Climate warming impact on high north marine ecosystems and biodiversity

Climate warming is changing our seas and their biodiversity. In the high north, the loss of sea ice and temperature rise favor southerly species, which colonize Arctic marine ecosystems. Arctic species suffer the ongoing changes in the environment and are threatened by incoming species which eat them or their food

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My research abroad experience, fostering curiosity

Ever wonder how the ocean reserves as much dissolved organic carbon as atmospheric levels of carbon dioxide? The truth is I do not have the answer to this question. Merely this question is what captivated my interest in this topic. How is it that nature maintains this immense carbon capture system and we still can´t figure out exactly how it functions?

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Hunting moorings in the dark – fieldwork in the polar night

November at 79 or even 81 N is pretty dark. The sun has disappeared for winter a long time ago, and all that is left is a bit of twilight at noon. For the phytoplankton in the sea that means that there is not enough sunlight to grow. For us, out on a research cruise to service instruments that were deployed north of Svalbard and in the Barents Sea last year or the year before, it means that we struggle to see! Most of the day, it is pitch black dark, especially if it’s new moon as at the start of our cruise. The ship itself is lit up like a Christmas tree with lots of light especially on the work deck in the aft, which often makes seeing anything out at sea very difficult. Light on the bridge is therefore always dimmed and only red light is used when needing a bit more illumination.

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Small pieces and large pictures in Arctic marine science

Arctic marine research is really exciting, and one could make blockbuster movies, or a tv-series based on research expeditions, such as those within the Nansen Legacy project. The logistics around planning and executing research cruises when going into the sea ice of the Barents Sea are enormous, but probably not that exciting when thinking about film material. However, simple things such as the safe arrival of our samples in Bergen following the completion of a long cruise are very special to us. Still, when aiming to make an Arctic marine science tv-series one should focus on the research cruises and the samples taken. The different cruises could represent the episodes of the series and the samples that we are taking might well be the characters of the series. I guess everyone agrees that if you want to understand what is going on in the series (the Arctic marine ecosystem) you should not miss out any episodes or only shoot with half of the cast.

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The Arctic Ocean blender system

The Arctic Ocean is composed of different layers organized on the vertical, and these layers have different temperature and salinity properties. A cold and fresh surface layer caps a warm and salty layer of Atlantic Water. The heat contained at depth (about 300m) in the warm and salty Atlantic Water could melt the entire Arctic sea ice cover if it reached the surface. It does not happen because the cold surface layer caps this Atlantic layer quite well and keeps it at depth. However, in some regions, such as north of Svalbard, sea ice melts in summer even though it is -30 outside. How is that possible?

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