World-wide an increasing number of research projects focus on the challenges associated with changes in the Arctic regions. Whereas these often have a natural and physical science focus, this session focuses on trans-disciplinary approaches to study the multiple phenomena associated with global warming, especially but not exclusively in Arctic regions. Another focus is to understand better how to tackle these in large, trans-disciplinary research projects, initiatives and programs (e.g. HORIZON2020 Nunataryuk, INTAROS and the T-MOSAIC program of the International Arctic Research Council, NSF Navigating the New Arctic), as well as communicating results effectively to the public in terms of outreach and education. Contributions are invited, but are not limited, to the following themes:
• science communication, education and outreach tools, and co-production of knowledge
• integration of social and natural science approaches
• indigenous and collaborative approaches to adaptation and mitigation, equitable mitigation, and risk perception
• socio-economic modelling in relation to Arctic environmental change,
• examining the impacts of permafrost thaw and other phenomena on health and pollution as well as infrastructure (and consequences of the built environment).

One of the aims of this session is to bring together researchers from both social and natural sciences who are involved or interested in reaching out to stakeholders and the general public, and share successful experiences. Examples from past, ongoing and future initiatives that include traditional indigenous knowledge and scientific tools and techniques are welcome.

This session merged from

Trans-disciplinary aspects of researching permafrost thaw: science communication, integration, monitoring, modelling and risk perception
Co-organized by CL4/CR4/GM7/HS12/NH9
Convener: Peter Schweitzer | Co-conveners: Annett Bartsch, Susanna Gartler

Where human and natural systems meet: promoting innovative tools for Arctic outreach and education
Convener: Terenzio zenone | Co-conveners: Frederic Bouchard, Stein Sandven, Ylva Sjöberg, Donatella zona

Towards collaborative frameworks for permafrost research that incorporate northern principles: challenges and opportunities
Convener: Peter Morse | Co-conveners: Ryley Beddoe, Hugh O'Neill, Ashley Rudy, Greg Sieme

Co-organized by CL4/CR4/GM7/HS12/NH9
Convener: Peter Schweitzer | Co-conveners: Susanna GartlerECSECS, Annett Bartsch, Terenzio zenone, Frederic Bouchard, Stein Sandven, Donatella Zona, Ylva Sjöberg
| Fri, 08 May, 08:30–10:15 (CEST)

Files for download

Session summary Download all presentations (164MB)

Chat time: Friday, 8 May 2020, 08:30–10:15

Chairperson: Peter Schweitzer, Ylva Sjöberg, Susanna Gartler, Annett Bartsch
D2196 |
Ashley Rudy, Steve Kokelj, Alice Wilson, Tim Ensom, Peter Morse, and Charles Klengenberg

The Beaufort Delta region in Northwest Territories, Canada is one of the most rapidly warming areas on Earth. Permafrost thaw and climate change are major stressors on northern infrastructure, particularly in this region which hosts the highest density of Arctic communities and the longest road network constructed on ice-rich permafrost in Canada. The Dempster and Inuvik to Tuktoyaktuk Highways (ITH) comprise a 400-km corridor connecting the region with southern Canada. The corridor delivers a unique opportunity to develop a societally-relevant, northern-driven permafrost research network to encourage collaboration, and support pure and applied studies that engage stakeholders, encourage community participation, and acknowledge northern interests. Successful implementation requires leadership and institutional support from the Government of the Northwest Territories (GNWT) and Inuvialuit and Gwich’in Boards and landowners, and coordination between research organizations including NWT Geological Survey, Aurora Research Institute, Geological Survey of Canada, and universities to define key research priorities, human and financial resources to undertake studies, and protocols to manage data collection and reporting.

In 2017, a state of the art ground temperature monitoring network was established along the Dempster-ITH corridor by the GNWT in collaboration with Federal and Academic partners. This network in combination with the maintenance of the Dempster Highway and recent design and construction of the ITH, has created a national legacy of permafrost geotechnical, terrain and geohazard information in this region. The objectives of this program are to integrate old and new data to synthesize physiographic, hydrological, thermal, and geotechnical conditions along the corridor, and to develop applied permafrost research projects that support planning and maintenance of this critical northern infrastructure. In this presentation, we highlight: 1) a collaborative research framework that builds northern capacity and involves northerners in the generation of knowledge and its application to increase community based permafrost monitoring; 2) summaries of existing infrastructure datasets and their foundation for research; and 3) new projects that address emerging climate-driven infrastructure stressors. As the effects of climate change on permafrost environments, infrastructure and communities continue to increase, the need for northern scientific capacity and applied research to support informed decision-making, climate change adaptation and risk management will become increasingly critical. The development of resilient researcher-stakeholder-community relationships is also necessary for the scientific and research initiatives to reach their potential.


How to cite: Rudy, A., Kokelj, S., Wilson, A., Ensom, T., Morse, P., and Klengenberg, C.: Developing a collaborative permafrost research program: The Dempster - Inuvik to Tuktoyaktuk highway research corridor, Northwest Territories, Canada, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-12610, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-12610, 2020

D2197 |
| Highlight
Mathias Ulrich and J. Otto Habeck

Arctic and Subarctic regions are currently experiencing a more rapid warming than other parts of the Earth. This trend is of particular salience for the Republic of Sakha/Yakutia (East Siberia, Russia) – a vast region where both permafrost research and social science research on animal husbandry have been conducted intensively but thus far separately. Here we are presenting a new project that will combine these disconnected strands and utilize an interdisciplinary approach for examining landscape and land use development under climatic change. Such an approach is topical because effects of past and imminent permafrost degradation on indigenous livelihoods have hitherto been described in rather simplistic terms. The project is designed as a comparative study of two regions in Central and Northeast Sakha/Yakutia. Both areas are susceptible to permafrost degradation, but under divergent zonal and socio-economic conditions (taiga vs. tundra; cattle and horse vs. reindeer husbandry).

A key element of landscape dynamics in both regions is thermokarst, i.e. the thawing of ice-rich deposits leading to soil subsidence and lake formation. Thaw lakes mark an early phase of thermokarst formation; they can serve as indicators for changes in climate, permafrost and vegetation. On the one hand, thermokarst processes have taken place in earlier millennia, notably in the Pleistocene/Holocene transition and during the mid-Holocene climate optimum; in the long run, this has led to the formation of grass-rich depressions (known as alas), creating the preconditions for cattle farming in Central Sakha/Yakutia which emerged at least 500 years ago. On the other hand, thermokarst processes occur at present in connection with global warming; the effects of the latter are likely to produce unprecedented rapid change, with very grave consequences for local land users.

