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  • image/svg+xml art designer at PLoS, modified by Wikipedia users Nina, Beao, JakobVoss, and AnonMoos Open Access logo, converted into svg, designed by PLoS. This version with transparent background. http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Open_Access_logo_PLoS_white.svg art designer at PLoS, modified by Wikipedia users Nina, Beao, JakobVoss, and AnonMoos http://www.plos.org/
    Authors: Dransch, Doris; Rath, Willi;

    The Workshop is part of a yearly series within the AI/ML-Cluster in Subtopic 2.4 of the research program PoF IV: Changing Earth - Sustaining our Future.

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    Authors: Krumpen, Thomas; Jutila, Arttu; Sans Coll, Cristina; Horvath, Esther;

    IceBird Winter 2023 is part of a long-term sea ice observation program within the IceBird aircraft campaign series. IceBird was initiated in 2018 with the objective to ensure the long-term availability of a unique data record of direct sea-ice thickness observations to understand the role of the sea ice component for the causes and consequences of Arctic change, but is built on the heritage of airborne sea-ice thickness observations that date back to 2004. Compared to earlier airborne programs, IceBird has been enhanced with an improved sensor setup that also allows measuring snow depth on sea ice, fully collocated with sea-ice thickness and surface roughness at high resolution. The objectives of IceBird Winter 2023 include the continued quantification of trends, the separation of variability and extreme events of sea ice thickness and its snow cover in the Western Seas of the Arctic Ocean. The continuation of airborne sea-ice observation programs fulfils the requirement of consistent and long-term observations of key climate parameters. The data will be used to improve understanding of the response of sea ice and its snow cover to the ongoing warming of the Arctic and to improve snow models. Airborne data of snow and sea-ice thickness are also critically needed for the evaluation of sea-ice remote sensing products as well as for the evolution of algorithms for current and future satellite missions. Surveys from IceBird Winter 2023 will target the validation of sea-ice freeboard and snow depth estimates from CryoSat-2, ICESat-2, Sentinel-3A/B and AltiKa altimeters.

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    Authors: Mark, Felix; Cremer, Charlotte; Havermans, Charlotte; Murray, Ayla Rosina Cherrington; +3 Authors

    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).

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    Authors: Stoll, Nicolas; Wietz, Matthias; Juricke, Stephan; Pausch, Franziska; +7 Authors

    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.

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    Authors: Krumpen, Thomas; Birnbaum, Gerit; Ludwig, Valentin; Petersen, Christoph;

    Changes in Arctic sea ice thickness are the result of complex interactions of the dynamic and variable ice cover with atmosphere and ocean. The availability of satellite-based estimates of Arctic-wide sea ice thickness changes is limited to the winter months. However, in light of recent model predictions of a nearly ice-free Arctic in summer and to understand the role of sea ice for the causes and consequences of a warming climate, long-term and large-scale sea ice thickness and surface observations during the melt season are more important than ever. The AWI airborne sea ice survey program ‘IceBird Summer’ aims to close this gap by conducting regular measurements over sea ice in summer in key regions of the Arctic Ocean. The survey program comprises and continues all airborne ice thickness measurements obtained since 2001 in the central Arctic, Fram Strait and the last ice area. The objective is to ensure the long-term availability of a unique data record of direct sea ice thickness and surface state observations (deliverable of AWI research program POFIV, Topic 2.1: Warming Climates). Sea ice thickness measurements are obtained with a tethered electromagnetic sensor, the AEM-Bird. Jointly with the ice thickness measurements, optical and laser systems are operated to derive sea ice surface models and melt pond distribution.

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    Authors: Dransch, Doris; Rath, Willi; Frickenhaus, Stephan;

    The Workshop within the Research Program "Changing Earth - Sustain our Future" focuses on Artificial Intelligence topics and projects within the Data Science sub-cluster in Subtopic 2.4. Common directions and posible collaborations are discussed in four thematic sessions: AI Classification, Explainable AI, AI for Parameterization, and AI Enablement.

