Session Chair: Gabriela Roldan (University of Cantebury, New Zealand)
Technical Support: Heike Midleja (APECS / Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Center for Polar and Marine Research, Germany)
OCEANOGRAPHY / SEA ICE
Adam J. Campbell, University of Otago, New Zealand
Abstract: The recent variability in thickness and velocity of the Ross Ice Shelf can be attributed to some mixture of external forcings and internal variability. With changes in the position to of the Antarctic Circumpolar Current, subglacial and surface mass balance are likely external forcings to have changed recently. However, the Ross Ice Shelf is experiences internal variability in form of long-lived transient adjustments to boundary conditions, which persist for decades to centuries. Changes in icestream input to the ice shelf and iceberg calving can both produce transient thickness and velocity adjustments that persist for decades to centuries.
Here I used an viscous flow model of the Ross Ice Shelf to perturb individual glaciers, icestreams and grounding zones. These perturbations create imprints on the thickness and velocity fields of the Ross Ice Shelf. I demonstrate that the shape of thickness and velocity fields generated by boundary perturbations are largely independent of the amplitude of the perturbation. Thickness and velocity fields relax over time and these relaxations can be fit to exponential functions, to determine the associated decay times. Decay time are dependent on the amplitude of the perturbation and a relationship between decay time and perturbation amplitude is developed here.
07:50 - 08:05 GMT: Sinking Particles and the Episodic Dumping of Ice Rafted Organic Matter on the Amundsen Shelf, Antarctic
Minkyoung Kim, Seoul National University, South Korea
Abstract: Various particulate organic carbon (POC) samples were collected including sinking POC, suspended POC in surface water, and sediment on the Amundsen Shelf, Antarctica. Sinking particles were intercepted at 425m depth by a sediment trap from January 2011 for a year, near the periphery of the Amundsen Sea polynya. Sinking POC flux reflected primary production at surface. The radiocarbon values (as in D14C) were close to the values obtained for suspended POC at surface during the cruise in summer and remained so for a few months after sea ice was recovered. In Oct. Nov. and Dec., the D14C values decreased, closely connected to increasing content of non-biogenic component in the sinking particles. We also found benthic fauna Parborlasia corrugatus inside the sediment trap bottles deployed ~550 m above the bottom near the ice shelf. A discussion about the possible explanations such as the current speed and/or ice shelf retreat will be added for this unusual phenomenon.
BIOLOGICAL - MARINE / FRESHWATER / TERRESTRIAL
08:05 - 08:20 GMT: On-board Citizen Science! How Tourist Can Aid Marine Biodiversity Monitoring in Svalbard?
Maciej Mańko, Katarzyna Walczyńska, Department of Marine Plankton Research, University of Gdańsk, Poland
Abstract: Tourism, can constitute a promising source of otherwise inaccessible data on marine biota. Citizens attendance on marine cruises, their recreational diving or even the long walks along beaches can provide interesting data on species diversity, dispersal and ecology. There are published evidence of utility of such approaches in boreal and tropical regions, exemplified by constructing databases on species distribution (for pelagic cnidarians and ctenophore, the JellyWatch), documenting sightings of unusual events (like marine mammals strandings), revealing ecological interactions in marine food webs (e.g., jellyfish and leatherback turtle) or even elucidating life cycle of these inconspicuous taxa (the case of Nemopilema nomurai jellyfish in Japan).
During our presentation we will try to advocate the introduction of the citizen science to the European Arctic. We will focus particularly on the Svalbard archipelago, where the human footprint have been altering marine biodiversity for years. Being an intriguing and somehow exotic area of the world’s ocean, Svalbard attracts an annually increasing number of tourists, with over 42 000 people visiting in 2012. Most of these people choose Svalbard as their cruise destination (usually from Europe), thus rending their stay on-board, landing or regular on-land activities a hidden scientific potential. With proper recognition as a reliable scientific method and provided creation of such data sharing platform and protocols for taking on-deck pictures and collecting observation, Arctic citizen science can become not only a novel tool of data-gathering but also a productive way of spending countless leisure hours during or afterwards the cruises, thus simultaneously benefiting both the touristic and scientific side.
CULTURAL / HISTORICAL
Cyril Jaksic1, Hanne Nielsen2
2University of Tasmania
Abstract: Antarctica may be located at the frozen ends of the earth, out of reach and out of minds for most. Yet it is also a workplace for scientists, field staff, cooks, mechanics, pilots, and a wide range of support personnel. The logistics required to keep a station functional are complex and expensive, so sending an employee is an onerous investment for any National Antarctic Programme. It is important to select the people who are capable of performing well under difficult circumstances.
Antarctica’s tough climatic conditions are well known; we all have heard that it is the coldest, driest and highest continent. But as a workplace, an Antarctic station presents other challenges; people are isolated from their friends and family and are forced to flatmate with their colleagues. If someone is ill-prepared to work in such an environment, their ability to efficiently perform their task can be jeopardised.
