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> en-US <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> helle.goldman@npolar.no (Helle V. Goldman) emma.csemiczky@openacademia.net (Emma Csemiczky) Wed, 26 Jan 2022 03:17:05 -0800 OJS http://blogs.law.harvard.edu/tech/rss 60 Multidisciplinary perspectives on living marine resources in the Arctic https://polarresearch.net/index.php/polar/article/view/7766 <p>Many areas in the Arctic are vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. We observe large-scale effects on physical, biological, economic and social parameters, including ice cover, species distributions, economic activity and regional governance frameworks. Arctic living marine resources are affected in various ways. A holistic understanding of these effects requires a multidisciplinary enterprise. We synthesize relevant research, from oceanography and ecology, via economics, to political science and international law. We find that multidisciplinary research can enhance our understanding and promote new questions and issues relating to impacts and outcomes of climate change in the Arctic. Such issues include recent insights on changing spawning migrations of the North-east Arctic cod stock that necessitates revisions of socioeconomic estimates of ecosystem wealth in the Barents Sea, better integrated prediction systems that require increased cooperation between experts on climate prediction and ecosystem modelling, and institutional complexities of Arctic governance that require enhanced coordination.</p> Sturla F. Kvamsdal, Dorothy Dankel, Nils-Arne Ekerhovd, Alf Håkon Hoel, Angelika Renner, Anne Britt Sandø, Stein Ivar Steinshamn Copyright (c) 2022 Sturla F. Kvamsdal, Dorothy Dankel, Nils-Arne Ekerhovd, Alf Håkon Hoel, Angelika Renner, Anne Britt Sandø, Stein Ivar Steinshamn https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/4.0 https://polarresearch.net/index.php/polar/article/view/7766 Thu, 20 Oct 2022 00:00:00 -0700 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 https://polarresearch.net/index.php/polar/article/view/6310 Tue, 19 Apr 2022 09:09:34 -0700 Case studies of the wind field around Ny-Ålesund, Svalbard, using unmanned aircraft https://polarresearch.net/index.php/polar/article/view/7884 <p>The wind field in Arctic fjords is strongly influenced by glaciers, local orography and the interaction between sea and land. Ny-Ålesund, an important location for atmospheric research in the Arctic, is located in Kongsfjorden, a fjord with a complex local wind field that influences measurements in Ny-Ålesund. Using wind measurements from UAS (unmanned aircraft systems), ground measurements, radiosonde and reanalysis data, characteristic processes that determine the wind field around Ny-Ålesund are identified and analysed. UAS measurements and ground measurements show, as did previous studies, a south-east flow along Kongsfjorden, dominating the wind conditions in Ny-Ålesund. The wind measured by the UAS in a valley 1 km west of Ny-Ålesund differs from the wind measured at the ground in Ny-Ålesund. In this valley, we identify a small-scale catabatic flow from the south to south-west as the cause for this difference. Case studies show a backing (counterclockwise rotation with increasing altitude) of the wind direction close to the ground. A katabatic flow is measured near the ground, with a horizontal wind speed up to 5 m s<sup>-1</sup>. Both the larger-scale south-east flow along the fjord and the local katabatic flows lead to a highly variable wind field, so ground measurements and weather models alone give an incomplete picture. The comparison of UAS measurements, ground measurements and weather conditions analysis using a synoptic model is used to show that the effects measured in the case studies play a role in the Ny-Ålesund wind field in spring.