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    Authors: Almroth, B.C.; Bergmann, Melanie; Coffin, Scott; Altman, R.; +4 Authors
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    Authors: Tekman, Mine Banu; Walther, Bruno Andreas; Peter, Corina; Gutow, Lars; +1 Authors

    A new report commissioned by WWF provides the most comprehensive account to date of the extent to which plastic pollution is affecting the global ocean, the impacts it’s having on marine species and ecosystems, and how these trends are likely to develop in future. The report by researchers from the Alfred Wegener Institute Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research (AWI) reveals a serious and rapidly worsening situation that demands immediate and concerted international action: ● Today almost every species group in the ocean has encountered plastic pollution, with scientists observing negative effects in almost 90% of assessed species. ● Not only has plastic pollution entered the marine food web, it is significantly affecting the productivity of some of the world’s most important marine ecosystems like coral reefs and mangroves. ● Several key global regions – including the Mediterranean, the East China and Yellow Seas and Arctic sea ice – have already exceeded plastic pollution thresholds beyond which significant ecological risks can occur, and several more regions are expected to follow suit in the coming years. ● If all plastic pollution inputs stopped today, marine microplastic levels would still more than double by 2050 – and some scenarios project a 50-fold increase by 2100.

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    Authors: Snoeijs-Leijonmalm, Pauline; Flores, Hauke; Hildebrandt, Nicole; Sakinan, Serdar; +8 Authors

    As a result of global warming, the marine ecosystem around the North Pole, the Central Arctic Ocean (CAO), is in fast transition from a permanently to a seasonally ice-covered ocean. The sea-ice loss is expected to enable summer access to the CAO for non-icebreaking ships, including fishery vessels, in the near future1. However, the lack of knowledge on the CAO ecosystem impedes any assessment of the sustainability of potential future fisheries in the CAO. Taking a precautionary approach, the EU and nine countries in October 2018 signed the Agreement to Prevent Unregulated High Seas Fisheries in the Central Arctic Ocean. This agreement entered into force in June 2021 and a.o. requires the establishment of a joint scientific program to improve the understanding of the CAO ecosystem, including mapping and monitoring. To reduce the existing lack of knowledge, 12 scientists from the EFICA Consortium participated, together with 26 other on-board scientists, in sampling and data collection of ecosystem data during the Swedish SAS-Oden expedition in summer 2021. This report describes the field work performed by the EFICA scientists using water-column acoustics, deep-sea optical observations, and fish, zooplankton, sediment otolith and eDNA sampling for targeting fish, zooplankton and mammals. Further ecosystem data (physical, chemical and biological) were collected by the EFICA scientists in collaboration with other scientists on-board. Together with this report, a metadata database containing lists of all collected samples and data that are relevant for future fish-stock modelling and assessment studies was delivered to the European Commission.

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    Authors: Bermejo, Ricardo; Buschmann, Alejandro; Capuzzo, Elisa; Cottier-Cook, Elizabeth; +5 Authors

