Triple threat processes and/or other forcings can lead to changes in the ocean happening fast and abruptly. These changes, referred to as “tipping points”, are critical thresholds in a marine system that, when exceeded, can lead to a significant change in the state of the system, which often can be irreversible. This leaflet has been prepared mainly (but not only) for high school pupils with the financial support of Norges forskningsråd (309382).
Tropospheric ozone (O3) concentrations depend on a combination of hemispheric, regional, and local-scale processes. Estimates of how much O3 is produced locally vs. transported from further afield are essential in air quality management and regulatory policies. Here, a tagged-ozone mechanism within the Weather Research and Forecasting model coupled with chemistry (WRF-Chem) is used to quantify the contributions to surface O3 in the UK from anthropogenic nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions from inside and outside the UK during May–August 2015. The contribution of the different source regions to three regulatory O3 metrics is also examined. It is shown that model simulations predict the concentration and spatial distribution of surface O3 with a domain-wide mean bias of −3.7 ppbv. Anthropogenic NOx emissions from the UK and Europe account for 13 % and 16 %, respectively, of the monthly mean surface O3 in the UK, as the majority (71 %) of O3 originates from the hemispheric background. Hemispheric O3 contributes the most to concentrations in the north and the west of the UK with peaks in May, whereas European and UK contributions are most significant in the east, south-east, and London, i.e. the UK's most populated areas, intensifying towards June and July. Moreover, O3 from European sources is generally transported to the UK rather than produced in situ. It is demonstrated that more stringent emission controls over continental Europe, particularly in western Europe, would be necessary to improve the health-related metric MDA8 O3 above 50 and 60 ppbv. Emission controls over larger areas, such as the Northern Hemisphere, are instead required to lessen the impacts on ecosystems as quantified by the AOT40 metric.
The primary aim of this expedition was to investigate the spatial and temporal distribution, the ecology and physiology, as well as competition of co-occurring gadoid species (Atlantic cod, Polar cod, haddock) in the communities of Arctic and Atlantic influence around Svalbard. We sampled the benthic and pelagic communities (including plankton) on the shallow shelf regions of Svalbard to estimate the effects of climate change on Arctic ecosystems to obtain a picture of the entire system structure and function for a long-term monitoring program of the ‘Atlantification’ of the Svalbard region. We assessed the potential impact of changes in trophic interaction (predator-prey relations) of Atlantic cod (Gadus morhua), Polar cod (Boreogadus saida), haddock (Melanogrammus aeglefinus) and decapod crabs on the productivity and stability of benthic and pelagic communities in Arctic ecosystems, into which their distribution ranges now extend due to ocean warming. In addition to a stock assessment and distribution analysis of gadoid fish and decapod crabs, we aimed to obtain specimens of these species in the Atlantic and polar waters around Svalbard, which were transported alive back to Germany. Laboratory experiments under scenarios of climate change at the Alfred Wegener Institute then provided (and still provide) further insight into capacities for adaptation, performance and interaction of selected species of the Arctic ecosystem around Svalbard. The results will on the one hand be used in an international Norwegian-German project and the pan-Arctic data management system (Piepenburg et al. 2011), on the other hand they will flow into fisheries modelling at the University of Hamburg, the Thuenen Institute and socio-economic modelling approaches that build on the German ocean acidification project BIOACID (www.bioacid.de).
Greenland ice cores provide information about past climate. Few impurity records covering the past 2 decades exist from Greenland. Here we present results from six firn cores obtained during a 426 km long northern Greenland traverse made in 2015 between the NEEM and the EGRIP deep-drilling stations situated on the western side and eastern side of the Greenland ice sheet, respectively. The cores (9 to 14 m long) are analyzed for chemical impurities and cover time spans of 18 to 53 years (±3 years) depending on local snow accumulation that decreases from west to east. The high temporal resolution allows for annual layers and seasons to be resolved. Insoluble dust, ammonium, and calcium concentrations in the six firn cores overlap, and the seasonal cycles are also similar in timing and magnitude across sites, while peroxide (H2O2) and conductivity both have spatial variations, H2O2 driven by the accumulation pattern, and conductivity likely influenced by sea salt. Overall, we determine a rather constant dust flux over the period, but in the data from recent years (1998–2015) we identify an increase in large dust particles that we ascribe to an activation of local Greenland sources. We observe an expected increase in acidity and conductivity in the mid-1970s as a result of anthropogenic emissions, followed by a decrease due to mitigation. Several volcanic horizons identified in the conductivity and acidity records can be associated with eruptions in Iceland and in the Barents Sea region. From a composite ammonium record we obtain a robust forest fire proxy associated primarily with Canadian forest fires (R=0.49).
Science communication is becoming increasingly important to connect academia and society, and to counteract fake news among climate change deniers. Online video platforms, such as YouTube, offer great potential for low-threshold communication of scientific knowledge to the general public. In April 2020 a diverse group of researchers from the Alfred Wegener Institute Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research launched the YouTube channel "Wissenschaft fürs Wohnzimmer" (translated to "Sitting Room Science") to stream scientific talks about climate change and biodiversity every Thursday evening. Here we report on the numbers and diversity of content, viewers, and presenters from 2 years and 100 episodes of weekly livestreams. Presented topics encompass all areas of polar research, social issues related to climate change, and new technologies to deal with the changing world and climate ahead. We show that constant engagement by a group of co-hosts, and presenters from all topics, career stages, and genders enable a continuous growth of views and subscriptions, i.e. impact. After 783 days the channel gained 30,251 views and 828 subscribers and hosted well-known scientists while enabling especially early career researchers to improve their outreach and media skills. We show that interactive and science-related videos, both live and on-demand, within a pleasant atmosphere, can be produced voluntarily while maintaining high quality. We further discuss challenges and possible improvements for the future. Our experiences may help other researchers to conduct meaningful scientific outreach and to push borders of existing formats with the overall aim of developing a better understanding of climate change and our planet.