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The German Aerospace Center (DLR) Bi-spectral Infrared Detection (BIRD) small satellite is a technology demonstrator of new infrared push-broom sensors dedicated to recognition and quantitative characterisation of thermal processes on the Earth surface. BIRD was successfully piggy-back launched on October 22, 2001 with an Indian Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV-C3) into a circular sun-synchronous orbit with an altitude of 572 km and a North - South local equator crossing time at 10:30 h. Besides cameras working in the visible and near infrared spectral range there are two cameras working in the middle infrared (MIR, 3.4 – 4.2 µm) and in the thermal spectral range (TIR, 8.5 – 9.3 µm) respectively. The objective is to validate these two cameras in cooperation with the Koldewey-Station in Ny-Ålesund. Therefore meteorological and aerological data as well as radiation measuring data will be used.
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 objective of the planned work with arctic higher plants is to study the range of adaptation of photosynthetic metabolism, of antioxidative and sun screen compounds in a cold and reduced UV-B climate in comparison of data already raised from high alpine plants, which live partially under stronger cold and under different light regimes, especially higher UV-B. Further, the ultrastructure of leaf cells will be studied to clear, whether adaptations found in some high alpine plants occur similarly in arctic plants, and to connect such cytological results with metabolic functions. An additional comparison will be made with snow algae from Svalbard compared to those harvested on high alpine snow fields. It is the advantage of the planned work, that a number of investigations ranging from ultrastructural studies over different aspects of photosynthesis to assays of UV-B sensitive compounds and antioxidants will be conducted mostly with measurements and sample collection in the field during the same experimental day at one place. Therefore we expect a good connection of the data raised, back to the plant system and expect a much broader description of vitality and adaptation under the current conditions.
The polar pteropod Clione limacina is characterised by high quantities of lipids with ether components (1-O-alkyldiacylglycerol=DAGE) in combination with odd-chain fatty acids. It is unknown why Clione and probably other pteropods have specialised in this manner. Furthermore the precursor of the biosynthesis of these compounds is still unknown. Therefore samples of Clione limacina and its only prey Limacina helicina will be collected by using plankton nets from small boats. The species will be kept in aquaria and feeding experiments with both species and food of different composition and nutritional value are planed.
The aim of the project is to perform solar and lunar absorption measurements of atmospheric trace gases for the valdation of the SCIAMACHY satellite. Besides the routine observations within the NDSC it is planned to perform more intense measurements, especially during the satellite overpasses.
Situated in the Arctic Ocean the planetary boundary layer over Ny Ålesund is dominated by marine aerosols. Hight and time variation of boundary layer aerosols are examined with the tropospheric lidar system in Ny Ålesund. To determine the aerosol and its optical properties more exactly information from more wavelenghts are necessary as the sun-photometer at the Koldewey Station can provide. First combined evaluation of photometer and LIDAR data during the ASTAR-campaign in spring 2000 demonstrated feasibility and advantages of this method for the free troposphere. Furthermore this method is to be applied on boundary layer aerosol to research also its optical properties.
The subject is to determine the horizontal distribution of aerosol and trace gases by airborne measurements with the Gulfstream III (transarctic flight), ground based measurements in Ny Ålesund (Koldewey Station, Rabben) and satellite measurements with SAGE II / SAGE III. Objective is to get vertical and horizontal aerosol profiles, to research the trace gase variations in the Arctic and to compare remote sensing und in situ measurements.
In situ measurements of the tropospheric and tropopause and if possible lower stratospheric water vapour content will be carried out with different balloon sondes. Start of up to three balloons with Snow White Sensor-Package prepared by a team from the University of Nagoya and University of Kyoto. Possibly water vapour sondes from NOAA (S. Oltmans) will be started within the scope of an EU-project. This may happen earliest in autumn.
Benthic macroalgae communities of the arctic ocean provide habitat, protection, nursery and nutrition to a large number of invertebrates. In contrast to temperate and tropical regions the basic ecological interactions between zoo- and phytobenthos of the Arctic are little understood. Therefore this project for the first time investigates biological and chemical interactions between invertebrates and macroalgae on Spitsbergen/Svalbard (Koldewey Station) with special emphasis on defense mechanisms against grazing pressure. Initial diving-investigations will map the invertebrate fauna which is associated with the macroalgae; the following feeding-experiments with herbivorous animals aim to selectively identify generalists, generalists with preference or specialists. Additional bioassays serve to reveal structural and/or chemical properties of those plants, which affect a specific impact on the grazing of herbivores. Our investigations on the chemical protection of the algae against grazing focus on the basic mechanisms and the chemical structure of potent secondary metabolites carried out in cooperation with natural product chemists.
By launching several hundred ozonesondes and by ozone lidar measurements at many Arctic and sub-Arctic stations, one of them Ny-Ålesund, the stratospheric chemical ozone loss will be determined. The launches of all stations will be coordinated by analysis of trajectory calculations based on analysis and forecast wind fields. The aim is to get as many ozone sounding pairs as possible, each of them linked by trajectories in space and time. A statistical description of the ozone differencies given by the first and the second measurement of individual sonde pairs will yield the chemical ozone loss with spatial and time resolution. Four similar campaigns took place in the Arctic and in the mid-latitudes covering the time period of Januar to March in each of the last four winters. In the first three winters high ozone depletion rates (20 - 50 ppbv per day) were determined in some height levels within the polar vortex. In the height level of the ozone maximum an integrated ozone loss (during the winter) in the order of 60 % have been found. These are record ozone losses for the Arctic polar region. In the last winter the ozone depletion rates had been much lower due to moderate temperatures in the stratosphere.