</p> Martin Schön, Irene Suomi, Barbara Altstädter, Bram van Kesteren, Kjell zum Berge, Andreas Platis, Birgit Wehner, Astrid Lampert, Jens Bange Copyright (c) 2022 Martin Schön, Irene Suomi, Barbara Altstädter, Bram van Kesteren, Kjell zum Berge, Andreas Platis, Birgit Wehner, Astrid Lampert, Jens Bange https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/4.0 https://polarresearch.net/index.php/polar/article/view/7884 Tue, 15 Nov 2022 08:16:06 -0800 Modelled realistic daily variation in low winter sea-ice concentration over the Barents Sea amplifies Asian cold events https://polarresearch.net/index.php/polar/article/view/7834 <p>The boreal wintertime atmospheric responses, especially cold events over central Asia, to low sea-ice concentration (SIC) with and without realistic daily variation over the Barents Sea are explored with the Community Atmosphere Model version 4.0 (CAM4.0). The results show that the general atmospheric responses to approximately equal winter-mean Arctic sea-ice loss with a similar pattern but with climatological versus realistic daily variation are different. With the forcing of low SIC with climatological daily variation, Asian cold events become a little longer and stronger than in the control experiment; this mainly results from the enhancement of a 500-hPa Ural anticyclonic anomaly. However, the low SIC forcing that includes realistic daily variability greatly intensifies central Asian cold events and the cyclonic anomaly downstream of the Ural anticyclone. Further analysis reveals that Asian cold events are closely associated with Arctic deep warming at an intraseasonal time scale, which is also the strongest in the perturbed experiment forced by low SIC with realistic daily variation. This work provides a better understanding of the linkage between sea-ice variation over the Barents Sea and central Asian cold events, which may improve extreme weather prediction. It also implies that it is necessary to force air–sea coupling models and atmospheric models with realistic daily SIC in the study of the relationship between Arctic sea ice and mid-latitude cold events.</p> Shengni Duan, Zhina Jiang, Min Wen Copyright (c) 2022 Shengni Duan, Zhina Jiang, Min Wen https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/4.0 https://polarresearch.net/index.php/polar/article/view/7834 Tue, 01 Nov 2022 00:00:00 -0700 Remote sensing, snow modelling, survey data and Indigenous Knowledge show how snow and sea-ice conditions affect Peary caribou (Rangifer tarandus pearyi) distribution and inter-island and island–mainland movements https://polarresearch.net/index.php/polar/article/view/7964 <p>Accelerated warming of the Arctic has reduced sea ice and has increased the occurrence of winter extreme events like rain-on-snow and storms that impact snow-cover densification, affecting Peary caribou (<em>Rangifer tarandus pearyi</em>) seasonal movements and grazing conditions. We used caribou movements between Banks, Melville and Victoria islands and mainland Canada, documented from Indigenous Knowledge, to assess whether spatiotemporal trends in sea-ice anomalies (1983–2019) can be used as an indicator of caribou movement. We used the SNOWPACK model to evaluate how foraging conditions (as indexed by simulated snow properties) contribute to the prediction of caribou presence. Our results suggest that changes in sea-ice anomalies over time have impacted caribou crossings between islands: caribou no longer use areas with less sea ice whilst they continue to use areas with more sea ice. Our model evaluation shows that, when the simulated snow conditions are paired with other environmental variables, the ability of models to predict Peary caribou occurrence on land was enhanced across Banks and Melville islands. Overall, the land models suggest that caribou are more likely to occupy areas with lower density of snow accumulation and a majority of forb tundra with dwarf shrubs for Banks Island and cryptogam tundra, rush and grass for the Melville Island Complex. Our results suggest that future work monitoring changes in sea-ice and snow conditions will be important for understanding the impact of climate change on the distribution of Peary caribou in the western Arctic.