In the analysis of landscape development and land use, we distinguish between two periods: before and after the start of pastoralism and farming. We test the hypothesis that landscape and land-use changes occurred at different scales and speeds in the two zonal settings (Central vs Northeastern Sakha/Yakutia). Furthermore, we postulate that existing forms of land use are going to influence landscape development in different ways: They (i) correlate with, (ii) exacerbate or (iii) neutralize the effects of climate change (owing to different feedback mechanisms). Finally, taking into account the most important demographic, economic and socio-cultural influences, the project will contribute to formulating parameters for modelling the future risks that permafrost degradation exerts on rural communities.

How to cite: Ulrich, M. and Habeck, J. O.: Permafrost Dynamics and Indigenous Land Use: Tracing Past and Current Landscape Conditions and Effects of Environmental Change in Sakha/Yakutia, Russia, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-1840, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-1840, 2019

D2198 |
| Highlight
Elisa Stella, Lorenzo Mari, Carlo Barbante, Jacopo Gabrieli, and Enrico Bertuzzo

The recent 2016 outbreak of anthrax disease affecting reindeer herds in Siberia has been associated to the presence of old infected carcasses released from thawing permafrost, underlying the emerging character of such disease in the Arctic region due to climate change. Anthrax occurs in nature as a global zoonotic and epizootic disease caused by the spore-forming bacterium Bacillus anthracis. It principally affects herbivores and causes high animal mortality. Transmission occurs mainly via environmental contamination through spores which can remain viable in permafrost for many decades.

We propose and analyze a novel epidemiological model for anthrax transmission specifically tailored for the Arctic region. It conceptualizes the transmission of disease between susceptible and infected animals in the presence of environmental contamination, considering also herding practices (e.g. seasonal grazing) and the seasonal environmental forcing caused by thawing permafrost. We performed stability analyses and implemented Floquet theory for periodically forced systems, and therefore applied our model to the 17-year-long records of permafrost thawing depth available at the Lena River Delta (northern Siberia). Accordingly, in order to spatialize potential anthrax incidence and consequently the possible hazardous areas in the Arctic, we used the Maximum Entropy (Maxent) approach considering environmental variables and, in particular, accounting for current and expected permafrost thawing rates.

Results show how temporal variability of grazing and thawing may influence and favor sustained anthrax transmission.  Also, particularly warm years are associated to increased risk of anthrax incidence. Accordingly, we show that such risk could be mitigated with specific precautions involving herding practices, for example by anticipating or postponing seasonal grazing. Finally, a spatial map of the potential Arctic areas at risk is presented, providing a tool for local authorities in view of eventual targeted prevention measures.

How to cite: Stella, E., Mari, L., Barbante, C., Gabrieli, J., and Bertuzzo, E.: Spatiotemporal influence of permafrost thaw on anthrax diffusion, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-1184, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-1184, 2019

D2199 |
Anastasiia Tarasenko, Alexandra Mushta, Arina Kosareva, Veleta Yarygina, and Daria Frolova

In this talk, we present several examples of existing interactions between scientific community and large public, mainly in educational form. The talk is divided into 2 parts: the first is an experience from Arctic and Antarctic Research institute (AARI), and the second, from Saint-Petersburg State University (SPbSU).

From 2018, the AARI started to work with public, when several social networks were reached: Instagram, Facebook and Vkontakte, with an audience of more than 10 000 accounts. Daily posts with a constant feedback are written together with polar scientists: we widely use the photographs and videos from the expeditions to show in livethe current state of the Arctic and its changing, the work and the instruments of polar scientists, and the basic knowledge about it. We regularly publish the interviews with the scientists and have a special hashtag #childrenofpolarscientists. During these 2 years, we created a special concours for the undergraduates and secondary school: “66° 63”, where several winners can visit the Svalbard archipelago and realize their scientific or artistic projects. These projects are officially supported by a special Media department of the AARI.

The scientists continue promoting their activity at their level: giving the lectures, participating in the “Scientific Slams”, writing the blogs during the expedition. Publishing classical albums and books after the expedition, such as recent Transarktika-2019, stay important as a result of scientific journalism.

To illustrate the effect of local educational programs, we present the efforts of an ecological team from Saint-Petersburg State University working at Ust’-Yany village in the Arkhangesk region. The program lasted from 2013 to 2016 with a main purpose of letting know the local children what happen to their region and describe them the possibilities to work in a new environment, to develop their forests, create new jobs. The main audience was the secondary school children. A large support of local administration was obtained and helped to realize multiple short-term visits, 2 conferences, scholar projects. A very good feedback from children and administration was received for this personal initiative organized by students and professors of SPbSU.

How to cite: Tarasenko, A., Mushta, A., Kosareva, A., Yarygina, V., and Frolova, D.: Some recent efforts for the education in the Russian Arctic: the examples from institutes to individuals, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-21723, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-21723, 2020

D2200 |
Bruno Tremblay, Stephanie Pfirman, Garrett Campbell, Robert Newton, and Walt Meier

The Sea Ice Tracking System (SITU), formerly known as the IceTracker or Lagrangian Ice Tracking System, has been expanded to include new functions facilitating a wide range of new applications (http://icemotion.labs.nsidc.org/SITU/). Ice motion vectors are calculated from an optimal interpolation of satellite-derived, free-drift and buoy drift estimates (Polar Pathfinder dataset, version 4, https://nsidc.org/data/nsidc-0116; International Arctic Buoy Program, http://iabp.apl.washington.edu/; NCEP/NCAR reanalysis, https://www.esrl.noaa.gov/). SITU now calculates forward and backward trajectories of Antarctic as well as Arctic sea ice from 1979 to 2018 and incorporates basin-wide contextual information including timeseries of bathymetry, ice concentration, ice age, ice motion, air temperature, pressure, and wind speed, along the tracks. A new animated background option allows users to visualize these basin-wide changing environmental conditions as the tracking progresses. SITU can be used by researchers, educators, local and indigenous communities, policy and planning professionals, and industries.  For instance, geologists can use SITU to determine the provenance of sediment transported by sea-ice and deposited at an ocean core site; biologists can identify source region of biomass transported by sea-ice and seeding algal bloom in a given sea, or overlay bear and birds tracks over ice conditions or ice types animated in the background; coastal communities can backtrack ice to reveal age, origin and other factors that influence habitats of ice-associated species; people planning future expeditions can review recent ice conditions along potential cruise tracks, historians can compare current air temperatures, wind conditions, and ice concentration with past expeditions; students can learn about sea ice motion in the Arctic or compare recent ice drift (Tara or MOSAIC) with that of the epic expedition of Nansen. A new Eulerian option allows users to see changing conditions at one point over the full satellite record (1978 to present). This Eulerian depiction reveals variability as well as trends, and can provide context for data retrieved from a mooring, sediment trap, or sediment core. Publically hosted on the NSIDC Labs webpage, data can be downloaded graphically or in spreadsheet format for deeper analysis.