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.
Succession of communities and individual growth of benthic invertebrates are more or less unknown in polar waters, but nevertheless are the basic parameters of understanding the benthic sub-ecosystem, delivering data for modelling and prediction of the system´s development. Three localities, two in the Antarctic and one in the Arctic, the Kongsfjord in Spitsbergen, have been choosen as investigation localities. Hard and soft substrates, which will be sampled in regular intervalls during the duration of the project, will be deployed at different depths. The analysis includes species composition, species growth and, with respect to soft substrates, sediment parameters.
This project (of Humboldt University of Berlin) is a long-study of the ecology and physiology of Arctic snow algae in Ny Ålesund region (Krossfjorden, Blomstrandhalvøya and Prins Karls-Forland). The main objectives are: - Characterision of snow algae fields and probe collections - Physiological characterision of single algae cells at different stages of development (e.g. by dielectric single cell spectroscopy, immuno-fluroescence microscopy and element analysis) - Cultivation in home laboratories.
Total deposition sampling is performed at Ny-Ålesund to study atmospheric fluxes of heavy metals to the Arctic. In addition wet only deposition sampling is carried out with an automatic precipitation sampler. The samples are analysed at the home laboratory for tracer elements for seaspray components, earthcrust weathered material and anthropogenic elements by atomic absorption spectrometry and inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry (ICP-MS). One aim of our study is to distinguish element distribution between the dissolved and particulate phase. In addition to the element analyses the concentration of anions is determined by ionchromatography. In 1996 an automatically operating aerosol sampler was installed, which is combined with the automatic precipitation sampler to study element washout from aerosol particles via rain and snow.
The FTIR (Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy) has been established as a powerful tool for measurements of atmospheric trace gases. Using the sun or moon as light source, between 20-30 trace gases of the tropo- and stratosphere can be detected by their absorption features. The analysis of the spectra allow to retrieve the total zenith columns of the trace gases. The aim of the SAMMOA project is to study the stratospheric ozon depletion during the summer time period. While the processes during winter/spring are investigated in detail the summertime ozone loss has not been studied so far. Therefore FTIR solar absorption measurements of ozone and related species are to be done on much more observation days beside the routine observations within the NDSC
Quasi-continuous observation of several atmospheric species are performed by measuring the absorption of visible and near ultraviolet sunlight scattered from the sky or in direct moonlight. Column abundance of molecules such as ozone, NO2, OClO, NO3, BrO, HCHO and IO are derived by means of a Differential Optical Absorption (DOAS) algorithm and a radiative transfer model. These activities are part of calibration and validation studies of different satellite experiments (GOME, SAGE III, SCIAMACHY). Since 1999 the instrument is part of the Network of the Detection of Stratospheric Change (NDSC). The instrument has been installed in 1995 as the second UV/vis instrument from the Institute of Environmental Physics. One similar setup in Bremen is continuously running with the exception of short maintenance breaks since 1993.
Photoinhibition of photosynthesis by UV radiation, the formation of UV-screening pigments, DNA damage by UV radiation as well as DNA repair mechanisms will be determined in marine macroalgae of the Kongsfjord. Moreover, algae from different water depths will be transplanted by divers into areas with opposite light climate or covered by UV-screening filters and their physiological reactions tested. Additionally, the susceptability of the unicellular algal spores to UV-radiation will be tested. The results will allow insights into the effect of UV and photosynthetically active radiation on the zonation of macrocalgae and on the structure of phytobenthic communities. The data will be used to model the effects of increased of UV-radiation due to stratospheric ozone depletion on the Kongsfjord phytobenthic communities.
The new seismological broad band station KBS at Ny-Ålesund replaces a former WWSSN station operated by the Institute for Solid Earth Physics of the University of Bergen. Both instrumentation and data acquisition of the old station were inadequate to meet all the demands for highest data quality for today's modern seismological research. The high technical standard of the new stations instrumentation now fulfils all the requirements of a modern broad band station. Therefore this station is integrated into the international Global Seismological Network, GSN, for monitoring the world-wide seismic activity. Special interests focus on regional seismicity at and around Svalbard itself and along the ridges in the arctic ocean. KBS is an open station, e.g., any interested scientist or international organization os allowed to retrieve data of special interest. Data are routinely processed and stored at the IRIS Data Management Center in Seattle. Copies are also available at the Geoforschungszentrum Potsdam (GFZ).
The changes in the stratospheric ozone layer due to anthropogen emissions lead to an increasing insolation of sunlight in the UV-B range (280nm - 320nm) on ground. One of the major objects of UV-B measurements is to detect long-term trends. The most interesting areas corresponding to ozone depletion are Antarctica and more recently the region around the northern pole. In interdisciplinary cooperation the data are also basis for research in the effects of increasing UV-B doses on plankton, algae, and other organisms. Since 1998 additional measurements of UV-A radiation (320-400nm) are done.
The FTIR (Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy) has been established as a powerful tool for measurements of atmospheric trace gases. Using the sun or moon as light source, between 20-30 trace gases of the tropo- and stratosphere can be detected by their absorption features. The analysis of the spectra allows to retrieve the total zenith columns of the trace gases. For a few trace gases the pressure broadening of the lines allows to get additionally some information on the vertical concentration profiles. Some important trace gases cannot be detected in the IR but in the UV/VIS. This makes it useful to record the whole spectral region from the IR from about 700/cm (14 µm) to the UV at 33000/cm (300 nm).