Polar Research https://polarresearch.net/index.php/polar <p><em>Polar Research</em> is the international, peer-reviewed journal of the Norwegian Polar Institute. The scope of&nbsp;<em>Polar Research</em>&nbsp;encompasses research in all scientific disciplines relevant to the polar regions. These include, but are not limited to, the subfields of biology, ecology, geology, oceanography, glaciology and atmospheric science. Submissions from the social sciences and those focusing on polar management and policy issues are welcome. Contributions about Antarctica are particularly encouraged.</p> Norwegian Polar Institute en-US Polar Research 1751-8369 <p><span style="color: #4b7d92;">Authors contributing to Polar Research retain copyright of their work, with first publication rights granted to the Norwegian Polar Institute. Read the journal's full <a href="https://polarresearch.net/index.php/polar/openaccess">Copyright- and Licensing Policy</a>.</span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> Five decades of terrestrial and freshwater research at Ny-Ålesund, Svalbard https://polarresearch.net/index.php/polar/article/view/6310 <p>For more than five decades, research has been conducted at Ny-Ålesund, in Svalbard, Norway, to understand the structure and functioning of High-Arctic ecosystems and the profound impacts on them of environmental change. Terrestrial, freshwater, glacial and marine ecosystems are accessible year-round from Ny-Ålesund, providing unique opportunities for interdisciplinary observational and experimental studies along physical, chemical, hydrological and climatic gradients. Here, we synthesize terrestrial and freshwater research at Ny-Ålesund and review current knowledge of biodiversity patterns, species population dynamics and interactions, ecosystem processes, biogeochemical cycles and anthropogenic impacts. There is now strong evidence of past and ongoing biotic changes caused by climate change, including negative effects on populations of many taxa and impacts of rain-on-snow events across multiple trophic levels. While species-level characteristics and responses are well understood for macro-organisms, major knowledge gaps exist for microbes, invertebrates and ecosystem-level processes. In order to fill current knowledge gaps, we recommend (1) maintaining monitoring efforts, while establishing a long-term ecosystem-based monitoring programme; (2) gaining a mechanistic understanding of environmental change impacts on processes and linkages in food webs; (3) identifying trophic interactions and cascades across ecosystems; and (4) integrating long-term data on microbial, invertebrate and freshwater communities, along with measurements of carbon and nutrient fluxes among soils, atmosphere, freshwaters and the marine environment. The synthesis here shows that the Ny-Ålesund study system has the characteristics needed to fill these gaps in knowledge, thereby enhancing our understanding of High-Arctic ecosystems and their responses to environmental variability and change.</p> Å.Ø. Pedersen P. Convey K.K. Newsham J.B. Mosbacher E. Fuglei V. Ravolainen B.B. Hansen T.C. Jensen A. Augusti E.M. Biersma E.J. Cooper S.J. Coulson G.W. Gabrielsen J.C. Gallet U. Karsten S.M. Kristiansen M.M. Svenning A.T. Tveit M. Uchida I. Baneschi E. Calizza N. Cannone E.M. de Goede M. Doveri J. Elster M.S. Giamberini K. Hayashi S.I. Lang Y.K. Lee T. Nakatsubo V. Pasquali I.M.G. Paulsen C. Pedersen F. Peng A. Provenzale E. Pushkareva C.A.M. Sandström V. Sklet A. Stach M. Tojo B. Tytgat H. Tømmervik D. Velazquez E. Verleyen J.M. Welker Y.-F. Yao M.J.J.E. Loonen Copyright (c) 2022 Å.Ø. Pedersen, P. Convey, K.K. Newsham, J.B. Mosbacher, E. Fuglei, V. Ravolainen, B.B. Hansen, T.C. Jensen, A. Augusti, E.M. Biersma, E.J. Cooper, S.J. Coulson, G.W. Gabrielsen, J.C. Gallet, U. Karsten, S.M. Kristiansen, M.M. Svenning, A.T. Tveit, M. Uchida, I. Baneschi, E. Calizza, N. Cannone, E.M. de Goede, M. Doveri, J. Elster, M.S. Giamberini, K. Hayashi, S.I. Lang, Y.K. Lee, T. Nakatsubo, V. Pasquali, I.M.G. Paulsen, C. Pedersen, F. Peng, A. Provenzale, E. Pushkareva, C.A.M. Sandström, V. Sklet, A. Stach, M. Tojo, B. Tytgat, H. Tømmervik, D. Velazquez, E. Verleyen, J.M. Welker, Y.