How to cite: Tremblay, B., Pfirman, S., Campbell, G., Newton, R., and Meier, W.: The Sea Ice Tracking System (SITU): A Community Tool for the Arctic and Antarctic, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-7154, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-7154, 2020

D2201 |
| Highlight
David Lipson, Kim Reasor, and Kååre Sikuaq Erickson

The predominantly Inupiat people of Utqiaġvik, Alaska are among those who will be most impacted by
climate change and the loss of Arctic sea ice in the near future. Subsistence hunting of marine mammals
associated with sea ice is central to the Inupiat way of life. Furthermore, their coastal homes and
infrastructure are increasingly subject to damage from increased wave action on ice-free Beaufort and
Chukchi Seas. While the people of this region are among the most directly vulnerable to climate change,
the subject is not often discussed in the elementary school curriculum. Meanwhile, in many other parts
of the world, the impacts of climate change are viewed as abstract and remote. We worked with fifth
grade children in Utqiaġvik both to educate them, but also to engage them in helping us communicate
to rest of the world, in an emotionally resonant way, the direct impacts of climate change on families in
this Arctic region.
The team consisted of a scientist (Lipson), an artist (Reasor) and an outreach specialist (Erickson) of
Inupiat heritage from a village in Alaska. We worked with four 5th grade classes of about 25 students
each at Fred Ipalook Elementary in Utqiaġvik, AK. The scientist gave a short lecture about sea ice and
climate change in the Arctic, with emphasis on local impacts to hunting and infrastructure (with
interjections from the local outreach specialist). We then showed the students a large poster of
historical and projected sea ice decline, and asked the students to help us fill in the white space beneath
the lines. The artist led the children in making small art pieces that represent things that are important
to their lives in Utqiaġvik (they were encouraged to paint animals, but they were free to do whatever
they wanted). We returned to the class later that week and had each student briefly introduce
themselves and their painting, and place it to the large graph of sea ice decline, which included the dire
predictions of the RCP8.5 scenario. At the end we added the more hopeful RCP2.6 scenario to end on a
positive note. The artist then painted in the more hopeful green line by hand.
The result was a poster showing historical and projected Arctic sea ice cover, with 100 beautiful
paintings by children of things that are dear to them about their home being squeezed into a smaller
region as the sea ice cover diminishes. We scanned all the artwork to make a digital version of the
poster, and left the original with the school. These materials are being converted into an interactive
webpage where viewers can click on the individual painting for detail, and get selected recordings of the
children’s statements about their artwork. This project can serve as a nucleus for communicating to
other classes and adults about the real impacts of climate change in people’s lives.

How to cite: Lipson, D., Reasor, K., and Erickson, K. S.: Voices of the Sea Ice: engaging an Arctic community to communicate impacts of climate change, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-12661, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-12661, 2020

D2202 |
| Highlight
Hajo Eicken, Finn Danielsen, Matthew Druckenmiller, Maryann Fidel, Donna Hauser, Lisbeth Iversen, Noor Johnson, Joshua Jones, Mette Kaufman, Olivia Lee, Peter Pulsifer, and Josephine-Mary Sam

Arctic coastal sea-ice environments are undergoing some of the most rapid changes anywhere in the Arctic, with implications for coastal communities’ food security and infrastructure, marine ecosystems, and permafrost. We argue that responses to such rapid change are most effective when informed by Indigenous and local knowledge and local observations to provide understanding of relevant processes, their impacts, and potential adaptation options. Community-based observations in particular can help create an interface across which different forms of knowledge, scientific research, and formal and informal education can co-develop meaningful responses. Through a broader literature review and a series of workshops, we have identified principles that can aid in this process, which include matching observing program and community priorities, creating sufficient organizational support structures, and ensuring sustained community members’ commitment. Drawing on a set of interconnected examples from Arctic Alaska focused on changing sea-ice environments and their impacts on coastal communities, we illustrate how these approaches can be implemented to provide knowledge sharing resources and tools. Specifically, in the context of the Alaska Arctic Observatory and Knowledge Hub (A-OK), a group of Iñupiat ice and coastal marine ecosystem experts is working with sea-ice geophysicists, marine biologists, and others to track changes in coastal environments as well as the services that the ice cover provides to coastal communities. The co-development of an observing framework and a web-based searchable database of observations has provided an interface for exchange and an education resource. An annual survey of hunting trails across the shorefast ice cover in the community of Utqiaġvik serves to further illustrate how different, response-focused activities such as the tracking of ice hazards – increasingly a concern with loss of ice stability and shortening of the ice season – can be embedded within a community-based monitoring framework.

How to cite: Eicken, H., Danielsen, F., Druckenmiller, M., Fidel, M., Hauser, D., Iversen, L., Johnson, N., Jones, J., Kaufman, M., Lee, O., Pulsifer, P., and Sam, J.-M.: Community-based observations help interface Indigenous and local knowledge, scientific research, and education in response to rapid Arctic coastal change, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-12248, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-12248, 2020

D2203 |
Benjamin Jones and the Permafrost Coastal Systems Network (PerCS-Net)

Changes in the Arctic system have increased the vulnerability of permafrost coasts to erosion and altered coastal morphologies, ecosystems, biogeochemical cycling, infrastructure, cultural and heritage sites, community well-being, and human subsistence lifestyles. Better understanding the pace and nature of rapid changes occurring along permafrost coastlines is urgent, since a high proportion of Arctic residents live on or near coastlines, and many derive their livelihood from terrestrial and nearshore marine resources

The US National Science Foundation’s AccelNet and Arctic System Sciences Programs, recently awarded a collaborative grant funding the Permafrost Coastal Systems Network (PerCS-Net). PerCS-Net focuses on leveraging resources from existing national and international networks that have a common vision of better understanding permafrost coastal system dynamics and emerging transdisciplinary science, engineering, and societal issues in order to amplify the broader impacts by each individual network. PerCS-Net strengthens linkages between existing networks based in Germany, Russia, Norway, Denmark, Poland, and Canada with the activities of several active US NSF-funded networks as well as several local, state, and federally funded US-based networks.

