COLLABORATIVE RESEARCH: INVESTIGATING THE ROLE OF MESOSCALE PROCESSES AND ICE DYNAMICS IN CARBON AND IRON FLUXES IN A CHANGING AMUNDSEN SEA (INSPIRE)

Project Details

Description

The Amundsen Sea, in the remote Pacific sector of the Southern Ocean, is one of the least well studied Antarctic continental shelf regions. It shares characteristics in common with other Antarctic ice shelf regions, but exhibits unique aspects also. The Amundsen Sea Polynya (ASP), an open region at the base of several of the terminal glaciers draining the West Antarctic Ice sheet exhibits: 1) large intrusions of heat delivered from the warming modified circumpolar deep water (mCDW) rising up onto the continental shelf, 2) the fastest melting ice sheets in Antarctica, 3) the most productive coastal polynya (161 g C m-2) together with a significant atmospheric CO2 sink, and 4) some of the most rapidly declining regions of seasonal off-shore sea ice on Earth. Following on from an earlier oceanographic field program, the Amundsen Sea Polynya International Research Expedition (ASPIRE; 2011), this study seeks to better synthesize and model the relative contributions of both physical ocean-ice linkages and biological production and carbon export terms and to compare these with other circumpolar Antarctic regions. A central feature will be the use of a regionally coupled physical-biogeochemical model to follow the dynamics of the large phytoplankton blooms that occur annually in the Amundsen Sea Polyna. This study will provides a means to locate the Amundsen Sea properties along the continuum of Antarctic ice shelf systems, and to understand how these system might change in response to climate change. Pedagogical techniques will be used to provide educational outreach for three distinct target populations: secondary students, pre-service science teachers, and in-service science teachers. Partnerships will be developed with science teacher educators to implement the STEM career-development lessons in undergraduate and graduate level science teacher education courses.
StatusFinished
Effective start/end date7/15/156/30/17

Funding

  • National Science Foundation (National Science Foundation (NSF))

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