Past Project: Changing Arctic Transpolar Systems

With the joint Russian-German research project „CATS – The Changing Arctic Transpolar System“ (March 1, 2017 – February 29, 2020), a consortium of 10 research institutions and universities in Russia and Germany investigated how climate change will affect the highly sensitive Arctic environment and to what extent these changes may impact the climate in Europe. The main research regions are the western Laptev Sea shelf and continental slope, Vilkitsky Strait, and Cape Baranov (Severnaya Zemlya), located in the Russian EEZ. This topographically complex region features strong polynyas, sea-ice formation, and a variety of shelf processes that impact the circulation and water masses of the Arctic Boundary Current near the region of origin of the Transpolar Drift Stream. The Arctic Boundary Current transports a large amount of heat along the continental slope, which could potentially melt the entire Arctic sea-ice cover if released to the surface.

CATS synthesis – Changing Arctic Transpolar Systems

Further investigations have become necessary as, unexpectedly, additional data sets could be obtained during two expeditions in 2018 and 2019 and as a result of prolonged measurements at Cape Baranov. Furthermore, seven ocean observatories were recovered in 2018 after having been deployed for three years, providing even more unique data. These data sets will be analyzed and the results will be combined with the results of the CATS project, using, among other techniques, new approaches in modeling and simulation.

Funding bodies:
Federal Ministry of Education and Research of the Federal Republic of Germany (BMBF)
Ministry of Science and Higher Education of the Russian Federation

German project leader: Dr. Heidemarie Kassens (GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research)
Russian project leader: Prof. Dr. Vladimir Ivanov (FSBI Arctic and Antarctic Research Institute

Project duration: 1 March 2020 – 31 December 2021


My Project Involvement

  • Measurements of isotope compositions and dissolved silicic acid (DSi) concentrations of seawater
  • Evaluation of nutrient utilisation based on silicon isotope compositions of diatoms retrieved from surface sediments of the area
  • Assessment of regional application of silicon isotope compositions of sponge spicules to track DSi concentrations of bottom waters

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