Parallel sessions

In addition to the plenary sessions (tuesday and friday morning), parallel sessions will be held on tuesday afternoon, wednesday morning, thursday morning and afternoon. The 3 first ones will consist on presentation of 5 to 15 minutes, based on submitted abstracts. The last session of thursday afternoon will be a group discussion in order to elaborate the priority sheets.


Session 1: Sea Ice in the Arctic Ocean: from microphysics to large scale dynamics (Chair: Angelika Renner, Co-chairs: Alexey Pavlov and Matthieu Chevallier)

The Arctic sea ice cover is undergoing rapid changes which are most obvious in the reduction of sea ice extent, area and thickness observed in the last years. With increasing pressure on the Arctic in form of exploitation, shipping, and fishery activities, reliable forecasting of sea ice conditions both seasonally and longer term is becoming more and more important. However, sea ice remains notoriously difficult to model due to the complex nature of its physics, the interactions with atmosphere and ocean, and the various scales involved from ice crystals to Arctic-wide dynamics. In this session, we invite contributions addressing the full range of spatial (and temporal) scales with focus but not limited to the following topics:

1) The challenge of upscaling of spot and episodic in situ observations to large scale remote sensing products, and best methods to compare and combine datasets with different scales, biases and errors
2) Bridging gaps between sea ice observations and modelling
3) The role of small scale processes in the observed large-scale sea ice decline
4) Interaction of solar radiation and sea ice in a changing Arctic: timing, variability, implications for a marine ecosystem and energy budget.
5) Between ocean and atmosphere: what drives the observed sea ice changes?
6) The future of the Arctic sea ice cover


Session 4: Marine biodiversity (Chair: B Bluhm, Co-chairs: M. Kedra and S. Majaneva)

The polar regions have recently received a lot of scientific attention, yet our knowledge of the unique diversity of Arctic marine life forms has still major gaps. Extreme seasonality, presence of sea ice cover and low temperatures make the Arctic Ocean one of the most extreme environments, yet Arctic seas are holding a variety of unique life forms, highly adapted to the harsh conditions. Moreover, the Arctic Ocean is the area where the ongoing climate change and its effects appear to be expressed the strongest causing a large threat to Arctic biodiversity. The already ongoing changes make the effort to identify the diversity of Arctic marine life an urgent issue. Marine Biodiversity session will mainly aim to discuss in more detail the state of current knowledge and challenges associated challenges of changing Arctic for the diversity of marine life forms.
1) Arctic change resilience and adaptation:
  a. What are the largest climate-induced risks to marine biodiversity in the Arctic? How can we minimize or adapt to them?  
  b. What are the effects of the (multiyear) sea ice loss to the biodiversity?
  c. What are the effects of increasing transportation to the biodiversity?
  d. How do the rapid changes in the Arctic Ocean compare with changes in other ecosystems (e.g. Antarctic)?
2) What are the key components of measuring biodiversity in the current state and in the changing Arctic system? Integrating morphological and molecular methods
3) What are the gaps in taxonomic and biogeographic knowledge of the Arctic marine biodiversity? What are the bio-geographic affinities and barriers?
4) How will climate change effect the relations between species distribution patterns and species richness, and changing environment?
5) How can we best contribute towards a better understanding of the present Arctic marine biodiversity?
6) What are the links between marine productivity, biodiversity and ecosystem services across the Arctic, and how are these expected to evolve over the 21st century?


Session 5: Paleo-reconstruction and biological archives: decade to millenium (Chair: K. Hendry, Co-chairs: K. Werner and M. O'Regan)

Reconstructions of the past climate and oceanographic variability in the Arctic significantly contribute to an improved understanding of the long-term feedback mechanisms in the Arctic Ocean and their relationship to global change. Arctic climate excursions during the present (Holocene) and earlier interglacials are an important reference for recent and future climate changes.

While changes during the last ca 12,000 years have been well-investigated in the eastern Arctic sector, there is still a lack of detailed knowledge of the present and former interglacial’s variability in the central and western Arctic. Also, many of the proxy climate indicators used in paleo-reconstructions require much improved calibration using modern conditions for interpreting paleo conditions. In this session, state of the art-knowledge of the Arctic interglacial changes will be summarized in order to identify major key components of Arctic changes during recent interglacials. Major lack of knowledge on Arctic interglacial history will be examined in order to locate future directions in Arctic geological research. We especially invite contributions on paleo reconstructions combined with modern observations and modeling studies to foster the dialogue on how paleo studies can contribute to a better understanding of ongoing and future climate and oceanographic processes modelled and observed in the Arctic.