PerCS-Net will benefit the US and international research communities by (1) developing internationally recognized protocols for quantifying the multitude of changes and impacts occurring in Arctic coastal permafrost systems, (2) sustaining long-term observations from representative coastal key sites, (3) unifying annual and decadal-scale observations of circum-arctic permafrost-influenced coasts, (4) refining a circum-arctic coastal mapping classification system and web-based delivery of geospatial information for management planning purposes and readily accessible information exchange for vulnerability assessments, (5) engaging local communities and observers to capture impacts on  subsistence and traditional livelihoods, and (6) promoting synergy across networks to foster the next generation of students, postdoctoral scholars, and early-career researchers faced with the known and unknown challenges of the future Arctic System.

Ultimately, PerCS-Net will develop a circumpolar alliance for Arctic coastal community information exchange between stake-, rights- and knowledge holders, scientists, and land managers. There is increasingly diverse interest in permafrost coastal system issues and currently no unified source of information on the past, present, and potential future state of permafrost coastal systems that provide the level of detail needed to make decisions at scales relevant for indigenous communities across the Arctic. Such new engagement will inform intergovernmental agencies and international research and outreach programs in making science-based decisions and policies to adapt to changing permafrost coastal system dynamics. PerCS-Net will build a network of networks to assess risks posed by permafrost coastal system changes to local and global economies and well-being and facilitate knowledge transfer that will lead to circum-arctic adaptation strategies.

How to cite: Jones, B. and the Permafrost Coastal Systems Network (PerCS-Net): Strengthening connections across disciplines and borders through an international permafrost coastal systems network (PerCS-Net), EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-11935, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-11935, 2020

D2204 |
Georg Pointner, Annett Bartsch, and Thomas Ingeman-Nielsen

The climate change induced increased warming of the Arctic is leading to an accelerated thawing of permafrost, which can cause ground subsidence. In consequence, buildings and other infrastructure of local settlements are endangered from destabilization and collapsing in many Arctic regions. The increase of the exploitation of Arctic natural resources has led to the establishment of large industrial infrastructures that are at risk likewise. Most of the human activity in the Arctic is located near permafrost coasts. The thawing of coastal permafrost additionally leads to coastal erosion, which makes Arctic coastal settlements even more vulnerable.

The European Union (EU) Horizon2020 project “Nunataryuk” aims to assess the impacts of thawing land, coast and subsea permafrost on the climate and on local communities in the Arctic. One task of the project is to determine the impacts of permafrost thaw on coastal Arctic infrastructures and to provide appropriate adaptation and mitigation strategies. For that purpose, a circumpolar account of infrastructure is needed.

During recent years, the two polar-orbiting Sentinel-2 satellites of the Copernicus program of the EU have been acquiring multi-spectral imagery at high spatial and temporal resolution. Sentinel-2 data is a common choice for land cover mapping. Most land cover products only include one class for built-up areas, however. The fusion of optical and Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) data for land cover mapping has gained more and more attention over the last years. By combining Sentinel-2 and Sentinel-1 SAR data, the classification of multiple types of infrastructure can be anticipated. Another emerging trend is the application machine learning and deep learning methods for land cover mapping.

We present an automated workflow for downloading, processing and classifying Sentinel-2 and Sentinel-1 data in order to map coastal infrastructure with circum-Arctic extent, developed on a highly performant virtual machine (VM) provided by the Copernicus Research and User Support (RUS). We further assess the first classification results mapped with two different methods, one being a pixel-based classification using a Gradient Boosting Machine and the other being a windowed semantic segmentation approach using the deep-learning framework keras.

How to cite: Pointner, G., Bartsch, A., and Ingeman-Nielsen, T.: Large-scale Mapping of Arctic Coastal Infrastructure using Copernicus Sentinel Data and Machine Learning and Deep Learning Methods, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-8978, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-8978, 2020

D2205 |
Helena Bergstedt, Benjamin Jones, Donald Walker, Louise Farquharson, Amy Breen, and Kenneth Hinkel

The North Slope of Alaska is a permafrost affected landscape dominated by lakes and drained lake basins of different sizes, depths and ages. Local communities across the North Slope region rely on lakes as a fresh water source and as locations for subsistence fishing, while industry relies on lakes as a source of water for winter transportation. Lake drainage events are often disruptive to both communities and industry that rely on being in close proximity to surface water sources in a region underlain by continuous permafrost. Drained lake basins of different ages can provide information on the past effects of climate change in the region. Studying past drainage events gives insight about the causes and mechanisms of these complex systems and benefits our understanding of lake evolution on the Arctic Coastal Plain in Alaska and the circumpolar Arctic as a whole.

Lakes and drained lake basins can be identified using high to medium resolution multispectral imagery from a range of satellite-based sensors. We explore the history of lake drainage in the region around Point Lay, a community located on the northern Chukchi Coast of Alaska, using a multi-source remote sensing approach. We study the evolution of lake basins before and after drainage events, their transformation from fishing grounds and water sources to grazing grounds and the geomorphological changes in the surrounding permafrost-dominated landscapes associated with these transitions.  

We build a dense and long time series of satellite imagery of past lake drainage events by including a multitude of remote sensing acquisitions from different sources into our analysis. Incorporating imagery from different sensors that have different temporal and spatial resolutions allows us to assess past drainage events and current geomorphological states of lakes and drained lake basins at different temporal and spatial scales. Point Lay is known to be an area where drainage events occur frequently and are of high relevance to the community. In August of 2016, the village drinking water source drained during a period of intense rainfall causing the village to seek alternative sources for a freshwater supply. Our results from the analysis of the remotely sensed imagery were shared directly with the community as part of a public seminar series in the Spring of 2020. We hope that results from our study near Point Lay, Alaska can contribute towards the selection of a new freshwater source lake for the village.

