News archive

The ice factories of the Arctic Ocean

Each year, the Arctic sea ice goes through a cycle of melting and freezing. From March to September, sea ice gradually melts and becomes thinner, and from October to March, the water freezes again. In our warming climate, we see that more and more ice melts each year. One would expect that the ice would also freeze less, but we have observed that the ice growth – or ice production – has increased over the last decades. Yes, you read it right: despite warming, there is more ice produced during winter than before!

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Arendalsuka 2022. Marit Reigstad og Bart Eide Foto: Karine Nigar Aarskog/UiT

Science and societal impact from the Nansen Legacy project

For decades, the impact of research was measured within the research discipline itself, often in terms of citations or how ideas presented advanced the field. Nowadays, researchers must increasingly plan for and document how the results of their work will be used – how they will contribute to society.

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Collaboration to promote Arctic science

Meeting national and international research colleagues in Vienna after Covid has been gratifying for the Nansen Legacy projects scientists. It has been very nice to participate and contribute to The Arctic Science Summit Week, which is an arena for a wide range of organizational meetings and science sessions to coordinate, plan and promote Arctic science.

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Paul Wassmann

Paul Wassmann is awarded the 2023 IASC Medal

The International Arctic Science Committee (IASC) awards the 2023 IASC Medal to Professor emeritus Paul Wassmann, UiT The Arctic University of Norway, for outstanding long-lasting achievements to improve the knowledge of the ecology of the Arctic Ocean and the ability to combine excellent science and holistic drive to bring together various disciplines.

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Credit: Ingrid Weidmann UiT

Using task forces to integrate results and highlight important themes

After a period with focus on data collection, sample analyses, and model-based investigations and predictions, it is time to merge and integrate new knowledge across approaches and key themes. To do so, seven overarching themes have been identified and task force groups have been initiated in the project Nansen Legacy.

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Marine heatwaves

Marine heatwaves in the Barents Sea and their ecological implications

In June and July 2022, heatwaves struck Europe, North Africa, the Middle East, and Asia, as temperatures climbed above 40 degrees Celsius in places. Less known is that heatwaves also occur in the ocean. Like heatwaves on land, marine heatwaves have the potential to devastate ecosystems and cause large economic losses in fisheries, aquaculture, and other marine ecosystem services, calling for an increased focus on and understanding of the occurrence and impact of marine heatwaves.

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Nansen Legacy scientists out in the World

Good science is created by the interplay of different thoughts, work approaches and data. This is why collaboration with scientists around the World is essential for the Nansen Legacy. After years of pandemic and travel restrictions, the project is happy to see that an increasing number of its scientists are now spending time abroad working with scientists from other countries and research fields on Nansen Legacy samples and data.

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Sea-ice retreat beyond the continental shelf – implications for wildlife?

In many Arctic regions, sea ice retreats northwards. This often moves the ice edge zone from relatively shallow waters on the continental shelf to several kilometre deep waters in the central Arctic Ocean. Implications of this displacement for organisms living at the ice edge are largely unknown. Scientists from the Institute of Marine Research have studied harp seals, which’s icy habitat has retreated from shallower to deeper waters north of Svalbard over the last 30 years.

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Could sea ice persist in the Barents Sea in a warmer-than-present world?

Arctic sea-ice plays a pivotal role in the Earth’s climate system and its loss may accelerate the rise of global temperatures. Understanding the future state of sea-ice is therefore a prerequisite for evaluating the development of the World’s climate. Now scientists of Norway’s largest Arctic research project – The Nansen Legacy – have looked into both the past and the future to unravel the question of future sea-ice state in the Arctic.

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Graphical design skills for young scientists

Graphical abstracts, infographics, one-slide posters for digital conferences – the way scientific results are presented nowadays requires increased design and illustration skills. This is why the Nansen Legacy organized a

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First Nansen Legacy PhD successfully defended

The Nansen Legacy is home to over 30 PhD students. On April 22, Elliot Sivel (IMR/UiT) was the first of the Nansen Legacy PhD students to defend his work. The evaluation process included both a trial lecture on modulation of species interactions by environmental and anthropogenic stressors, as well as the dissertation defense presentation entitled ‘Investigating the drivers of the Nordic Seas food-web dynamics using Chance and Necessity modelling’.

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Karoline Barstein, NTNU

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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Fulbright students join Nansen Legacy cruise

Our names are Megan Lenss and Evan Patrohay, and we are joining the most recent Nansen Legacy cruise as US Fulbright Scholars. Fulbright, a program through the United States State Department, has granted us funding to complete yearlong research projects in Norway.

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The Nansen Legacy Winter Gaps Cruise

Since 2018, the Nansen Legacy consortium has successfully completed 16 ship-based expeditions into the Barents Sea. They have provided state-of- the-art new knowledge on Barents Sea physics, chemistry and biology across different seasons and oceanographic regions. This new knowledge achieved is needed to assess potential impacts of a changing marine system and to continue the sustainable use of the rich marine resources like cod, which is part of the key mission for Nansen Legacy.

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CTD on board RV Kronprins Haakon.

Good News from the Data Management

In a big project as Nansen Legacy a lot of samples are collect and even more data are produced. Good data management is therefore highly important. Only when data are archived in a good way, they can be made available to all project participants, shared with other scientists, and preserved for the next generation of researchers.

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Andreas Wolden, HI

Well done so far by the Nansen Legacy

An international panel of experts has assessed the Nansen Legacy project and states in their report that they are very satisfied with the progress and research results midway through the project period.

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cruise in the darkness

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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sebastian gerland q1 cruise

Nansen Legacy contributes to major status- and management reports

An important pathway from knowledge to users goes through national and international science synthesis and assessment initiatives where expertise merges and extracts relevant scientific results to address societal needs for knowledge. Nansen Legacy scientists – especially those working in the management institutions among the project partners – have contributed to several national and international status- and management reports on the ocean and climate state in 2021. This ensures a direct transfer of the new knowledge generated by the Nansen Legacy project into assessment reports used for knowledge-based management and policy making in Norway and the World.

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21 years of algae blooms observed from space

Edson Silva just published his first article as part of his institutional PhD project – congratulations! Together with five other co-authors from NERSC and one from the University of Bergen (UiB), he studied the annual cycle of phytoplankton/algae blooms in the Nordic Seas by utilizing satellite data from 2000-2020.

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Nansen Legacy Recruit Forum 2021

The Nansen Legacy is home to more than 70 early career scientists. These young and dynamic researchers are a core element of the project, and present the next generation of Arctic researchers, consultants, policy makers, teachers, communicators, or other resources in society. Hence, the Nansen Legacy thrives to support its early career scientists in forming a strong and supporting network. The annual Nansen Recruit Forum is an essential element in this work.

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