Key questions include,

1) How can paleo-records contribute towards a better understanding of the present and future variability of Arctic climate change and how can they be combined with paleo modelling?
2) What are the key components of a changing Arctic system that can/need to be reconstructed from geological archives?
3) What are the present state and key knowledge gaps for deriving geologic analogues for recent and future changes in the Arctic?


Session 6: Land-Ocean interactions: from coastal to submarine permafrost including gas hydrates (Chair: M. Grigoriev, Co-chairs: M. Fritz and D. Mercier)

About one third of the Earth's coasts are affected by permafrost and the Arctic Ocean is almost entirely surrounded by permafrost coasts. Erosion of these coasts with maximum retreat rates of more than 20 meter per year delivers huge amounts of sediments, organic carbon and nutrients to the arctic nearshore zone. Submarine permafrost that is relict terrestrial permafrost occurs on the wide and shallow artic shelves that have been submerged since the postglacial sea level rise. Large methane hydrate reservoirs are contained within permafrost and underneath. Accelerated permafrost degradation onshore and offshore might lead to enhanced coastal erosion, increased material mobilization and the more rapid conversion of carbon into greenhouse gases. This session raises the following questions to work on:
1) How can we accurately measure and model coastal erosion and subsequent material export to the Arctic Ocean over large coastal stretches?
2) What will be potential impact of coastal erosion on coastal arctic communities, infrastructure and in terms of natural habitat loss?
3) What is the fate of terrigenous material in the Arctic Ocean?
4) How can we assess the impact of terrigenous matter on coastal food webs?
5) How can we observe and model submarine permafrost degradation to assess the potential future methane release from methane hydrates?


Session 8: The responses of law and economics in a changing Arctic (Chair: A. Cudennec, Co-chairs: M. Jacquot and M. Mansoz)

1) In a changing Arctic what kind of institutional and legal responses exist to the rise of new issues such as the appearance of increased fisheries or the rise of navigation thanks to the opening of new routes in this area? Moreover, what are the links between scientific research in the Arctic and the elaboration of normative policies?
2) How economic development related activities in the Arctic can help aboriginal communities and businesses to develop capacity to take advantage of economic opportunities? Within this capacity, what are the temporal and spatial conditions to ensure a sustainable economic development?


Session 2-3-7: Oceanography – physics, atmospheric interactions, and biogeochemistry (Chairs: F. Cottier, M. Reigstand; Co-chairs: H. Findlay, P. Bougain, N. Morata, Q. Shao, R. Hindshaw, S. Rastrick)

This session combines the previous three separate sessions: 2) Physics, 3) Biogeochemistry and 7) Ocean-atmosphere exchange, and ocean acidification.


The loss of sea ice in the Arctic is resulting in a new oceanographic regime. From the physical processes, flow of water masses, water mass characteristics, and circulation patterns, interaction with the atmosphere – both through physical atmospheric forcing on the ocean and through heat- and gas-exchange processes, to the biogeochemical cycling of carbon and nutrients resulting in shifts in primary and secondary production. These changing dynamics have repercussions on feedbacks to climate, ocean acidification and ecosystem structure and functioning. However, the spatial and temporal complexity of these oceanographic processes requires further investigation.

This session will cover topics from:

1) How are the characteristics of the water masses and circulation patterns changing and what are the consequences?
2) What is the role of the atmospheric interactions with the ocean – wind, heat and gases – on small and large spatial scales?

4) How will ocean acidification and carbon cycling change, and what implications will hydrographic shifts and chemical composition of rivers have?

4) How do we scale up knowledge on marine biogeochemical and ecosystem function from localised studies to the whole Arctic?

5) How can we understand seasonal and annual variations from disparate observations?
6) What information is currently lacking in order to better understand biogeochemical cycles (organic and inorganic) in the Arctic Ocean?
7) Can we use remote sensing platforms to monitor/detect change?
8) What are the key elements that need to be monitored/ what can we already do/ what technology needs to be developed?
9) How long and at what scale do we need to be monitoring to detect patterns across time and space?

Online user: 1