How to cite: Bergstedt, H., Jones, B., Walker, D., Farquharson, L., Breen, A., and Hinkel, K.: Mapping lake drainage and drained lake basins around Point Lay, Alaska using multi-source remote sensing data, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-11919, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-11919, 2020

D2206 |
| Highlight
Valery Grebenets, Fedor Iurov, and Vasily Tolmanov

Keywords: permafrost, waste, hazardous cryogenic processes

The problem of waste storage is particularly acute in Arctic. This is due to the vulnerability of northern ecosystems, the existence of permafrost, especially vulnerable to anthropogenic impact, the water-resistant properties of frozen rocks and the effect of destructive cryogenic processes. In addition, the causes of concern are the trends in air and frozen soil temperatures reported for the northern regions: pollutants stored in relatively stable frozen state can be released into the environment as a result of thawing. This is especially true for industrial regions, where billions of cubic meters of waste from the mining and beneficiation of ores and coal, form timber processing, mine water spills and drilling fluids, etc. are stored in a frozen state.

Field investigations were carried out in number of settlements in cryolithozone of Russia (Norilsk, Vorkuta, Igarka, settlements in the lower Ob, national villages of Taimyr, etc.). The observations involved remote sensing methods and included estimation of the area of littering and the types of waste. In many cases sampling for chemical analyzes, thermometry, and mapping of hazardous processes were made.

The impact of stored wastes on permafrost was divided into three main types: a) mechanical (changing the relief and the flow paths of surface and ground waters); b) physical and chemical (pollution by the waste itself and by its decomposition products); c) thermal (heating of frozen soils by high-temperature waste or heat generation during various chemical reactions).

During the research, 6 main types of waste storage were identified, each of which had a destructive effect on permafrost soils and northern ecosystems:

1) dumps of municipal solid waste (inherent in all settlements);

2) storages of industrial waste, tailing storage facilities in the industrial centers of the north;

3) abandoned and cluttered territories;

4) landfills of timber processing waste in the centers of the timber industry;

5) rock dumps in open-cast mining sites, which in the cold climate can transform into rock glaciers;

6) storage areas for polluted snow tranfered from built-up areas.

Particular attention was paid to the accumulation of chemical pollutants in industrial centers (with Norilsk industrial region as an example). This problem in conditions of permafrost is exacerbated by the low self-purification of northern biogeocenoses; slowdown of oxidation and some other chemical reactions in cold climates; drainage and unloading of groundwater of seasonally thawed layer, intra-permafrost and under-permafrost taliks into the water bodies.

The use of imperfect technologies for the extraction and processing the raw materials, remains of past years practices with neglected environmental situation, the lack of special standards for the storage of waste and industrial by-products, the lack of development of waste disposal methods for severe climatic conditions led to the pollution of vast territories and to destruction of many ecosystems.

This work was supported by the RFBR grant 18-05-60080 “Dangerous nival-glacial and cryogenic processes and their impact on infrastructure in the Arctic”.

How to cite: Grebenets, V., Iurov, F., and Tolmanov, V.: Negative changes in permafrost due to waste storage, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-6824, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-6824, 2020

D2207 |
Fedor Iurov and Valery Grebenets

Keywords: permafrost, forecast, bearing capacity, foundation

The North of Western Siberia is a very promising region for industrial development. It is rich in oil and gas deposits, large settlements are located here and there is an extensive system of transport infrastructure (gas and oil pipelines, roads and railways). The territory has very differentiated permafrost-geological conditions in various types of landscapes. The development of new production sites, the construction and operation of infrastructure objects often activates dangerous cryogenic processes.

Trends in increasing air temperatures result in increase in the active layer depth, which leads to the decrease in the freezing area of frozen foundations, as well as in increase of the soil temperature, which reduces the forces of freezing. The problem is enhanced by the anthropogenic impact, which intensifies the negative changes in permafrost.

Quantitative estimation of changes in the bearing capacity of frozen pile foundations in the North of Western Siberia was carried out up to 2050 for various types of soils (sand, clay soils, peat) with trends in increasing temperatures of frozen soils and trends in increasing thickness of the active layer taken into account. Detailed calculations were carried out for the route of the “Vankor-Purpe” oil pipeline.

The calculations showed that maintaining current rate of climate warming, by 2050, there will be significant deterioration of the engineering-geocryological situation. The largest negative changes will take place in the southern part of the permafrost zone of Western Siberia (in the Tazovsky, Novourengoysky and Nadymsky districts), where the decrease in bearing capacity will exceed 50%. In the more northern regions (on the territory of Yamal), the predicted changes in the bearing capacity of frozen pile foundations by 2050 will not be so critical (no more than 20%). However, an increase in the thickness of the active layer can cause activation of the thermokarst process due to closeness of the thick stratal ice to the surface, as well as other destructive cryogenic processes.

In the region of investigation, under the influence of rising soil temperatures and an increase in the depth of seasonal thawing, the most vulnerable to climatic changes are loamy soils, which, according to the calculations, are characterized by the maximum decrease in the bearing capacity of frozen piles (up to 10% over 10 years). Sandy soils are more stable, a decrease in bearing capacity occurs in such areas at a lower speed (up to 5–7% over 10 years). Areas with moss-peat layer at the surface are less susceptible to changes in bearing capacity, however, with industrial methods of foundation construction, the layer is destroyed in places where the piles are built.

This work was supported by the RFBR grant 18-05-60080 “Dangerous nival-glacial and cryogenic processes and their impact on infrastructure in the Arctic”.

How to cite: Iurov, F. and Grebenets, V.: Bearing capacity of frozen soils for foundations of objects in the North of Western Siberia, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-6695, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-6695, 2020

D2208 |
| Highlight
Dmitry Streletskiy, Valery Grebenets, and Nadezhda Zamyatina

Russian Arctic is characterized by developed infrastructure and high percentage of urban population on permafrost. The settlements on permafrost represent hot spots of permafrost transformations as rapidly changing climatic conditions are exacerbated by various types of human activities. To evaluate the exposure and risks of settlements to permafrost related dangerous processes, we selected several criteria, including geographic extent, duration, probability of occurrence, and total risk of damages associated with each permafrost process in 37 settlements located in various parts of the Russian Arctic. The following six types of potentially dangerous permafrost processes were considered: a) thermokarst, b) thermal erosion and thermal abrasion, c) frost heave, d) frost cracking, e) formation of icings, f) human-induced slope processes on permafrost. While risk from particular process was rather location specific, the integral assessment of all selected categories allowed to classify the overall exposure of settlements to permafrost processes. Results show that cities of Anadyr, Nadym and Kharp have rather small risk exposure, while cities of Igarka and Vorkuta have relatively high exposure. Bilibino and Norislk were among the cities having the highest overall exposure and potential risk associated with permafrost related processes considered in this study.  The research is supported by Russian Foundation for Basic Research project 18-05-600888  “Urban Arctic resilience in the context of climate change and socio-economic transformations”.