    Macroalgae (or seaweed) aquaculture can potentially provide many ecosystem services, including climate change mitigation, coastal protection, preservation of biodiversity and improvement of water quality. Nevertheless, there are still many constraints and knowledge gaps that need to be overcome, as well as potential negative impacts or scale-dependent effects that need to be considered, before macroalgae cultivation in Europe can be scaled up successfully and sustainably. To investigate these uncertainties, the Expert Working Group (EWG) on Macroalgae was established. Its role was to determine the state of knowledge regarding the potential of macroalgae culture in providing climate-related and other ecosystem services (ES) and to identify specific knowledge gaps that must be addressed before harvesting this potential. The methodological framework combined a multiple expert consultation with Delphi process and a Quick Scoping Review (QSR). To analyse the outcome of both approaches, the EWG classified the findings under the categories Political, Environmental, Social, Technical, Economic and Legal (PESTEL approach) and categorised the ES based on the CICES 5.1 classification. Although representative stakeholders from many different disciplines were contacted, the majority of responses to the Delphi process were from representatives of academia or research. While the results of each method differed in many ways, both methods identified the following top six ecosystem services provided by seaweed cultivation: i) provisioning food, ii) provisioning hydrocolloids and feed, iii) regulating water quality, iv) provisioning habitats, v) provisioning of nurseries and vi) regulating climate. Diverse technological knowledge gaps were identified by both methods at all scales of the macroalgae cultivation process, followed by economic and environmental knowledge gaps depending on the method used. Based on suggestions from the expert respondents in the Delphi process, there is a clear need for an European-wide strategy for reducing risks for seaweed producers, providing clear standards and guidelines for obtaining permits, and providing financial support to improve technological innovation, that will ensure consistent quality. Legal (e.g., safety regulations), economic (e.g., lack of demand for seaweeds in many countries) and technological (e.g., production at large scale) constraints represented almost 70% of the total responses in the Delphi process, whereas environmental and technical constraints were more dominant in the literature. The most commonly identified potential negative impacts of macroalgae cultivation both among the expert responses and the reviewed articles were unknown environmental impacts, e.g. to deep sea, benthic and pelagic ecosystems. The present study provides an assessment of the state of knowledge regarding ES provided by seaweed cultivation and identifies the associated knowledge gaps, constraints and potential negative impacts. One of the main hurdles recognised by the EWG was the understanding of ES themselves by the different stakeholders, as well as the issue of scale. Studies providing clear evidence of ES provided by seaweed cultivation and/or valorisation of these services were lacking in the literature, and some aspects, like cultural impact etc. were missing in the responses to the questionnaires during the Delphi process. The issue of scale and scaling-up was omnipresent both in assessing the ES provided by seaweed cultivation and in identifying knowledge gaps, constraints and potential negative impacts. For example, the ES provided will depend on the scale of cultivation, the main technological knowledge gaps were often related to scale of cultivation. Likewise at a large scale of operations, there could be multiple associated potential side effects, which need to be further investigated. Based on the outcomes of this investigation, we provide an outlook with open questions that need to be answered to support the sustainable scaling-up of seaweed cultivation in Europe.

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    Authors: Dransch, Doris; Rath, Willi;

    The Workshop is part of a yearly series within the AI/ML-Cluster in Subtopic 2.4 of the research program PoF IV: Changing Earth - Sustaining our Future.

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    Authors: Krumpen, Thomas; Jutila, Arttu; Sans Coll, Cristina; Horvath, Esther;

    IceBird Winter 2023 is part of a long-term sea ice observation program within the IceBird aircraft campaign series. IceBird was initiated in 2018 with the objective to ensure the long-term availability of a unique data record of direct sea-ice thickness observations to understand the role of the sea ice component for the causes and consequences of Arctic change, but is built on the heritage of airborne sea-ice thickness observations that date back to 2004. Compared to earlier airborne programs, IceBird has been enhanced with an improved sensor setup that also allows measuring snow depth on sea ice, fully collocated with sea-ice thickness and surface roughness at high resolution. The objectives of IceBird Winter 2023 include the continued quantification of trends, the separation of variability and extreme events of sea ice thickness and its snow cover in the Western Seas of the Arctic Ocean. The continuation of airborne sea-ice observation programs fulfils the requirement of consistent and long-term observations of key climate parameters. The data will be used to improve understanding of the response of sea ice and its snow cover to the ongoing warming of the Arctic and to improve snow models. Airborne data of snow and sea-ice thickness are also critically needed for the evaluation of sea-ice remote sensing products as well as for the evolution of algorithms for current and future satellite missions. Surveys from IceBird Winter 2023 will target the validation of sea-ice freeboard and snow depth estimates from CryoSat-2, ICESat-2, Sentinel-3A/B and AltiKa altimeters.

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    Authors: Mark, Felix; Cremer, Charlotte; Havermans, Charlotte; Murray, Ayla Rosina Cherrington; +3 Authors

    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).