-F. Yao, M.J.J.E. Loonen https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/4.0 2022-04-19 2022-04-19 41 10.33265/polar.v41.6310 Ichnodiversity in the eastern Canadian Arctic in the context of polar microbioerosion patterns https://polarresearch.net/index.php/polar/article/view/8083 <p>Studies of marine microbioerosion in polar environments are scarce. They include our recent investigations of bioerosion traces preserved in sessile balanid skeletons from the Arctic Svalbard archipelago and the Antarctic Ross Sea. Here, we present results from a third study site, Frobisher Bay, in the eastern Canadian Arctic, together with a synthesis of our current knowledge of polar bioerosion in both hemispheres. Barnacles from 62 to 94 m water depth in Frobisher Bay were prepared using the cast-embedding technique to enable visualization of microboring traces by scanning electron microscopy. In total, six ichnotaxa of traces produced by organotrophic bioeroders were found. All recorded ichnotaxa were also present in Mosselbukta, Svalbard, and most in the Ross Sea. Frobisher Bay contrasts with Mosselbukta in that it is a siliciclastic-dominated environment and shows a lower ichnodiversity, which may be accounted for by the limited bathymetrical range and a high turbidity and sedimentation rate. We evaluate potential key ichnotaxa for the cold-temperate and polar regions, of which the most suitable are&nbsp;<em>Flagrichnus baiulus</em>&nbsp;and&nbsp;<em>Saccomorpha guttulata</em>, and propose adapted index ichnocoenoses for the interpretation of palaeobathymetry accordingly. Together, the three studies allow us to make provisional considerations about the biogeographical distribution of polar microbioerosion traces reflecting the ecophysiological limits of their makers.</p> Neele Meyer Max Wisshak Evan N. Edinger Kumiko Azetsu-Scott André Freiwald Copyright (c) 2022 Neele Meyer, Max Wisshak, Evan N. Edinger, Kumiko Azetsu-Scott, André Freiwald https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/4.0 2022-04-29 2022-04-29 41 10.33265/polar.v41.8083 Patterns of interdisciplinary collaboration resemble biogeochemical relationships in the McMurdo Dry Valleys, Antarctica: a historical social network analysis of science, 1907–2016 https://polarresearch.net/index.php/polar/article/view/8037 <p>Co-authorship networks can provide key insights into the production of scientific knowledge. This is particularly interesting in Antarctica, where most human activity relates to scientific research. Bibliometric studies of Antarctic science have provided a useful understanding of international and interdisciplinary collaboration, yet most research has focused on broad-scale analyses over recent time periods. Here, we take advantage of a ‘Goldilocks’ opportunity in the McMurdo Dry Valleys, an internationally important region of Antarctica and the largest ice-free region on the continent. The McMurdo Dry Valleys have attracted continuous and diverse scientific activity since 1958. It is a geographically confined region with limited access, making it possible to evaluate the influence of specific events and individuals. We trace the history of environmental science in this region using bibliometrics and social network analysis. Our results show a marked shift in focus from the geosciences to the biosciences, which mirrors wider trends in the history of science. Collaboration among individuals and academic disciplines increased through time, and the most productive scientists in the network are also the most interdisciplinary. Patterns of collaboration among disciplines resemble the biogeochemical relationships among respective landscape features, raising interesting questions about the role of the material environment in the development of scientific networks in the region, and the dynamic interaction with socio-cultural and political factors. Our focused, historical approach adds nuance to broad-scale bibliometric studies and could be applied to understanding the dynamics of scientific research in other regions of Antarctica and elsewhere.