Research in the NOAA OAR Arctic Research Office Activities Supported by Base Funds in FY2000 Joint IARC/CIFAR Research In FY2000, the NOAA Arctic Research Office developed a partnership with the National Science Foundation and the International Arctic Research Center at the University of Alaska to conduct a research program focused on climate variability and on persistent contaminants in the Arctic. This partnership resulted from a unique confluence of mutual interest and unexpected funding that NSF chose to obligate through NOAA because of NOAA's on-going joint programs at the University of Alaska. NSF anticipates establishing its own institutional arrangement with the University of Alaska in the future. The research initiated in FY2000 focused on 5 climate themes and 1 contaminant theme, with several specific topics associated with each: A. detection of contemporary climate change in the Arctic changes in sea ice role of shallow tundra lakes in climate comparison of Arctic warming in the 1920s and the present variability in the polar atmosphere dynamics of the Arctic Oscillation downscaling model output for Arctic change detection long-term climate trends in northern Alaska and adjacent Seas B. Arctic paleoclimate reconstructions drilling in the Bering land bridge Arctic treeline investigation Mt. Logan ice core test models to simulate millennial-scale variability C. Atmosphere-ice-land-ocean interactions and feedbacks impact of Arctic sea ice variability on the atmosphere model-based study of aerosol intrusions into the Arctic international intercomparison of Arctic regional climate models reconstruction of Arctic ocean circulation intercomparison of Arctic ocean models Arctic freshwater budget variation in the Arctic vortex role of Arctic ocean in climate variability Arctic Oscillation and variability of the upper ocean D. Arctic atmospheric chemistry assessment of UV variability in the Arctic Arctic UV, aerosol, and ozone aerosols in the Finnish Arctic inhomogeneities of the Arctic atmosphere aerosol-cloud interactions and feedbacks Arctic haze variability E. Impacts and consequences of global climate change on biota and ecosystems in the Arctic linking optical signals to functional changes in Arctic ecosystems marine ecosystem response to Arctic climate changes faunal succession in high Arctic ecosystems long-term biophysical observations in the Bering Sea cryoturbation-ecosystem interactions predicting carbon dioxide flux from soil organic matter F. Contaminant Sources, Transport, Pathways, Impacts using apex marine predators to monitor climate and contamination change trends in atmospheric deposition of contaminants assessment of data on persistent organic pollutants in the Arctic paleorecords of atmospheric deposition derived from peat bog cores toxicological effects of bio-accumulated pollutants Under these themes, 45 research projects were initiated that will continue into 2001. The support for these projects totals $8 million over two years, of which only $1 million comes from NOAA. This tremendous leverage cannot be expected to continue; however the Arctic Research Office will continue its interactions with the International Arctic Research Center and seek collaborative efforts whenever possible. Arctic Climate Impact Assessment The United States has agreed to lead the other seven Arctic countries to undertake an Arctic Climate Impact Assessment (ACIA). This assessment will culminate in 2002 with a peer-reviewed report on the state of knowledge of climate variability and change in the Arctic, a set of possible climate change scenarios, and an analysis of the impacts on ecosystems, infrastructure, and socio-economic systems that might result from the various climate change scenarios. NOAA and NSF will provide support in FY2000, with the ARO providing early support and leadership for planning the ACIA. Scientific Planning and Diversity The Arctic Research Office will support scientific planning, information dissemination, and NOAA's diversity goals through workshops and other activities. An international conference on Arctic Pollution, Biomarkers, and Human Health will be held in May, 2000. The conference is being organized by the National Institutes of Environmental Health Sciences, with co-sponsorship by NSF and the Arctic Research Office. Research planning activities are being supported that will lead to future program activities related to climate variability and change and to impacts from contamination of the Arctic. The Study of Environmental Arctic Change (SEARCH) is being planned on an interagency basis, with the Arctic Research Office providing input for NOAA. An Alaskan Contaminants Program (ACP) is under development, with leadership coming from organizations within the state of Alaska. To accelerate the flow of minorities into scientific fields of interest to NOAA, the Arctic Research Office will undertake an effort in conjunction with Alaskan Native organizations that will encourage young Native students to obtain degrees in scientific fields. Outlook to FY2001 The Arctic Research Office will use resources available on FY2001 to begin implementation of the interagency Arctic climate science plan "Study of Environmental Arctic Change" (SEARCH). The NOAA/ARO role in SEARCH will involve long-term observations of the ocean, atmosphere and cryosphere, improved computer-based modeling of climate with an emphasis on the Arctic, and diagnostic analysis and assessment of climate data and information from the Arctic. Funds available in FY2001 will permit planning and limited prototype observation and modeling activities. The role of the NOAA/ARO in the Alaska Contaminants Program will become during the last half of FY2000, and some initial activities may be undertaken in FY2001. In addition, the NOAA/ARO will continue its partial sponsorship of the Arctic Climate Impact Assessment, being pursued on an international basis with the involvement of all 8 Arctic countries. It is anticipated that the ARO will provide support to experts to produce portions of the draft state-of-knowledge report during FY2001 and conduct one or more review workshops.