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    Authors: Stoll, Nicolas; Wietz, Matthias; Juricke, Stephan; Pausch, Franziska; +7 Authors

    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.

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    Authors: Krumpen, Thomas; Birnbaum, Gerit; Ludwig, Valentin; Petersen, Christoph;

    Changes in Arctic sea ice thickness are the result of complex interactions of the dynamic and variable ice cover with atmosphere and ocean. The availability of satellite-based estimates of Arctic-wide sea ice thickness changes is limited to the winter months. However, in light of recent model predictions of a nearly ice-free Arctic in summer and to understand the role of sea ice for the causes and consequences of a warming climate, long-term and large-scale sea ice thickness and surface observations during the melt season are more important than ever. The AWI airborne sea ice survey program ‘IceBird Summer’ aims to close this gap by conducting regular measurements over sea ice in summer in key regions of the Arctic Ocean. The survey program comprises and continues all airborne ice thickness measurements obtained since 2001 in the central Arctic, Fram Strait and the last ice area. The objective is to ensure the long-term availability of a unique data record of direct sea ice thickness and surface state observations (deliverable of AWI research program POFIV, Topic 2.1: Warming Climates). Sea ice thickness measurements are obtained with a tethered electromagnetic sensor, the AEM-Bird. Jointly with the ice thickness measurements, optical and laser systems are operated to derive sea ice surface models and melt pond distribution.

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    Authors: Dransch, Doris; Rath, Willi; Frickenhaus, Stephan;

    The Workshop within the Research Program "Changing Earth - Sustain our Future" focuses on Artificial Intelligence topics and projects within the Data Science sub-cluster in Subtopic 2.4. Common directions and posible collaborations are discussed in four thematic sessions: AI Classification, Explainable AI, AI for Parameterization, and AI Enablement.

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    Authors: Almroth, B.C.; Bergmann, Melanie; Coffin, Scott; Altman, R.; +4 Authors
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    Authors: Tekman, Mine Banu; Walther, Bruno Andreas; Peter, Corina; Gutow, Lars; +1 Authors

    A new report commissioned by WWF provides the most comprehensive account to date of the extent to which plastic pollution is affecting the global ocean, the impacts it’s having on marine species and ecosystems, and how these trends are likely to develop in future. The report by researchers from the Alfred Wegener Institute Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research (AWI) reveals a serious and rapidly worsening situation that demands immediate and concerted international action: ● Today almost every species group in the ocean has encountered plastic pollution, with scientists observing negative effects in almost 90% of assessed species. ● Not only has plastic pollution entered the marine food web, it is significantly affecting the productivity of some of the world’s most important marine ecosystems like coral reefs and mangroves. ● Several key global regions – including the Mediterranean, the East China and Yellow Seas and Arctic sea ice – have already exceeded plastic pollution thresholds beyond which significant ecological risks can occur, and several more regions are expected to follow suit in the coming years. ● If all plastic pollution inputs stopped today, marine microplastic levels would still more than double by 2050 – and some scenarios project a 50-fold increase by 2100.

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    Authors: Snoeijs-Leijonmalm, Pauline; Flores, Hauke; Hildebrandt, Nicole; Sakinan, Serdar; +8 Authors

    As a result of global warming, the marine ecosystem around the North Pole, the Central Arctic Ocean (CAO), is in fast transition from a permanently to a seasonally ice-covered ocean. The sea-ice loss is expected to enable summer access to the CAO for non-icebreaking ships, including fishery vessels, in the near future1. However, the lack of knowledge on the CAO ecosystem impedes any assessment of the sustainability of potential future fisheries in the CAO. Taking a precautionary approach, the EU and nine countries in October 2018 signed the Agreement to Prevent Unregulated High Seas Fisheries in the Central Arctic Ocean. This agreement entered into force in June 2021 and a.o. requires the establishment of a joint scientific program to improve the understanding of the CAO ecosystem, including mapping and monitoring. To reduce the existing lack of knowledge, 12 scientists from the EFICA Consortium participated, together with 26 other on-board scientists, in sampling and data collection of ecosystem data during the Swedish SAS-Oden expedition in summer 2021. This report describes the field work performed by the EFICA scientists using water-column acoustics, deep-sea optical observations, and fish, zooplankton, sediment otolith and eDNA sampling for targeting fish, zooplankton and mammals. Further ecosystem data (physical, chemical and biological) were collected by the EFICA scientists in collaboration with other scientists on-board. Together with this report, a metadata database containing lists of all collected samples and data that are relevant for future fish-stock modelling and assessment studies was delivered to the European Commission.

