Parallel session A:
Physical drivers: Causes and consequences of Arctic Ocean warming, freshening, and sea ice decline
Some of the excess heat absorbed by the world oceans is transported poleward. At the intersection between the Arctic and sub-Arctic domain, the Polar front forms a fundamental regional feature, and the advected heat causes warming, freshening and changes in the circulation dynamics in the Arctic Ocean itself. This, in turn, affects the Arctic climate and has implications for sea ice, atmosphere, and terrestrial environment. The influence of large-scale patterns (wind forcing, buoyancy loss and large-scale advection) on regional features in the northern Barents Sea and Nansen Basin have been investigated in the Nansen Legacy project. Now, we aim to integrate these findings into pan-Arctic perspectives and improve our understanding of the ocean-ice-atmosphere system and its drivers in the entire Arctic Ocean.
We invite contributions on observational or modeling/theoretical studies, including use of emerging technologies, of specific drivers of the ocean-ice-atmosphere system, including, but not limited to, wind forcing, ice-ocean interaction, surface buoyancy fluxes, turbulent mixing processes and their influence on water mass transformation and frontal position, the sea ice cover, and the general circulation in a warming Arctic.
Parallel session B:
The Living Ocean: Understanding Ecosystem Structure and Function Across Seasons in a Changing Arctic
Ecosystems are structured and function in an inextricable relationship between their biota and environment. Environmental conditions drive spatial patterns of biological communities and their function. In the Arctic Ocean, environmental transitions can be gradual or abrupt. They include shifts in water depths from coasts to basins, light regimes from summer to winter, open water to complete sea ice cover, fully marine to estuarine habitats, varying water masses and seafloor properties across fronts and bathymetric features. Resident biota are adapted to the original Arctic environments, and these adaptations act in harmony with multitude of biotic interactions, yet may shift in response to human impact. These corroborating processes influence community structure and function, creating additional complexity which should be understood in order to monitor or manage Arctic ecosystems. Currently, Arctic environments are changing at a rapid pace. The ongoing climate change shows that some of the established links that make up a stable system can alter or even collapse.
This session invites contributions that investigate relationships in the ecosystem between the biota and environment, in food webs, as well as biotic responses to seasonality, environmental variability, and human impacts. The geographic scope covers any part of the Arctic Ocean, with comparative studies from different regions also being especially welcome.
Parallel session C:
Environmental Lessons from the Past
On a geological time scale, the Arctic Ocean has changed dramatically from greenhouse to icehouse conditions. The marine environment of the Arctic Ocean, and its adjoining margin and shelf seas, gradually evolved into their present form since the termination of the Last Glacial Maximum. Over these ~20,000 years, climate, ecosystems, and the depositional setting developed into their modern expressions. Landforms at the seafloor and the sediment below are archives of environmental fluctuations caused by natural drivers. These morphological and sedimentary archives serve as records of natural baseline values increasing our understanding of the current rapid changes in the Arctic Ocean region. Certain time intervals may also serve as analogues for warmer-than-present conditions and elucidate effects on climate and ecosystems.
In this session we invite marine geological, geophysical, and paleoceanographic contributions from the Arctic Ocean and adjoining margins and shelves ranging from the Last Glacial Maximum to the present day.