</p> Stephen M. Chignell Adrian Howkins Poppie Gullett Andrew G. Fountain Copyright (c) 2022 Stephen M. Chignell, Adrian Howkins, Poppie Gullett, Andrew G. Fountain https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/4.0 2022-04-06 2022-04-06 41 10.33265/polar.v41.8037 Value of the Copernicus Arctic Regional Reanalysis (CARRA) in representing near-surface temperature and wind speed in the north-east European Arctic https://polarresearch.net/index.php/polar/article/view/8002 <p>The representation of 2-m air temperature and 10-m wind speed in the high-resolution (with a 2.5-km grid spacing) Copernicus Arctic Regional Reanalysis (CARRA) and the coarser resolution (ca. 31-km grid spacing) global European Center for Medium-range Weather Forecasts fifth-generation reanalysis (ERA5) for Svalbard, northern Norway, Sweden and Finland is evaluated against observations. The largest differences between the two reanalyses are found in regions with complex terrain and coastlines, and over the sea ice for temperature in winter. In most aspects, CARRA outperforms ERA5 in its agreement with the observations, but the value added by CARRA varies with region and season. Furthermore, the added value by CARRA is seen for both parameters but is more pronounced for temperature than wind speed. CARRA is in better agreement with observations in terms of general evaluation metrics like bias and standard deviation of the errors, is more similar to the observed spatial and temporal variability and better captures local extremes. A better representation of high-impact weather like polar lows, vessel icing and warm spells during winter is also demonstrated. Finally, it is shown that a substantial part of the difference between reanalyses and observations is due to representativeness issues, that is, sub-grid variability, which cannot be represented in gridded data. This representativeness error is larger in ERA5 than in CARRA, but the fraction of the total error is estimated to be similar in the two analyses for temperature but larger in ERA5 for wind speed.</p> Morten Køltzow Harald Schyberg Eivind Støylen Xiaohua Yang Copyright (c) 2022 Morten Køltzow, Harald Schyberg, Eivind Støylen, Xiaohua Yang https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/4.0 2022-03-31 2022-03-31 41 10.33265/polar.v41.8002 Foraging behaviour of sympatrically breeding macaroni (<em>Eudyptes chrysolophus</em>) and chinstrap (<em>Pygoscelis antarcticus</em>) penguins at Bouvetøya, Southern Ocean https://polarresearch.net/index.php/polar/article/view/6351 <p>Species with similar ecological requirements that overlap in range tend to segregate their niches to minimize competition for resources. However, the niche segregation possibilities for centrally foraging predators that breed on isolated Subantarctic islands may be reduced by spatial constraints and limitations in the availability of alternative prey. In this study we examined spatial and trophic aspects of the foraging niches of two sympatrically breeding penguin species, macaroni (<em>Eudyptes chrysolophus</em>; MAC) and chinstrap (<em>Pygoscelis antarcticus</em>; CHIN) penguins, at Bouvetøya over two breeding seasons. To measure at-sea movements and diving behaviour, 90 MACs and 49 CHINs were equipped with GPS loggers and dive recorders during two austral summer breeding seasons (2014/15 and 2017/18). In addition, blood samples from tracked birds were analysed for stable isotopes to obtain dietary information. CHINs displayed marked interannual variation in foraging behaviour, diving deeper, utilizing a larger foraging area and displaying enriched values of δ<sup>15</sup>N in 2014/15 compared to the 2017/18 breeding season. In contrast, MACs dove to similar depths and showed similar δ<sup>15</sup>N values, while consistently utilizing larger foraging areas compared to CHINs. We suggest that low krill abundances in the waters around Bouvetøya during the 2014/15 season resulted in CHINs shifting toward a diet that increased their niche overlap with MACs. Our findings may partly explain the decreasing number of breeding CHINs at the world’s most remote island, Bouvetøya, while also highlighting the importance of characterizing niche overlap of species using multi-season data sets.</p> Audun Narvestad Kit M. Kovacs Christian Lydersen Andrew D. Lowther Copyright (c) 2022 Audun Narvestad, Kit M. Kovacs, Christian Lydersen, Andrew D. Lowther https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/4.0 2022-03-11 2022-03-11 41 10.33265/polar.v41.6351 Cetacean spatial trends from 2005 to 2019 in Svalbard, Norway https://polarresearch.net/index.php/polar/article/view/7773 <p>This study uses cetacean sighting data, acquired via a citizen science programme, to update distributions and spatial trends of whales and dolphins in waters around the Svalbard Archipelago during the period 2005–2019. Distributions, based on kernel density estimates, from an early period (2005–2009) and a recent period (2015–19) were compared to identify potential shifts in distribution in this area, which is experiencing rapid warming and concomitant