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During the spring/summer transition, sea ice and snow properties change considerably in response to warming and the eventual reversal of temperature gradients within the snow and ice. Snow melt water percolates down towards the colder snow/ice interface, where it refreezes to form superimposed ice. On sea ice this process occurs probably longer and more intensive than on land, because throughout the summer the ice and underlying seawater is always colder than the snow. In Antarctica superimposed ice may actually form layers of some decimeters in thickness. The objective of this study is to investigate the main processes and boundary conditions for superimposed ice formation, in recognition of its importance for Antarctic sea ice, and its possible importance for Arctic sea ice in case of environmental changes due to future climate change. This will be performed by means of modeling as well as by combined measurements of the temporal evolution of snow and ice properties and the energy budget.
Aim of the project is to develop a cost-effective long-term European observation system for halocarbons and to predict and assess impacts of the halocarbons on the climate and on the ozone layer. Beside the routine observations within the NDSC it is planned to perform with FTIR (Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy) absorption measurements of CFCs (e.g. SF6, CCl2F2, CHF2Cl) and related species on much more observation days.
The active layer, the annually freezing and thawing upper ground in permafrost areas, is of pivotal importance. The moisture and heat transfer characteristics of this layer also determine the boundary layer interactions of the underlying permafrost and the atmosphere and are therefore important parameters input for geothermal or climate modeling. Finally, changes in the characteristics of the permafrost and permafrost related processes may be used as indicators of global ecological change provided the system permafrost-active layer-atmosphere is understood sufficiently well. The dynamics of permafrost soils is measured with high accuracy and high temporal resolution at our two sites close to Ny-Ålesund, Svalbard. Using these continuous data we quantify energy balance components and deduce heat transfer processes such as conductive heat flux, generation of heat from phase transitions, and migration of water vapor.
Our projects will investigate the effects of radioactive wastes on marine ecosystems. Two marine ecosystems have been chosen for projects: 1) the dumping site for low level radioactive waste in the north-east Atlantic and 2) the western part of the Barents Sea. The data on the radioecology of North Sea and Baltic Sea obtained in our long-time monitoring programmes will serve as a basis for the interpretation of the project´s results.