How to cite: Streletskiy, D., Grebenets, V., and Zamyatina, N.: Assessment of Dangerous Permafrost Processes in Urban Settlements of the Russian Arctic, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-10350, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-10350, 2020

D2209 |
Timo Kumpula, Roza Laptander, and Bruce C. Forbes

The traditional landuse in the Yamal is reindeer herding practiced by nomadic Nenets herders. The hydrocarbon industry is presently the source of most ecological changes in the Yamal peninsula and socio-economic impacts experienced by migratory Nenets herders who move annually between winter pastures at treeline and the coastal summer pastures by the Kara Sea.

In central Yamal peninsula which is permafrost area both natural and anthropogenic changes have occurred during the past 40 years. Mega size Bovanenkovo Gas Field was discovered in 1972 and it was opened in production and in 2012. We have studied gas field development and natural changes like increases in shrub growth, cryogenic landslides, drying lakes in the region and these impacts to Nenets reindeer herding.

Nenets managing collective and privately owned herds of reindeer have proven adapt in responding to a broad range of intensifying industrial impacts at the same time as they have been dealing with symptoms of a warming climate and thawing permafrost phenomena.

The results of climate change together with the industrial development of the Yamal Peninsula have a serious impact to the Nenets nomadic reindeer husbandry. Their consequences make Nenets reindeer herders to change their migration routes and the way of working with reindeer. During several years, we were making interviews with Nenets reindeer herders about the influence of climate change and industrialization of the tundra on the quality of Nenets nomads’ life and their work with reindeer. Reindeer herders said that impacts of industrial development have reduced their migration opportunities, as well as the quality of pastures for grazing, which has fatal the effects during icing on the tundra in the winter. At the same time, in the summer reindeer have more food because increasing of the green vegetation. 

Here we detail both the climate change impacts and spatial extent of gas field growth, landslides drying lakes, shrub increase and the dynamic relationship between Nenets nomads and their rapidly evolving social-ecological system.

How to cite: Kumpula, T., Laptander, R., and Forbes, B. C.: Impacts of infrastructure and climate changes on reindeer herding in the Yamal, west Siberia., EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-13995, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-13995, 2020

D2210 |
Dan Baciu and Anna Abramova

A century ago, Svalbard became the northernmost permanently inhabited Arctic archipelago when international treaties allowed multiple nations to extract coal and exploit the lands. The first settlements were founded as industrial production bases. Meanwhile, mining has gradually declined, but the previous settlements have become urbanized, which opens wholly new perspectives for Svalbard’s present and future: A new university center is thriving; and local media and tourism industries are expanding. Local authorities use these developments to quantify urban growth in the last decades. They hope that this growth will eventually substitute previous mining activities and point towards a future that could make Svalbard a prime example of sustainable urbanization in the Arctic. We integrate novel digital humanities techniques with historical analysis and chemical screening of snowpack, which makes it possible to holistically evaluate the interplay between multiple layers of urbanization, tourism, research initiatives, and mining activities and relics as integral parts of a larger and constantly evolving cultural multifold. From this vantage point of view, a double-phased evolution becomes identifiable. In the 20th century, Svalbard’s urban and cultural life diversified. The urban growth observed in the 21st century is a result of this initial diversification. This new perspective may help local authorities manage urban growth. In particular, we attract attention to urban and cultural diversification and suggest that diversity is a source for urban growth, rather than a mere byproduct thereof. In addition, the new results also constitute a further test for our previous work on Svalbard and on cultural diversification. In previous conference contributions, we showed that persistent environmental awareness formed in Svalbard only long after mining activity affected the environment. We now continue along these lines by proposing that the formation of persistent environmental awareness is only part of urban and cultural diversification, which includes the rise of diverse local cultures and identities. Beyond Svalbard, our past and present work may help policy makers and populations around the world understand diversification processes and their impact on urban and cultural growth.


How to cite: Baciu, D. and Abramova, A.: Svalbard's Arctic Settlements: From Mining Sites to Urbanized Environments , EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-2458, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-2458, 2020

D2211 |
Susanna Gartler and Gertrude Saxinger

This poster addresses the need to understand perspectives of change, both societal and environmental, from indigenous viewpoints in Canada. It is based on six years of collaborative, community-based research in Mayo, including semi-structured and narrative interviews with First Nation of Na-Cho Nyäk Dun Elders. Their accounts tell of over one century of interaction and involvement with the extractive industry. The poster addresses the way First Nation of Na-Cho Nyäk Dun Elders experienced and make sense of several major shifts, from settling at the onset of galena ore extraction, to life in and relocation from ‘Dän Ku’ (Our Home) to the townsite of Mayo, to life and work in Elsa and Keno – the mining hills nearby, which are home today to one of Canada’s largest gold mine. It discusses contemporary concerns with the industry, such as increased access to and thus pressure on wildlife due to mining roads, pollution, economic benefits and local employment. The poster further considers the methodological process which was centered on a community-based participatory approach. It is part of the outreach and science communication activities of the ReSDA (Ressources and Sustainable Development in the Arctic) funded project “LACE – Labour Mobiltiy and Community Participation in the Extractive Industry, Case Study in the Yukon”.


How to cite: Gartler, S. and Saxinger, G.: Memories of Mining: First Nation of Na-Cho Nyäk Dun Elders’ perspectives, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-22647, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-22647, 2020

D2212 |
Wen Shi

Though scientists have achieved consensus on the severity and urgency of climate change years ago, the public still considers this issue not that important, as the influence of climate change is widely thought to be geographically and temporally bounded. The discrepancy between scientific consensus and public's misperception calls for more dedicated public communication strategies to get climate change issues back on the front line of public agenda. Based on the large-scale data acquired from the online knowledge community Quora, we conduct a computational linguistic analysis followed by regression model to address the climate change communication from the agenda setting perspective. To be specific, our results find that certain narrative strategies may make climate change issues more salient by engaging public into discussion or evoking their long-term interest. Though scientific communicators have long been blaming lack of scientific literacy for low saliency of climate change issues, cognitive framework is proved to be least effective in raising public concern. Affective framework is relatively more influential in motivating people to participate in climate change discussion: the stronger the affective intensity is, the more prominent the issue is, but the affective polarity is not important. Perceptual framework is most powerful in promoting public discussion and the only variable that can significantly motivate public's long-term desire to track issues, among which feeling plays the most critical role compared with seeing and hearing. This study extends existing science communication literature by shedding light on the role of previously ignored affective and perceptual frameworks in making issues salient and the conclusions may provide theoretical and practical implications for future climate change communication.

