ArcticNet - ArcticNet Research

Phase 4 (2015-2018)

Arctic Geomicrobiology and Climate Change

Project Leader(s)

Rysgaard, Soren

This project is motivated by the need to measure and understand the effects of sea ice and its snow cover on vertical transport between the Arctic Ocean and atmosphere. Salty liquid brine, a basic constituent of all sea ice whose chemical and physical properties vary greatly in time and space is now thought to drive processes controlling chemical contaminant pathways and greenhouse gas exchange in polar seas. For example, during winter sea ice growth, calcium carbonate may form in sea ice, releasing carbon dioxide (CO2) that dissolves in liquid brine. Brine and its dissolved CO2 are variably rejected from growing sea ice, potentially descending into the deep ocean sequestering CO2 from the atmosphere. Novel results will be realized through small-scale cold lab experiments, ice tank experiments at the Sea ice Experimental Research Facility (SERF) at the University of Manitoba, and in situ field studies. Determination of the amount, timing and fate of brine rejected from sea ice at its lower and upper surfaces is paramount to making sure these globally important processes occurring at very small scales are properly accounted for in climate models used to advise the formation or change of policies. Contributes to IRIS: 1, 2, 3