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Friday, 19 June 2009 12:19
Friday 19th of June The day began at 9:15am with lectures on oceanography. The first was with Helen Johnson from Oxford University who gave us an overview of oceanographic principles. She gave us a few ideas about possible future scenarios depending on climate change impacts on thermohaline circulation. She focused on the importance of high latitude circulation, especially the region near Svalbard. This is where warm Atlantic Ocean currents flow into the Arctic Ocean. She is working on an IPY project called Arctic/Subarctic Ocean Fluxes (ASOF). The project is attempting to quantify the flux of freshwater output through the Nares Strait which is located between Greenland and Ellesmere Island. The next lecture was given by Yngve Kristofferson from the University of Bergen. He ...
Wednesday, 17 June 2009 14:47
Hi from 78°N! Some of us have been here for a couple of days now so we are updating you all on what we have been doing. During the long flight from Oslo we were lucky to have clear views of the sea ice and southern Spitzbergen. Amazing! In Svalbard, we are staying in the student accommodation in Nybyen about 3km from UNIS in old mining barracks. Unfortunately this means a 30 minute walk to UNIS, not a pleasant experience in gale force winds and sub-zero temperatures, although it gives an opportunity to get to know the 22 other people from 11 different countries! Whilst waiting for the field school to begin we took advantage of the good weather and went hiking up Longyearbreen (the local glacier) near our accommodation (with a rifle in case of polar bear encounters!). Part way...
Thursday, 30 April 2009 08:04
Anthropology and ethnography: new disciplines in natural and scientific studies of the Sámi in 19th-century Sweden – a case study. My research focuses on how Sámi were represented in text and images in four natural scientists’ travel and scientific journals and letter correspondence during the nineteenth century. The scientists are Göran Wahlenberg (1780-1851), Lars Levi Læstadius (1800-1861), Sven Lovén (1809-1895) and Axel Hamberg (1863-1933). They were all based in Sweden, but did field studies and field research trips in the north of Finland, the north of Norway, the north of Sweden and Spitsbergen. They studied, mapped and categorized stones, rocks, ice, plants, and flowers, animals such as birds, reindeers and sea mammals. They also studied the...
Sunday, 15 March 2009 06:44
NISSE: A partial success The REXUS 6 rocket carrying the NISSE experiment was launched from Esrange Space Centre, Kiruna, Sweden on Thursday 12 Mar, 2009 at 10:08 UT. Before eight in the morning the helicopter scanned the impact area for human beings. The wind balloons were launched for the trajectory calculation of the rocket. The sirens started and the radio silence was announced. To keep the excitement high, the EISCAT UHF radar did not start properly at first. But an hour before the launch everything was ready, and by using the calculated nominal trajectory file the EISCAT UHF was redirected, pointing at the expected water release position. It was a textbook launch (See YouTube: ...
Sunday, 08 March 2009 06:23
The NISSE launch campaign The launch campaign of the REXUS 5/6 rockets started on 2 Mar and will last until 15 Mar, 2009. According to the latest time schedule, REXUS 6 with NISSE onboard will be launched next Tuesday 10 Mar, and the other rocket REXUS 5 on Thursday 12 Mar. But this may also turn to be vice versa. The NISSE team has been busy with last preparations of the experiment for the launch. Vidar Hølland and Gard Mellemstrand has been concentrating on the payload assembly and Timo Pitkänen has taken care of the preparations for the EISCAT radar measurements. The fourth member of the team, Gisela Baumann, arrived at Esrange today and will stay for the rest of the campaign. Follow the NISSE Countdown blog at ...
Monday, 02 March 2009 16:44
Written by Gunn Sissel Jaklin: Credit: G.S. Jaklin, Norwegian Polar Institute February 24
Friday, 20 February 2009 12:06
Oil and gas exploration that is coming to Canada’s North may bring benefits such as previously unheard of wealth to local communities, but it will also present new challenges to community infrastructure and traditional livelihoods. Fort Good Hope But how do you assess the pros and cons of increased development? That’s where GAPS: The Impacts of Oil and Gas Activity on People in the Arctic Using a Multiple Securities Perspective, comes into play. As its name suggests, the project is using a comprehensive and holistic approach to try to come up with some of the answers. We are giving particular priority to the human se...
Thursday, 19 February 2009 12:07
As predicted by all IPCC models, Arctic sea ice will most likely disappear during summers in the near future. However, it seems like this is going to happen much sooner than models predicted, as pointed out by recent observations and data reanalysis undertaken during IPY and the Damocles Integrated Project. On February 25, 2009, there will be a celebration in Geneva, Switzerland to officially close the 4th IPY that started on March 1st 2007 in Paris, France. It is not a surprise that one of the main topics of this 4th IPY was climate change, since the polar regions play a very important role in Earth's climate. This role is magnified by the combined effect of two main processes: one is due to the presence of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere trapping longwave solar radiat...
Thursday, 19 February 2009 12:06
Recent observations of Arctic Ocean outflow in the Fram Strait suggest that freshwater is piling up in the Arctic Ocean. A change in wind direction could release the largest amount of freshwater through Fram Strait ever recorded. Photo: Rudi Caeyers The freshwater transport from the Arctic to lower latitudes is one of the main ways of the Arctic to interact with the global climate system. The effect of such a release of freshwater depends on the final magnitude and nature of the release. “The effects this release will have on the climate processes are in the focus of ongoing res...
Wednesday, 18 February 2009 08:50
Winnipeg, Canada — 18 February 2009 — The University of Manitoba-led project that gained worldwide appeal and interest will be one of the highlights of a conference in Europe Feb. 25, 2009 as International Polar Year (IPY) wraps. An IPY committee will release its State of Polar Research report at that time to summarize all the IPY studies, one of the largest of which was led by a climate change expert at the University of Manitoba. “Our data is coming in and our team is looking forward to the next phase of our research,” says Barber, David Barber, Canada Research Chair in Arctic System Science and director of the Centre for Earth Observation Science (CEOS) at the University of Manitoba. “IPY gave us this tremendous window into climate change. What we learned about...
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