</p> Coralie Gautier, Alexandre Langlois, Vincent Sasseville, Erin Neave, Cheryl Ann Johnson Copyright (c) 2022 Coralie Gautier, Alexandre Langlois, Vincent Sasseville, Erin Neave, Cheryl Ann Johnson https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/4.0 https://polarresearch.net/index.php/polar/article/view/7964 Fri, 02 Sep 2022 00:00:00 -0700 Why are Svalbard Arctic foxes <em>Brucella</em> spp. seronegative? https://polarresearch.net/index.php/polar/article/view/7867 <p>Arctic foxes (<em>Vulpes lagopus</em>) are susceptible to smooth&nbsp;<em>Brucella</em>&nbsp;(s-<em>Brucella</em>) infection and may be exposed to such bacteria through the consumption of infected marine mammals, as implied by the finding of s-<em>Brucella</em>&nbsp;antibodies in polar bears (<em>Ursus maritimus</em>). Arctic foxes in Svalbard have not previously been investigated for s-<em>Brucella</em>&nbsp;antibodies, but such antibodies have been detected in Arctic foxes in Iceland, Alaska (USA) and Russia. We investigated blood from Svalbard Arctic foxes for s-<em>Brucella</em>&nbsp;antibodies using an indirect enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (iELISA). The animals (0–13 years old) were either caught by fur trappers (1995–2003,&nbsp;<em>n</em>&nbsp;= 403) or found dead (1995 and 2003,&nbsp;<em>n</em>&nbsp;= 3). No seropositive animals were detected. Morbidity and mortality due to the infection cannot be ruled out. However, no known, large disease outbreaks of unknown aetiology have been reported. Furthermore, it is unlikely that the Svalbard Arctic fox is resistant to infection as Arctic foxes from other populations are susceptible, and there is circumpolar connectivity between populations. The discrepancy between the findings in Iceland and Svalbard is surprising as both populations are on islands with no known local sources of exposure to s-<em>Brucella</em>&nbsp;other than marine mammals. However, our negative findings suggest that marine mammals may not be a major source of infection for this species. Comparative investigations are needed in order to draw conclusions regarding the epizootiology of s-<em>Brucella</em>&nbsp;in Arctic foxes in Svalbard and Iceland.</p> Ingebjørg H. Nymo, Eva Fuglei, Torill Mørk, Eva M. Breines, Karin Holmgren, Rebecca Davidson, Morten Tryland Copyright (c) 2022 Ingebjørg H. Nymo, Eva Fuglei, Torill Mørk, Eva M. Breines, Karin Holmgren, Rebecca Davidson, Morten Tryland https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/4.0 https://polarresearch.net/index.php/polar/article/view/7867 Wed, 06 Jul 2022 07:34:12 -0700 Applying landscape fragmentation analysis to icescape environments: potential impacts for the Pacific walrus (<em>Odobenus rosmarus divergens</em>) https://polarresearch.net/index.php/polar/article/view/5169 <p>Sea-ice cover across the Arctic has declined rapidly over the past several decades owing to amplified climate warming. The Pacific walrus (<em>Odobenus rosmarus divergens</em>) relies on sea-ice floes in the St. Lawrence Island (SLI) and Wainwright regions of the Bering and Chukchi seas surrounding Alaska as a platform for rest, feeding and reproduction. Lower concentrations of thick ice floes are generally associated with earlier seasonal fragmentation and shorter annual persistence of sea-ice cover, potentially affecting the life history of the Pacific walrus. In this study, 24 Landsat satellite images were classified into thick ice, thin ice or open water to assess sea-ice fragmentation over the spring-summer breakup period. Geospatial fragmentation analyses traditionally used in terrestrial landscapes were newly implemented in this study to characterize the icescape environment. Fragmentation of sea ice was assessed based on the Percent of Landscape, Number of Patches, Mean Area, Shape Index, Euclidean Nearest Neighbor and Edge Density. Results show that lower sea-ice concentrations in both the SLI and Wainwright regions were associated with smaller sea-ice floes. In the Bering Sea, lower sea-ice concentrations were also associated with increases in the number of ice floes, floe isolation and edge density. By contrast, lower sea-ice concentrations in the Chukchi Sea were associated with ice floes that were more circular in shape. The continuation of sea-ice decline with shifting icescape characteristics may result in walruses having to swim longer distances in the northern Bering Sea and adapt to use less-preferred, rounder ice floes in the Chukchi Sea.