Review from aboard the RRS James Clark Ross in the Arctic Ocean by Strathclyde postdoctoral researcher, Dr Aidan Hunter...
Measuring Climate Change Threat to Marine Life
Strathclyde postdoctoral researcher, Dr Aidan Hunter joins UK scientists as they return to the Arctic Ocean to measure climate change threat to marine life.
The £16 million, UK flagship programme of Arctic research - funded by the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) - brings together researchers from institutes across the UK, heading to the Fram Strait region between Greenland and Svalbard to look at the effects of warming on Arctic marine life.
The ultimate goal of Changing Arctic Oceans is to generate a better understanding of the Arctic so models can more accurately predict future change to the environment and the ecosystem. Within the programme there are four main projects with more than 80 scientists combined, from 18 UK research institutes.
The four projects cover different aspects of the Programme’s goals: how change in the Arctic is affecting the food chain, from small organisms at the bottom to large predators at the top (ARISE), how warming influences the single main food source at the bottom of the food chain (DIAPOD), the effect of retreating and thinning sea ice on nutrients and sea life in the surface ocean (Arctic PRIZE) and on the ecosystem at the seafloor (ChAOS).
Aidan commented from on-board the ship saying “The cruise seems to be going well, I'm really enjoying it, despite the 12 hour shifts and very limited sleep. The thick pack ice has been causing some delays... been quite stuck a couple of times. “
Aidan also encourages you to have a look at the James Clark Ross webcam on the British Antarctic Survey website, “particularly evenings of the 20th and 23rd May for thick ice, and 24th May for beautiful sunshine”.
We look forward to hearing more about the fantastic work being done to help tackle climate change. Aidan concluded “I got my hands on ship time series data and have started plotting it up…. I'll produce a document summarising the data by the end of the cruise.”
Well done to Aidan and all of the other professionals included in this project.
Image credit: British Antarctic Survey