Linking Sea Ice Physical Properties with Under-Ice and In-Ice Ecosystems

benjamin.lange [ at ]


Impacts of climate change have been most pronounced in Polar Regions. Most alarming is the accelerating decline in Arctic sea ice cover. The changing ice cover has implications for sea ice-associated ecosystems because they rely largely on carbon produced by ice-associated algae. In order to fully understand these ecosystems and to be able to accurately represent them in models there is a need to understand both the physical and biological components of the system. The study presented here is part of AWI’s research group Iceflux which takes an interdisciplinary approach to quantify the trophic carbon flux within sea ice associated ecosystems in the Arctic and Antarctic. Here we will present preliminary results from the ARK XXVII/3 Polarstern Cruise. Biological samples were acquired from the under-ice surface waters using the Surface and Under-Ice Trawl (SUIT) and from within the sea ice by extracting ice cores. To characterize the biophysical properties of the sea ice and under-ice environments several sensors were mounted on the SUIT including: spectral radiometer, ADCP, CTD, fluorometer, altimeter (distance to ice bottom) and video camera. Observations include ice thickness, biological diversity, biomass, light transmission, under-ice water properties and chlorophyll a content (in- and under-ice). Preliminary results will provide a description of the local- to meso-scale spatial variability of biological abundance in and under the ice and the relationship with different sea ice characteristics. During the cruise testing of sensors and equipment will be conducted in order to prepare for the deployment of two Autonomous Bio-Physical Sea Ice Observatories (ABiPSO) stations in the Weddell Sea during the ANT XXIX/6 cruise June 2013. A description of the ABiPSO system and testing of the sensors will be presented highlighting the objectives, challenges and lessons learned.

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Conference (Talk)
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AGU Fall Meeting, 03 Dec 2012 - 07 Dec 2012, San Francisco, Calif., USA.
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Lange, B. , Flores, H. , David, C. and Nicolaus, M. (2012): Linking Sea Ice Physical Properties with Under-Ice and In-Ice Ecosystems , AGU Fall Meeting, San Francisco, Calif., USA, 3 December 2012 - 7 December 2012 .

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