</p> Anthony Himmelberger, Karen E. Frey, Florencia Sangermano Copyright (c) 2022 Anthony Himmelberger, Karen E. Frey, Florencia Sangermano https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/4.0 https://polarresearch.net/index.php/polar/article/view/5169 Tue, 05 Jul 2022 00:00:00 -0700 Hormone profiles from Cook Inlet, Bristol Bay and aquarium beluga whales https://polarresearch.net/index.php/polar/article/view/5525 <p>Beluga whales (<em>Delphinapterus leucas</em>) from Cook Inlet (CI), Alaska, are listed as “endangered” because of dramatic declines in abundance, with no indications of population recovery. Serum samples from this population are exceedingly rare. Longitudinal samples from aquarium (AQ) belugas can potentially provide health assessment reference ranges for free-ranging beluga, including reproductive and metabolic hormones. We analysed serum hormone concentrations from CI (<em>n</em>&nbsp;= 6, three females and three males) and Bristol Bay (Alaska; BB;&nbsp;<em>n</em>&nbsp;= 5, four males and one female), alongside AQ (<em>n</em>&nbsp;= 3, two females and one male) belugas, to conduct physiological comparisons of reproductive hormones (progesterone, testosterone and total oestrogens) and metabolic hormones (total thyroxine, triiodothyronine and cortisol) in beluga serum. Oestrogen and progesterone profiles from January through May from two AQ female beluga were typical of non-pregnant, cycling females. CI and BB sex steroid concentrations were within AQ hormone ranges, with the exception of elevated progesterone concentrations in four potentially pregnant females. Both CI and BB belugas had elevated metabolic hormones, which may indicate greater metabolic effort required in the wild environment or capture response. Because sample collection from CI belugas is rare, analysis of even the few samples that we analysed may contribute to the conservation of the small and declining population of genetically distinct CI beluga whales. It is important that each sample collected from free-range CI belugas provides the maximum biological information possible. Continued comparison of hormones in AQ and free-ranging beluga will enhance the interpretation of health data in both groups.</p> Shannon Atkinson, Kendall L. Mashburn, Daniel Vos, Tracy A. Romano, Barbara Mahoney Copyright (c) 2022 Shannon Atkinson, Kendall L. Mashburn, Daniel Vos, Tracy A. Romano, Barbara Mahoney https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/4.0 https://polarresearch.net/index.php/polar/article/view/5525 Thu, 23 Jun 2022 14:35:09 -0700 Extremely high abundances of Prasiola crispa-associated micrometazoans in East Antarctica https://polarresearch.net/index.php/polar/article/view/7781 <p>To elucidate poorly known aspects of the microscopic metazoan distribution in ice-free parts of the Antarctic, we examined samples of the multicellular terrestrial alga&nbsp;<em>Prasiola crispa</em>, collected over the last decade in different parts of continental East Antarctica and Haswell Island. We found that the micrometazoans inhabiting the algae consist of remarkably abundant bdelloid rotifers (subclass Bdelloidea), followed by tardigrades. We did not find nematodes. The rotifer assemblages were characterized by low diversity (only six species). Nevertheless, rotifer densities were extremely high: mean densities ranged from 75 to 3030 individuals per 100 mg of the dry sample weight and the maximum value numbered in excess of 8000 per 100 mg of the dry sample weight. These data show that terrestrial algae, along with mosses, are a very attractive habitat for rotifers and tardigrades in the Antarctic. The statistical analysis showed a lack of correlations between rotifer and tardigrade densities and nutrients (N, C, P, K and Na). Our findings are consistent with the patchy distribution of terrestrial micrometazoans in the Antarctic that has previously been found.