How to study the Arctic spring? Arctic PRIZE shows.

Studying the Arctic spring requires a suit of different approaches and methods, as Nansen Legacy’s collaborating project Arctic PRIZE is showing in this video.


The UK-based project Arctic Productivity in the Seasonal Ice Zone (Arctic PRIZE) funded by the UK National Environmental Research Council, as part of their 5-year Changing Arctic Ocean Program, will work in the Barents Sea in 2017-2019. The interdisciplinary project will focus on the seasonal evolution of the changing light, hydrographic and nutrient conditions in relation to sea ice retreat and impact on primary production processes and cascade of energy to higher trophic levels.

Arctic PRIZE and The Nansen Legacy have an active collaboration, with an engaging information and data exchange with regard to hydrography, nutrient fluxes, pelagic and benthic community structure and moored instrumentation. The two projects also do participate in each other’s project meetings, student exchange and participate in each other’s cruises.

Nansen Legacy post doc, Ireen Vieweg (UiT), joined the Arctic PRIZE cruises in January and April this year. On the cruises, Ireen caught polar cod for ecotoxicological experiments on the effect of oil pollution on Arctic fish.

But what about the Arctic spring? While the scientific samples from the Arctic PRIZE cruises still need to be analyzed and interpreted, Nansen Legacy scientist Prof. Jørgen Berge (UiT) and cruise leader on the two Arctic PRIZE cruises on RV Helmer Hanssen describes the Arctic spring in an chronicle in Svalbardposten as everything but following German order. Berge says

What we usually refer to as spring bloom in the sea occurs long before the temperature rises on land – it is primarily controlled by light and access to nutrient. So while it is still cold winter on land, it can be full spring in the sea below.