How to cite: Shi, W.: What Framework Promotes Saliency of Climate Change Issues on Online Public Agenda: A Quantitative Study of Online Knowledge Community Quora, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-9648, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-9648, 2020

D2213 |
| Highlight
Ranjan Datta

This study is responding reconciling Indigenous climate change and food sovereignty in Arctic. We will explore, how recent climate change (and interpretation) is challenging to Indigenous food sovereignty sources; and what is at stake in processes such as hunting consultation, impact assessment, regulatory hearings, approvals (including negotiation of benefits), monitoring? and what reformed processes can build Indigenous community capacity and supports robust decisions? The outcomes will assist policy makers and communities to guide future consultations and impacts assessment guideline and climate change planning initiatives. We (as an interdisciplinary research team of Indigenous Elders, knowledge-keepers, Indigenous and non-Indigenous scholars) will focus on Indigenous understanding of Indigenous philosophies of climate change and the connectivity between climate change and food sovereignty and sustainability related to the interactions and inter-dependencies with health security, Indigenous environmental and cultural value protection. Indigenous knowledge-ways have much to offer in support of resiliency of climate change and water infrastructure in Indigenous communities, intercultural reconceptualization of research methodologies, environmental sustainability, and educational programs which support Indigenous communities.


Action Plan: Objective: Supporting Indigenous perspectives on climate change impact management and food sovereignty. This includes involving members of Indigenous community to offer insight into Indigenous cultural and community responsibilities of Indigenous climate change impacts management to inform food sovereignty performance review policy development. Contribution: The designing, coordinating, and hosting an interdisciplinary Focused Dialogue Session on the relationship between climate change impacts management and food sovereignty. This Dialogue Session creates new scholarly knowledge about pipeline leak impacts and food sovereignty processes. Objective: Developing effective and trustful engagement dialogs to build capacity among Indigenous Elders, Knowledge-keepers, and scholars. Contribution: This objective supports Indigenous perspectives through specific, policy-orientated research that positively impacts their vision and allow them to develop new ways of climate change impacts and food sovereignty. This reveals climate change impacts management and food sovereignty policy and practices in Arctic. Objective: Mobilize knowledge and partnership for reconciliation (specifically translate research results into evidence for policy-making) through developing an impact assessment policy guideline. Contribution: The impact assessment policy guideline shares knowledge and implications of climate change impacts management policy documents local, provincially, and nationally and assist in the articulation and practice of food sovereignty source protection, as culturally and community informed.

How to cite: Datta, R.: Calls to Action: Climate Change and Indigenous Food Sovereignty in Arctic, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-2016, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-2016, 2020

D2214 |
| Highlight
Ruth Higgins, Thomas Juul-Pedersen, Agata Goździk, Walter Oechl, Donatella Zona, Kjetil Lygre, and Stein Sandven

The INTAROS project has a strong multidisciplinary focus, with tools for integration of data from atmosphere, ocean, cryosphere and terrestrial sciences, provided by institutions in Europe, North America and Asia. The dissemination activities aim to share knowledge about the Arctic with academia and with the general public.

The dissemination and exploitation activities are closely linked with communication and stakeholder engagement: the target audiences include research, public services, commercial operators, investment, insurance, environmental organizations, policy makers, local communities, and educational institutes. One of the INTAROS objectives is to disseminate project results to raise awareness of Arctic challenges and to inform and engage key users and stakeholder communities to improve their understanding of the Arctic environmental state and processes. The further aim is to build capacity in using the new products and services originating from the INTAROS project.

This contribution provides an overview of dissemination materials and products that are targeted towards teaching and/or intended for outreach purposes. The referenced teaching materials include products aimed at students ranging from school to university level, as well as the general public. The outreach materials are aimed at communicating knowledge about the INTAROS project, the scientific work, key findings as well as promoting general knowledge about climate and climate change.


How to cite: Higgins, R., Juul-Pedersen, T., Goździk, A., Oechl, W., Zona, D., Lygre, K., and Sandven, S.: INTAROS teaching and outreach materials: how a multidisciplinary project creates opportunities for teachers and the general public., EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-18853, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-18853, 2020

D2215 |
Eric Guilyardi, Lydie Lescarmontier, Robin Matthews, Nathalie Morata, Mariana Rocha, Jenny Schlüpmann, Mathilde Tricoire, and David Wilgenbus

The essential role of education in addressing the causes and consequences of anthropogenic climate change is increasingly being recognised at an international level.

The Office for Climate Education (OCE) develops Climate Change Education (CCE) resources that support teachers and education systems in developed and developing countries to mainstream climate change education in their respective contexts. The OCE organises capacity building/professional development workshops worldwide for educators. It has also initiated and coordinates a large network of stakeholders to scale up their actions towards climate change resilience.

Drawing upon the IPCC Special Report on the Ocean and Cryosphere in a Changing Climate, the OCE has produced a set of educational resources and tools for students to understand climate change in the context of the ocean and the cryosphere. These cover the scientific and societal dimensions, at local and global levels, while developing students’ reasoning abilities and guiding them to take action (mitigation and/or adaptation) in their schools or communities. These resources include:

  1. Ready-to-use teacher handbook that (i) target students from the last years of primary school to the end of lower-secondary school (aged 9 to 15), (ii) include scientific and pedagogical overviews, lesson plans, activities and worksheets, (iii) are interdisciplinary, covering topics in the natural sciences, social sciences, arts and physical education, (iv) promote active pedagogies: inquiry-based science education, role-play, debate, project-based learning.
  2. Summaries for teachers of two IPCC Special Reports (“Ocean and Cryosphere in a changing climate” and “Global Warming of 1.5°C”). They are presented together with a selection of related activities and exercises that can be implemented in the classroom.
  3. A set of 10 videos where experts speak about a specific issue related to the ocean or the cryosphere, in the context of climate change. These videos can be used either to initiate or to conclude a discussion with students on their specific topic: urban heat islands, glaciers, ocean acidification, tropical cyclones, marine energy, sea ice melt, thermohaline circulation, El Niño, mangroves, sea level rise.
  4. A set of 4 multimedia activities offering students the possibility of working interactively in different topics related to climate change: sea level rise, food webs, carbon footprints and mitigation/adaptation solutions.
  5. A set of 3 resources for teacher trainers, offering turnkey training protocols on the topics “greenhouse effect” and “ocean”, as well as a methodology for producing locally-relevant education projects.