</p> Dzmitry A. Lukashanets, Yury H. Hihiniak, Vladislav Y. Miamin Copyright (c) 2022 Dzmitry A. Lukashanets, Yury H. Hihiniak, Vladislav Y. Miamin https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/4.0 https://polarresearch.net/index.php/polar/article/view/7781 Mon, 20 Jun 2022 06:08:52 -0700 Tusk anomalies in narwhals (<em>Monodon monoceros</em>) from Greenland https://polarresearch.net/index.php/polar/article/view/8343 <p>The elongated, spiraled tusk of male narwhals (<em>Monodon monoceros</em>) grows continuously throughout the life of the whale and is most likely a secondary sexual trait used in male–male hierarchical competition and possibly in female mate choice. Sex determination in narwhals is typically based on the presence (male) or absence (female) of an erupted tusk, but anomalies such as females with tusks, tuskless males or double-tusked whales occur, although infrequently. In this study, we collected reproductive data and recorded the presence or absence of a tusk in narwhals from the Inuit hunt in Greenland (1993 and 2010–19) with the purpose of estimating the frequency of tusk anomalies. We found that of the 173 whales, 2.9% displayed tusk anomalies. Tusked females constituted 1.5% of sampled females, tuskless males 2.8% of sampled males and double-tusked males 0.9% of sampled males. Biological information on a tusked female, a tuskless male and a double-tusked male was collected and is presented here. The tusked female was sexually mature, and 18 ovarian scars (indicating pregnancies) documented a long reproductive lifespan. The complete female tusk was estimated to be between 146 and 151 cm in length. The tuskless male was sexually maturing, as indicated by body dimensions, and the double-tusked male was sexually immature, with the two tusks measuring &lt;90 cm in length. Although narwhals exhibit extremely low levels of genetic diversity, tusk anomalies persist in the populations, perhaps facilitated by the reproductive ability of whales with tusk anomalies.</p> Eva Garde, Mads Peter Heide-Jørgensen Copyright (c) 2022 Eva Garde, Mads Peter Heide-Jørgensen https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/4.0 https://polarresearch.net/index.php/polar/article/view/8343 Fri, 03 Jun 2022 08:15:36 -0700 Tintinnid ciliates (marine microzooplankton) of the Ross Sea https://polarresearch.net/index.php/polar/article/view/8382 <p>For the Ross Sea, the only Marine Protected Area in Antarctica, available data on the tintinnid ciliates of the marine microzooplankton are mostly limited to nearshore waters near Terra Nova Bay or the vicinity of the McMurdo Sound. Here, we report results from a geographically extensive sampling across the Ross Sea conducted in December 2020. Material from plankton net tows (20 µm mesh), made at 38 stations spanning over 30° of latitude, was examined. We found 11 tintinnid species of varying commonality or rarity, many showing considerable morphological variability that is here documented. We found four forms that had not been previously reported from the Ross Sea. Based on our findings and previous reports, we assembled a species accumulation curve showing the growth in the inventory of tintinnid species recorded from the Ross Sea as a function of sampling effort and time since 1983. Extrapolation of the species accumulation curve, derived from sampling over the last 37 years, indicates that continued sampling will likely provide new species records, suggesting that the Ross Sea is under-sampled at present. This complicates efforts to detect temporal changes in species compositions, at least with regard to tintinnid ciliates. Comparing species accumulation curves for the Ross Sea and the relatively well-studied Weddell Sea, it appears that the Ross Sea may be more species-rich.</p> John R. Dolan, Wuju Son, Hyoung Sul La , Jisoo Park, Eun Jin Yang Copyright (c) 2022 John R. Dolan, Wuju Son, Hyoung Sul La , Jisoo Park, Eun Jin Yang https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/4.0 https://polarresearch.net/index.php/polar/article/view/8382 Fri, 20 May 2022 00:00:00 -0700 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 https://polarresearch.net/index.php/polar/article/view/8083 Fri, 29 Apr 2022 09:16:00 -0700 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 https://polarresearch.net/index.php/polar/article/view/8037 Wed, 06 Apr 2022 06:03:36 -0700 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 https://polarresearch.net/index.php/polar/article/view/8002 Thu, 31 Mar 2022 00:00:00 -0700 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 https://polarresearch.net/index.php/polar/article/view/6351 Fri, 11 Mar 2022 05:45:38 -0800 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 https://polarresearch.net/index.php/polar/article/view/7773 Tue, 25 Jan 2022 00:00:00 -0800 Hair mineral levels as indicator of wildlife demographics?