Measurements of sea ice thickness and atmospheric variables in an area between Spitsbergen, Greenland, northern Canada and Alaska are at the centre of the project PAM-ARCMIP (Pan-Arctic Measurements and Arctic Climate Model Inter comparison Project).
Up to twenty German and international researchers will carry out investigations in those areas of the Arctic where no data are yet available. Six research institutes from Germany (Alfred Wegener Institute), Canada (Environment Canada, University of Alberta, York University), the USA (NOAA) and Italy (ISAC Bologna) are involved in the project.
The extent of Arctic sea ice has declined stronger than predicted by climate models. However, little is known about changes of its thickness. Sea ice is in constant movement and it can become thicker by deformation than by freezing. Therefore, not only the areal extent of the ice is an important variable in the Arctic climate system, but also its thickness.
"We hope to gain an appraisal of the whole Arctic ice volume for the first time ever in order to be able to compare the changes in the different regions", says Dr. Andreas Herber, physicist and in charge of the research aircrafts of the Alfred Wegener Institute. The operation of the research aircraft Polar 5 will allow for the first time to carry out large scale ice thickness measurements in Arctic key areas which could hitherto not be reached by the German research vessel Polarstern.
The joint sea ice team of the Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research in the Helmholtz Association and the University of Alberta are the only researchers worldwide who have carried out Arctic ice thickness measurements recently. Their results show a strong decrease of ice thickness in the central Arctic which was sporadically surveyed from RV Polarstern. However, nothing is known about changes in other regions.
This project breaks new ground in many ways. An ice thickness probe, the so-called EM-Bird, which is usually dragged below a helicopter, is now operated for the first time by a fixed-wing aircraft. The EM-Bird is towed under the hull of the aircraft by means of a winch for take-off and landing. For the surveys, the probe is towed on an 80 m long rope twenty metres above the ice surface. More extensive areas can now be investigated due to the longer range of the aircraft in comparison to a helicopter.
Further measurements of the vertical distribution of meteorological parameters like wind, temperature and humidity are carried out during the campaign by means of so-called drop probes sondes. The sondes are dropped from an altitude of five kilometres. "We will considerably improve regional Arctic climate models with our investigations", explains Prof. Dr. Klaus Dethloff, physicist at the research unit Potsdam and scientific head of the project at the Alfred Wegener Institute.
In total, 30 people from four nations - six research institutes and logistic institutions (like EAI Oshawa, Arctic Kingdom Toronto) from Germany, Canada, the USA and Italy - are involved in the project. The campaign ends April 27th in Oshawa, Canada, where Polar 5 will regularly be maintained and inspected. The logistically demanding campaign with residence in four neighbouring states of the Arctic is only possible due to the close international collaboration between the partners.
The Alfred Wegener Institute carries out research in the Arctic and Antarctic as well as in the high and mid latitude oceans. The institute coordinates German polar research and provides international science with important infrastructure, e.g. the research icebreaker Polarstern and research stations in the Arctic and Antarctic. The Alfred Wegener Institute is one of 15 research centres within the Helmholtz Association, Germany's largest scientific organization.
Margarete Pauls | idw
Greenland ice flow likely to speed up: New data assert glaciers move over sediment, which gets more slippery as it gets wetter
17.08.2017 | Swansea University
Climate change: In their old age, trees still accumulate large quantities of carbon
17.08.2017 | Universität Hamburg
Whether you call it effervescent, fizzy, or sparkling, carbonated water is making a comeback as a beverage. Aside from quenching thirst, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have discovered a new use for these "bubbly" concoctions that will have major impact on the manufacturer of the world's thinnest, flattest, and one most useful materials -- graphene.
As graphene's popularity grows as an advanced "wonder" material, the speed and quality at which it can be manufactured will be paramount. With that in mind,...
Physicists at the University of Bonn have managed to create optical hollows and more complex patterns into which the light of a Bose-Einstein condensate flows. The creation of such highly low-loss structures for light is a prerequisite for complex light circuits, such as for quantum information processing for a new generation of computers. The researchers are now presenting their results in the journal Nature Photonics.
Light particles (photons) occur as tiny, indivisible portions. Many thousands of these light portions can be merged to form a single super-photon if they are...
For the first time, scientists have shown that circular RNA is linked to brain function. When a RNA molecule called Cdr1as was deleted from the genome of mice, the animals had problems filtering out unnecessary information – like patients suffering from neuropsychiatric disorders.
While hundreds of circular RNAs (circRNAs) are abundant in mammalian brains, one big question has remained unanswered: What are they actually good for? In the...
An experimental small satellite has successfully collected and delivered data on a key measurement for predicting changes in Earth's climate.
The Radiometer Assessment using Vertically Aligned Nanotubes (RAVAN) CubeSat was launched into low-Earth orbit on Nov. 11, 2016, in order to test new...
A study led by scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg presents evidence of the coexistence of superconductivity and “charge-density-waves” in compounds of the poorly-studied family of bismuthates. This observation opens up new perspectives for a deeper understanding of the phenomenon of high-temperature superconductivity, a topic which is at the core of condensed matter research since more than 30 years. The paper by Nicoletti et al has been published in the PNAS.
Since the beginning of the 20th century, superconductivity had been observed in some metals at temperatures only a few degrees above the absolute zero (minus...
16.08.2017 | Event News
04.08.2017 | Event News
26.07.2017 | Event News
18.08.2017 | Life Sciences
18.08.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
18.08.2017 | Information Technology