large uncertainties in the current mass balance estimates largely arise from poor knowledge of the snowfall accumulation over Pine Island, Thwaites, Smith, Pope and Kohler glaciers. This International Polar Year project is determining accumulation rates in this vastly under-sampled region to remove the large uncertainties in current mass balance estimates.

PI: Karen Junge
Ice is ubiquitous in the Universe. If we better understand how microbial life adapts to Earth ice matrices, we will be in a better position to evaluate and plan tests of the habitability of frozen systems elsewhere in the Universe.

Life as we know it requires liquid water. However Dr. Junge and her collaborators found evidence of ice bacterial protein synthesis to liquid nitrogen temperature (–196°C) when bacterial polymers were present and samples were (likely) vitrified during her postdoc (with Jody Deming and Hajo Eicken) and continuing on with Brian Swanson (New Scientist article).Currently, she is exploring the relationship between this deep-freeze bacterial activity, proteomics, polymers and the physical state of the ice in collaboration with Brook Nunn from the Goodlet laboratory here at the University of Washington and Hajo Eicken at UAF. This collaboration puts them in a unique…

This project will explore the relationship between deep-freeze bacterial activity, proteomics, polymers and the physical state of the ice and will provide important keys to questions regarding life under extreme conditions, be it in the various ice formations here on Earth, the atmosphere or elsewhere in the universe.

The observatory is staffed by an international research team that establishes a camp at the North Pole each spring to take the pulse of the Arctic Ocean and learn how the world’s northernmost sea helps regulate global climate.

It is argued that today only Antarctica provides sufficiently analogous ice surfaces to the specialized ones that are thought to have occurred under a Snowball Earth scenario. A combination of field observations of cold snow-free sea ice, salt encrusted sea-ice surfaces and blue glacial ice, laboratory experiments and modeling will be carried out to test the viability of the Snowball Earth hypothesis.

This project will carry out quantitative assessment of the drivers, effects, and ramifications of the seasonal timing of sea ice melt onset and freeze initiation over the observational record and using earth system model projections of future climate.

In this research project her team is examining the role that bacteria could play in polar atmospheric cloud formation and precipitation processes (on the general topic of bacteria in the atmosphere see: Biological Ice Nucleators.As Co-PI with Brian Swanson from the Laucks Foundation she is investigating whether polar bacteria can interact with ice surfaces via ice nucleation processes. It is known that heterotrophic bacteria play a key role in carbon cycling in polar regions, but little is known about how they interact with their geological material, the ice itself, be it sea-ice, lake ice, glacier ice or ice in the…

The Polar Science Center Hydrographic Climatology (PHC) merges the 1998 version of the World Ocean Atlas (Antonov et al., 1998; Boyer et al., 1998) with the regional Arctic Ocean Atlas (EWG, 1997; 1998) creating a global climatology for temperature and salinity that contains a good description of the Arctic Ocean and its environs.

The focus of this project is to synthesize existing studies and data relating to Arctic Ocean primary production and its changing physical controls such as light, nutrients, and stratification, and to use this synthesis to better understand how primary production varies in time and space and as a function of climate change.

PI: Jinlun ZhangTremendous amounts of in situ and satellite data have been collected for the eastern Bering sea since 2007 in the framework of the Bering Sea Ecosystem STudy (BEST) and the Bering Sea Integrated Ecosystem Research Program (BSIERP) funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the North Pacific Research Board. The rich collection of BEST-BSIERP observations and other sources of data provide an excellent opportunity for synthesis through modeling and data assimilation to improve understanding of changes in the physical forcings of the Bering ecosystem in response to climate change.This project will include the following three major goals.…

Clouds play a major role in the arctic surface energy balance controlling the growth and melt of sea ice. At the same time the processes involved in the formation, maintenance and dissipation of cloud cover over the Arctic Ocean are thought to be strongly influenced by the sea ice itself. This project will advance the understanding of this interaction and feedback by asking: What is the response of Arctic clouds to diminishing sea ice?