—a pilot study of muskoxen https://polarresearch.net/index.php/polar/article/view/8543 <p>The tight linkage between mineral status and health and demographics in animals is well documented. Mineral deficiencies have been coupled to population declines in wildlife. Current practices typically rely on liver, kidney and/or serum samples to assess mineral levels. Such destructive sampling strategies are, however, not feasible for remote or endangered populations. Hair may constitute an alternative tissue, sampled through non-invasive means, to investigate mineral levels in wildlife. In the pilot study presented here, we examine whether mineral levels in hair samples from a well-studied muskox (<em>Ovibos moschatus</em>) population in High-Arctic Greenland are associated with a vital rate and may, therefore, serve as indicators of wildlife population demographics. We show that inter-annual variations in levels of three minerals—copper, selenium and molybdenum—are associated with fluctuations in annual calf recruitment, with poor recruitment in years of low mineral levels in hair. Local environmental conditions also varied with calf recruitment but appeared to be less robust predictors of calf recruitment than hair mineral levels. Our results suggest that hair mineral levels may serve as an indicator of vital demographic rates and, ultimately, of wildlife population trends.</p> Jesper Bruun Mosbacher, Jean-Pierre Desforges, Anders Michelsen, Sophia V. Hansson, Mikkel Stelvig, Igor Eulaers, Christian Sonne, Rune Dietz, Bjørn Munro Jenssen, Tomasz Maciej Ciesielski, Syverin Lierhagen, Trond Peder Flaten, Gaël Le Roux, Marie R. Aggerbeck, Niels Martin Schmidt Copyright (c) 2022 Jesper Bruun Mosbacher, Jean-Pierre Desforges, Anders Michelsen, Mikkel Stelvig, Igor Eulaers, Christian Sonne, Rune Dietz, Bjørn Munro Jenssen, Tomasz Maciej Ciesielski, Syverin Lierhagen, Trond Peder Flaten, Marie R. Aggerbeck, Niels Martin Schmidt https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/4.0 https://polarresearch.net/index.php/polar/article/view/8543 Wed, 09 Nov 2022 08:26:16 -0800 Aggregations of foraging black guillemots (<em>Cepphus grylle</em>) at a sea-ice edge in front of a tidewater glacier https://polarresearch.net/index.php/polar/article/view/7141 <p>Seabirds in cold biomes sometimes aggregate near glacier fronts and at sea-ice edges to forage. In this note, we report on large aggregations of black guillemots (<em>Cepphus grylle</em>) at the edge of sea ice in front of the tidewater glacier Kongsbreen (Kongsfjorden, Svalbard). During several days in the second half of June 2011, we observed 49–155 individuals of black guillemots at this ice edge. They foraged actively, and many of the dives were directed underneath the sea ice. The outflow of glacial meltwater and resulting upwelling generated opportunities for the black guillemots to feed, likely on zooplankton or fish. The black guillemots used the sea ice as a resting platform between dives or diving sessions, and whilst on the ice, they interacted socially. On our last visit, the sea ice was gone, and the black guillemots had left the bay. At the neighbouring tidewater glacier Kronebreen, there was no sea ice connected to the glacier. Surface-feeding seabirds, particularly black-legged kittiwakes (<em>Rissa tridactyla</em>), were numerous at the plumes generated by meltwater from Kronebreen. Black guillemots were not seen at these plumes, but some individuals were seen scattered in the fjord system. Our observations add to the natural history of black guillemots and enhance our knowledge of ecological interactions and seabird habitat use shaped by tidewater glaciers.