sea-ice losses. Among the three Arctic endemic cetaceans, white whales (<em>Delphinapterus leucas,</em>&nbsp;also known as beluga) had a stable, coastal distribution throughout the study, whereas narwhals (<em>Monodon monoceros</em>) and bowhead whales (<em>Balaena mysticetus</em>) were observed only north of the archipelago, but with increasing frequency during the recent period. White-beaked dolphins (<em>Lagenorhynchus albirostris</em>) had a stable distribution along the continental shelf break, west and south of Svalbard. Sperm whale observations shifted from west of Bjørnøya during the early period to being concentrated around the north end of Prins Karls Forland, west of Spitsbergen during the recent period. The four summer-resident baleen whales—blue whales (<em>Balaenoptera musculus</em>), fin whales (<em>Balaenoptera physalus</em>), humpback whales (<em>Megaptera novaeangliae</em>) and minke whales (<em>Balaenoptera acutorostrata</em>)—have shifted their distributions from the continental shelf break west of Spitsbergen during the early period into fjords and coastal areas during the recent period. These changes coincide with increased inflows of Atlantic Water into the fjords along the west coast of Spitsbergen and across the north of the archipelago.</p> Olof Bengtsson Christian Lydersen Kit M. Kovacs Copyright (c) 2022 Kit M. Kovacs, Olof Bengtsson, Christian Lydersen https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/4.0 2022-01-25 2022-01-25 41 10.33265/polar.v41.7773 China’s engagement in Greenland: mutual economic benefits and political non-interference https://polarresearch.net/index.php/polar/article/view/7706 <p>With China becoming more active in Greenland, worries abound that China might have hidden intentions. Despite that, the Greenlandic government is showing an increasing interest in deepening its cooperation with China. This article explores Greenland’s motivation behind its positive attitude towards China and examines whether China will be a threat to Greenland’s independence. For Greenland, China is both a deep-pocketed investor and a huge consumer market, especially in the mining, fishing and tourism industries. Greenland, therefore, views China as an important partner in its economic development, which is necessary for its independence from Denmark. Considering China’s relationship with Denmark, its foreign policy and its affairs vis-à-vis Tibet, Xinjiang and Taiwan, it is not in China’s interest to interfere with any affairs related to Greenland’s independence.</p> Chuan Chen Copyright (c) 2022 Chuan Chen https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/4.0 2022-03-17 2022-03-17 41 10.33265/polar.v41.7706 Polar bear depredation of a thick-billed murre fledgling in open water at Prince Leopold Island, Nunavut https://polarresearch.net/index.php/polar/article/view/8176 <p>Sea-ice distribution and duration are declining across the circumpolar range of the polar bear (<em>Ursus maritimus</em>), resulting in a reduced access to ice-obligate seals, its primary prey. Consequently, polar bears may have increased reliance on alternative food sources in the future. Foraging on land is well documented but foraging in open water is less understood. We report the successful depredation of a thick-billed murre (<em>Uria lomvia</em>) in open water near Prince Leopold Island, Nunavut, and discuss implications for understanding the behavioural plasticity of polar bears and their opportunistic foraging patterns.</p> <p>_______________________________</p> <p><a href="https://figshare.com/articles/media/Obbard_et_al_2022_Supplementary_File_Polar_Research_mp4/19251509/1" target="_blank" rel="noopener">View the supplementary video</a></p> Martyn E. Obbard Christopher Di Corrado João Franco Roger Pimenta Boris Wise Copyright (c) 2022 Martyn E. Obbard, Christopher Di Corrado, João Franco, Roger Pimenta, Boris Wise https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/4.0 2022-04-12 2022-04-12 41 10.33265/polar.v41.8176 Book review of The return of the South Pole sled dogs: with Amundsen’s and Mawson’s Antarctic expeditions, by Mary R. Tahan (2021). Cham, Switzerland: Springer International Publishing. 467 pp. ISBN 978-3-030-65112-1. https://polarresearch.net/index.php/polar/article/view/8487 Javier Menéndez-Blázquez Copyright (c) 2022 Javier Menéndez-Blázquez https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/4.0 2022-04-18 2022-04-18 41 10.33265/polar.v41.8487