Background and work packages


Impacts of climate change have already been reported in the Arctic Ocean, such as warming, decreasing sea-ice extent, freshening and increasing surface carbon dioxide (CO2) concentrations with concomitant ocean acidification. The largest ocean acidification signal (pH decline) in the world oceans is projected to occur in the relatively cold and fresh Arctic surface waters (Bellerby et al. 2005, Steinacher et al. 2009).

The increase in atmospheric CO2 and elevated oceanic CO2 uptake, with the consequence of decreased pH and carbonate ion concentrations, are expected to put further stress on marine organisms, in particular calcifiers.

In addition to direct effects of changes in pH and carbonate ion concentrations on marine organisms and ecosystems, there can also be indirect links, through changes in biogeochemical cycling of substances, especially nutrients and their bioavailability for primary production (e.g. Bellerby et al., 2008).

However, there is a scarcity of data collected from the Arctic Ocean Region due to the challenging conditions with seasonal sea-ice cover. Thereafter, investigations of the CO2 system and in particular of the carbonate saturation state are  lacking. Thus, we have inadequate background information about the natural baseline of the CO2 system and the Ocean Acidification state.

Ice is an important crucial factor of the Arctic acidification:

Sea-ice cover restricts the exchange of CO2 between the sea and the atmosphere.
Formation of the sea-ice and its melting affect the surface water CaCO3 saturation state
Freshwater ice transported from the Siberian Rivers and melting glaciers remain an unknown factor of the Calcium Carbonate saturation state
The project CARSIC aimed to increase the understanding of the fate and effect of the ocean CO2 in relation to the ice.

The main objective of the project was formulated as advancing the cutting edge knowledge of contemporary and future ocean acidification state in the Arctic Ocean.

Work packages

The proposed work is divided into five work packages (WPs).

WP1: Project Management.

WP 2: To identify and access hydrographic and biogeochemical datasets from ocean observations available in the public domain (e.g. CARINA, GLODAP) and available Russian and Norwegian sources, perform data quality control through cross-over analysis, combine the data into an integrated dataset to be made publically available through CDIAC.

WP3:  Perform sampling in a period between January and May on sea-ice and underlying water in the land-fast ice area of selected Svalbard fjords, such as the Templefjord, in collaboration with UNIS.

WP4: To intercalibrate the techniques applied during the field studies in Longyearbyen.

WP5: To inform public, governmental, NGO, industrial and professional bodies of the likely consequences for climate change to impact on the marine carbonate system in the CARSIC study areas.

Last updated 08.08.2016