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    Authors: Bermejo, Ricardo; Buschmann, Alejandro; Capuzzo, Elisa; Cottier-Cook, Elizabeth; +5 Authors

    Macroalgae (or seaweed) aquaculture can potentially provide many ecosystem services, including climate change mitigation, coastal protection, preservation of biodiversity and improvement of water quality. Nevertheless, there are still many constraints and knowledge gaps that need to be overcome, as well as potential negative impacts or scale-dependent effects that need to be considered, before macroalgae cultivation in Europe can be scaled up successfully and sustainably. To investigate these uncertainties, the Expert Working Group (EWG) on Macroalgae was established. Its role was to determine the state of knowledge regarding the potential of macroalgae culture in providing climate-related and other ecosystem services (ES) and to identify specific knowledge gaps that must be addressed before harvesting this potential. The methodological framework combined a multiple expert consultation with Delphi process and a Quick Scoping Review (QSR). To analyse the outcome of both approaches, the EWG classified the findings under the categories Political, Environmental, Social, Technical, Economic and Legal (PESTEL approach) and categorised the ES based on the CICES 5.1 classification. Although representative stakeholders from many different disciplines were contacted, the majority of responses to the Delphi process were from representatives of academia or research. While the results of each method differed in many ways, both methods identified the following top six ecosystem services provided by seaweed cultivation: i) provisioning food, ii) provisioning hydrocolloids and feed, iii) regulating water quality, iv) provisioning habitats, v) provisioning of nurseries and vi) regulating climate. Diverse technological knowledge gaps were identified by both methods at all scales of the macroalgae cultivation process, followed by economic and environmental knowledge gaps depending on the method used. Based on suggestions from the expert respondents in the Delphi process, there is a clear need for an European-wide strategy for reducing risks for seaweed producers, providing clear standards and guidelines for obtaining permits, and providing financial support to improve technological innovation, that will ensure consistent quality. Legal (e.g., safety regulations), economic (e.g., lack of demand for seaweeds in many countries) and technological (e.g., production at large scale) constraints represented almost 70% of the total responses in the Delphi process, whereas environmental and technical constraints were more dominant in the literature. The most commonly identified potential negative impacts of macroalgae cultivation both among the expert responses and the reviewed articles were unknown environmental impacts, e.g. to deep sea, benthic and pelagic ecosystems. The present study provides an assessment of the state of knowledge regarding ES provided by seaweed cultivation and identifies the associated knowledge gaps, constraints and potential negative impacts. One of the main hurdles recognised by the EWG was the understanding of ES themselves by the different stakeholders, as well as the issue of scale. Studies providing clear evidence of ES provided by seaweed cultivation and/or valorisation of these services were lacking in the literature, and some aspects, like cultural impact etc. were missing in the responses to the questionnaires during the Delphi process. The issue of scale and scaling-up was omnipresent both in assessing the ES provided by seaweed cultivation and in identifying knowledge gaps, constraints and potential negative impacts. For example, the ES provided will depend on the scale of cultivation, the main technological knowledge gaps were often related to scale of cultivation. Likewise at a large scale of operations, there could be multiple associated potential side effects, which need to be further investigated. Based on the outcomes of this investigation, we provide an outlook with open questions that need to be answered to support the sustainable scaling-up of seaweed cultivation in Europe.

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