WP5: Observations of the Arctic Ocean water column and sea ice cover

Work package leaders: Hanne Sagen (NERSC), Arild Sundfjord (NPI)
Contributions from: Sebastian Gerland (NPI), Dmitry Divine (NPI), Torill Hamre (NERSC), Helene Langehaug (NERSC), Espen Storheim (NERSC), Stein Sandven (NERSC), Lars H. Smedsrud (UiB), Børge Hamre (UiB), Tom Rune Lauknes (NORCE), Rune Storvold (NORCE)

The Arctic Ocean is connected to the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans through the Fram Strait, Barents Sea and the Bering Strait. The pathways of the water masses are well known, but the central Arctic, in particular the Eurasian Basin, is among the poorest observed oceans in the world. Correspondingly, the physical, biogeochemical, and biological processes in the water column under the sea ice are poorly understood. In situ measurement of the sea ice and ocean are needed to document, understand and better predict the changes in Arctic on different temporal and spatial scales.

Main objective of WP5 is to contribute to and support the development and implementation of a pilot for a year-round multi-disciplinary observing system to collect essential ocean variables (EOV) including subsurface ocean temperature (mean temperature and point measurements), acidification, sea level, sea ice thickness, biological parameters, vocalizing marine life, ocean sound, as well as geophysical hazardous events (e.g. earthquakes, landslides, tsunamis). Improved and sustained observations will foster a cascade of new research programs as well as following up and complementing international observation-based research programs. GoNorth – WP 5 will be a contribution to the UN declared decade of the Oceans to achieve the sustainability goal number 14: ‘Conserve and sustainably use the ocean, seas and marine resources for sustainable development’.