We compare the observations of arctic sea ice thickness estimates from satellites with in situ observations – collected by submarine cruises and moorings under the sea ice, by direct measurement during field camps, by electromagnetic instruments flown over the sea ice, and by buoys drifting with the sea ice – to provide a careful assessment of our capabilities to monitor the thickness of sea ice.

Project investigators aim to improve upon the existing seasonal ensemble forecasting system and use the system to predict sea ice conditions in the arctic and subarctic seas with lead times ranging from two weeks to three seasons.

Through this project, investigators will characterize the seasonal linkages between the land surface greenness and a suite of land, atmosphere, and ocean characteristics, focusing on the Beringia/ Beaufort Sea, where there have been strong positive increases in the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) over the past 25 years, and the west-central Arctic Eurasia region, where the NDVI trends have been slightly negative.

This project is motivated by recent findings showing the sensitivity of Arctic Ocean circulation to background deep-ocean diapycnal mixing. Mixing in the stratified ocean is related to internal wave energy, which tends to be low under the Arctic Ocean ice cover. Consequently, as ice cover declines background mixing may increase and, among other changes, bring more Atlantic Water heat to the surface to melt ice, a potentially important positive climate feedback. To understand the influence of background mixing and to improve models of the changing Arctic Ocean, we are taking advantage of the latest analysis techniques to examine existing internal…

SEARCH is an interagency effort to understand the nature, extent, and future development of the system-scale change presently seen in the Arctic. These changes are occuring across terrestrial, oceanic, atmospheric, and human systems.

SHEBA is motivated by the large discrepancies among simulations by global climate models (GCMs) of the present and future climate in the arctic and by uncertainty about the impact of the arctic on climate change. These problems arise from an incomplete understanding of the physics of vertical energy exchange within the ocean/ice/atmosphere system. To address this problem, the SHEBA project is focused on enhancing understanding of the key processes that determine ice albedo feedback in the arctic pack ice and on a applying this knowledge to improve climate modeling.

The AOMIP science goals are to validate and improve Arctic Ocean models in a coordinated fashion and investigate variability of the Arctic Ocean and sea ice at seasonal to decadal time scales, and identify mechanisms responsible for the observed changes.

This project supports the design, development, and implementation of a component of an Arctic Ocean Observing System in the Switchyard region of the Arctic Ocean (north of Greenland and Nares Strait) that serves the scientific studies developed for the IPY (International Polar Year), SEARCH (Study of Environmental ARctic Change), and related programs.

PI: Mike Steele A 3D animation, “The Important Little Life of Dylan Diatom,” shows the plight of a diatom in the Arctic Ocean. This slice of Dylan’s life, sponsored by the National Science Foundation and animated by student Anna Czoski, shows middle school students the role of phytoplankton in the Arctic.

This project aims to measure the time history of summer warming and subsequent fall cooling of the seasonally open water areas of the Arctic Ocean. Investigators 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. Arctic-ADOS buoy data will be provided to both the research and operational weather forecasting communities in near real time on the International Arctic Buoy Program (IABP) web site.

This project will investigate, through modeling and data assimilation, the historical evolution of the Antarctic sea ice–ocean system from 1979 to the present to enhance our understanding of the large-scale changes that have occurred in the sea ice and the upper ocean in response to changes in atmospheric circulation.

By developing new microscopy and imaging techniques that allowed for the investigation of sea-ice bacteria within ice without melting it, Karen Junge demonstrated in her PhD research (in collaboration with Jody Deming and Hajo Eicken) that surface associations to ice walls or particles within sea ice are essential for maintenance of activity to –20°C and that psychrophilic bacteria can still be motile to temperatures as low as –10°C moving at similar speeds as Escherichia coli at 37°C.Funding source: NSF, NAI (NASA Astrobiology Institute) through the University of Washington Astrobiology Program.Junge et al., 2001Junge et al., 2002Junge et al., 2003Junge et…