</p> Øystein Varpe, Geir W. Gabrielsen Copyright (c) 2022 Øystein Varpe, Geir W Gabrielsen https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/4.0 https://polarresearch.net/index.php/polar/article/view/7141 Wed, 09 Nov 2022 03:53:07 -0800 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 https://polarresearch.net/index.php/polar/article/view/8176 Tue, 12 Apr 2022 06:00:03 -0700 The polar sciences journal: the past and future of a crucial research instrument https://polarresearch.net/index.php/polar/article/view/8883 <p>Journals dedicated to the polar sciences have been outliers. Within both the history of science and the history of media, they stand out in several ways, including their comparatively late establishment of peer-review. It was not until the second half of the 20th century, that polar sciences journals began to carry predominantly peer-reviewed original research rather than synopses of research published elsewhere. This Perspective piece uses the 40th anniversary of&nbsp;<em>Polar Research</em>&nbsp;as an opportunity to look at the past of polar sciences periodicals—and invites reflection on their future.</p> Anna M. Gielas Copyright (c) 2022 Anna M. Gielas https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/4.0 https://polarresearch.net/index.php/polar/article/view/8883 Mon, 12 Sep 2022 03:44:10 -0700 <em>Polar Research</em> turns 40 https://polarresearch.net/index.php/polar/article/view/8903 Helle V. Goldman Copyright (c) 2022 Helle V. Goldman https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/4.0 https://polarresearch.net/index.php/polar/article/view/8903 Wed, 10 Aug 2022 06:53:07 -0700 Managing cumulative impacts and protected areas in Antarctica: what can we learn from the rest of the world? https://polarresearch.net/index.php/polar/article/view/8432 <p>For more than 20 years Antarctic Treaty Parties have been discussing how to appropriately manage cumulative impacts in the continent. Preventing cumulative impacts requires the fluent exchange of information to enable proper and timely assessment of, and response to, the impacts that result from multiple activities, undertaken by multiple stakeholders and supervised by different Parties. This is a particular challenge for the effective management of Antarctic Specially Protected Areas (ASPAs), as a lack of coordination may potentially put at risk the fulfillment of their conservation objectives. Here we suggest that incorporating lessons learnt from protected areas management elsewhere might improve the effectiveness of ASPAs and provide valuable experiences and insights on how to better manage cumulative impacts in the rest of the continent. Key concepts to incorporate in Antarctica’s environmental management toolbox include (1) the notion of adaptive management, which is a cornerstone of protected areas management effectiveness elsewhere, and (2) the need of empowering protected area managers, which are a key (but often missing) element to ensure local compliance with management plans, co-ordinate on site activities, facilitate exchange of information, promote cooperation and manage conflicts.</p> Alvaro Soutullo, Ana Laura Machado-Gaye, Eduardo Juri Copyright (c) 2022 Alvaro Soutullo, Ana Laura Machado-Gaye, Eduardo Juri https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/4.0 https://polarresearch.net/index.php/polar/article/view/8432 Mon, 20 Jun 2022 05:37:53 -0700 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 https://polarresearch.net/index.php/polar/article/view/7706 Thu, 17 Mar 2022 03:30:57 -0700 Review of <em>John Møller: Mirrored, portraits of Good Hope</em>, by Inuuteq Storch (2021). Copenhagen: Rousse Roulette. 312 pp. ISBN 978-87-97324-20-2. https://polarresearch.net/index.php/polar/article/view/8845 Anna M. Gielas Copyright (c) 2022 Anna M. Gielas https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/4.0 https://polarresearch.net/index.php/polar/article/view/8845 Fri, 12 Aug 2022 04:06:40 -0700 Book review of <em>The return of the South Pole sled dogs: with Amundsen’s and Mawson’s Antarctic expeditions</em>, 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 https://polarresearch.net/index.php/polar/article/view/8487 Mon, 18 Apr 2022 00:00:00 -0700