Dissonance between the imagined versions of Antarctica – created by texts and imagery of the place that circulate back home – and the reality of the place can also cause disillusionment. As a result, when a National Antarctic Programme advertises a position, the job description should accurately portray the conditions under which one will have to work to make sure prospective employees have realistic expectations.With the present study, we propose an overview of the ways different National Antarctic Programmes have advertised positions on “The Ice.” We ask what themes emerge from the job advertisements; how existing narratives of Antarctica are utilised; how these help to create particular expectations; and whether there are gaps between the reality portrayed in recruitment material and the reality on the ground.
POLICY / EDUCATION / COMMUNICATION
Nicole Hellessey, Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies, Australia
Abstract: The use of non-traditional media in the Polar Sciences is ever increasing. Using both traditional and non-traditional media to promote causes, issues and research about the Polar Regions is of great importance, especially when trying to get the public onside. As a participant on the inaugural Homeward Bound voyage to Antarctica I had to use a variety of media sources to promote both the voyage, the cause, myself and my fundraising campaign. Between myself and the 75 other participants on-board a total of $2.3 million AUD was raised for Homeward Bound which focused on women in science and women’s role in addressing Climate Change. Personally, I was a part of newspaper articles, radio shows, crowd funding campaigns, online blog posts, magazine articles, school visits and was constantly using social media to spread my message and cross-post on media. My research has gained more attention and my academic profile has been increased due to being a part of Homeward Bound and my use of media; both traditional and non-traditional.
BIOLOGICAL - MARINE / FRESHWATER / TERRESTRIAL
08:50 - 09:05 GMT: Making Assumptions Explicit: using SOKI to Improve the Development and Communication of Ecosystem Models for the Southern Ocean
Stacey McCormack; Jessica Melbourne-Thomas; Rowan Trebilco; Andrew Constable; Julia Blanchard, Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies; University of Tasmania; Antarctic Climate & Ecosystems Cooperative Research Centre; Australian Antarctic Division
Abstract: Marine ecosystem models are important tools for forecasting and guiding sustainable management decisions. During model development important assumptions are made regarding which aspects of the system need to be captured in detail and which can be omitted or simplified. To help ensure that these assumptions are well justified, ecosystem models need to undergo extensive peer-review from multiple researchers which can be a challenging task without a shared platform to accumulate knowledge and develop ideas. Wikis, such as the Southern Ocean Knowledge and Information wiki (SOKI) developed by the Southern Ocean Ecosystem Change group at the Australian Antarctic Division, provide a dynamic environment where ecosystem models can be documented and peer-reviewed openly.
In this presentation we demonstrate the potential of SOKI for documenting the development of ecosystem models through exploring the pages we have assembled for an Ecopath model of Prydz Bay and the southern Kerguelen Plateau region in the Indian Sector of the Southern Ocean. We discuss the methods implemented for illustrating the modelling process and ensuring underlying assumptions and justifications are made explicit. We conclude by discussing the implications of using platforms, such as SOKI, as tools in the ecosystem modelling process for facilitating collaboration between researchers and improving future management and research efforts. The model SOKI pages can be found at: http://soki.aq/x/AoCxAQ
09:05 - 09:20 GMT: Beyond Black Box Ecosystem Models: Understanding the Regional Impacts of Change in Antarctica through Model Comparisons
Roshni Subramaniam, Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies, University of Tasmania, Australia
Abstract: Southern Ocean ecosystems provide valuable services that have global significance, from contributing to the Southern Ocean’s role in the global uptake and export of CO2, to supporting large-scale krill and toothfish fisheries. Southern Ocean ecosystems have been changing for at least the last 30 years in response to increased human activities and a changing climate. However, these changes are not uniform across the entire Southern Ocean. It is important to understand how region-specific ecosystems have changed, and how these changes may impact the whole ecosystem’s contribution to global processes. Ecosystem models are a great tool for this, and there is an increasing need for the development of ecosystem models to understand and evaluate the impacts of change, especially in less studied regions of the Southern Ocean such as the Indian sector.
In addition to the increasing application of ecosystem models to inform decision making and management in the marine environment, we are starting to see increased effort around formal ecosystem model inter-comparisons (similar to those that have been conducted for climate models). Model comparisons are useful for comparing energy flows within systems, evaluating ecosystem structure, and identifying region-specific keystone species. However, defining appropriate properties for comparisons is difficult as each model is developed to answer a specific question. This presentation introduces an ecosystem model currently under development for the subantarctic region of the Southern Indian Ocean, and describes approaches for comparing this model with other models that are available for different regions of Antarctica.
Jane Francis, Director of the British Antarctic Survey, United Kingdom
Abstract: A lot of the best experiences and opportunities in life are the result of stepping outside of your comfort zone. I will highlight a few key decisions in my life that led to new adventures and share some thoughts about making your career exciting.