How to cite: Guilyardi, E., Lescarmontier, L., Matthews, R., Morata, N., Rocha, M., Schlüpmann, J., Tricoire, M., and Wilgenbus, D.: Resources for teachers on the “Ocean and Cryosphere in a Changing Climate”, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-4936, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-4936, 2020

D2216 |
Michelle Koutnik, Nadine Fabbi, Elizabeth Wessells, Ellen Ahlness, Max Showalter, Dan Mandeville, Jason Young, and Hans Christian Steen-Larsen

With the Arctic currently warming at a rate at least twice that of the global average, the coupled Arctic ecosystem is losing ice. This includes significant land-ice loss from the Greenland Ice Sheet and Arctic ice caps and glaciers, reduction in extent and thickness of Arctic sea ice, and thawing permafrost. This scale of environmental change significantly affects Arctic people, wildlife, infrastructure, transportation, and access. Societal response to these changes relies on advances in and application of research spanning multiple scientific disciplines, with policy-making done in partnership with Indigenous people, governments, private agencies, multinational corporations, and other interested groups. Everyone will interface with outcomes due to a changing climate and the challenge is mounting for the next generation of leaders. The cross-disciplinary nature of the challenge of Arctic ice loss and climate change must be met by cross-disciplinary undergraduate education. While higher education aims for disciplinary training in natural sciences and social sciences, there is an increasing responsibility to integrate topics and immerse students in real-world issues. And, in our experience the undergraduates we teach are eager for courses that can do this well.

What is immersive undergraduate education? We consider this as either immersing students in a focused topic in the classroom, immersing students in a place (especially while abroad), or combining the two through targeted lectures, informed discussions, travel, and writing. With regard to the Arctic, it is necessary to bring scientific understanding to learning activities otherwise focused on societal impacts, policy making, and knowledge exchange through public writing.

We share from our practical experience teaching Arctic-focused courses to classes each with 10-30 students with majors from across the University of Washington (UW) campus (total undergraduate student body of 32,000). Three recent activities that integrate the state of science with impacts on society in undergraduate courses include: 1) a four-week study abroad course to Greenland and Denmark focusing on changes in the Greenland Ice Sheet and sea-level rise, 2) a 10-week Task Force course in Arctic Sea Ice and International Policy in partnership with the UW International Policy Institute at the Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies that includes one-week in Ottawa where students develop a mock Arctic sea ice policy for Canada consistent with Inuit priorities, and 3) a 10-week seminar in public writing where students write mock newspaper articles, book reviews, and policy summaries about ice in a changing climate. These courses were designed to include a similar subset of earth science, atmospheric science, and oceanography, but the distinct structure and application of the science in these three separate courses led to distinct learning outcomes. In addition, we present how the academic minor in Arctic Studies at the University of Washington has allowed students to design their own integrated understanding of Indigenous and nation-state Arctic geopolitics, Arctic environmental change, and policy by taking a selection of courses and engaging in research and report writing.

How to cite: Koutnik, M., Fabbi, N., Wessells, E., Ahlness, E., Showalter, M., Mandeville, D., Young, J., and Steen-Larsen, H. C.: Arctic ice in cross-disciplinary undergraduate education: Experiences across natural science, social science, international policy, and public writing, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-12600, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-12600, 2020

D2217 |
Kaare Sikuaq Erickson, Donatella Zona, Marco Montemayor, Walter Oechel, and Terenzio Zenone

The Alaskan Ukpeaġvik Iñupiat Corporation (UIC) is promoting and financilally supporting, with the contribution of the US National Science Foundation (NSF) and local organizations, outreach and dissemination events, in the form of science fair for the local communities in North Slope of Alaska. The science fair is part of a larger effort by UIC Science to bring coordination and collaboration to science outreach and engagement efforts across Arctic Alaska. The purpose is to provide a positive space for Arctic researchers and Arctic residents to meet, eat with each other, spend time, and to inspire the youth of the Arctic by providing fun and educational activities that are based in science and traditional knowledge. The Science Fair 2019 hosted by the Barrow Arctic Research Center (BARC) included three days of youth and family-friendly activities related to “Inupiat Knowledge about Plants” led by the College Inupiat Studies Department, “Eco-chains Activity” hosted by the North Slope Borough Office of Emergency Management, “Big Little World: Bugs Plants, and Microscopes” hosted by the National Ecological Observatory Network, “Microplastics in the Arctic” hosted by the North Slope Borough Department of Wildlife Management, “BARC Scavenger Hunt” hosted by UIC Science, “Our Role in the Carbon and Methane Cycle” hosted by the University of Texas El Paso (UTEP) and San Diego State University, and “How Permafrost Works” hosted by the University of Alaska, Fairbanks, Geophysical Institute. Each day hundreds of students, from both the local community and the science community came together to take part in mutually beneficial engagement: students from Utqiaġvik were excited about science and now know of the realistic and fulfilling careers in research that takes place in their backyard. The Utqiaġvik community members and elders now have a better idea of the breadth of research that takes place in and near their home. The locals, especially the elders, are very concerned about the drastic changes in our environment: scientists share these concerns, and the discussions during the fair was a chance to recognize this common ground. Breaking the ice between Arctic researchers and residents can lead to endless opportunities for collaboration, sharing ideas, and even lifelong friendships.



How to cite: Erickson, K. S., Zona, D., Montemayor, M., Oechel, W., and Zenone, T.: Outreach and disseminations activities in North Slope of Alaska: how to build trust between local communities and arctic researchers, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-17963, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-17963, 2020

D2218 |
Erika Hille, Joel McAlister, Alice Wilson, and Steve Kokelj

The Arctic is experiencing climate warming at a more pronounced rate than other regions. This has significant implications for the thermal stability of permafrost, which strongly depends on the long, cold winters typical of the region. Canada’s western Arctic is typically more sensitive to permafrost thaw than other Arctic regions in Canada, because it is underlain by large regions of ice-rich permafrost that are only protected by a thin layer of organic and mineral soil. As a result, disturbances (i.e. fire, shallow landslides, thermal and mechanical erosion, construction) often lead to the exposure and thaw of the underlying permafrost. Climate-induced permafrost thaw has led to dramatic changes to the landscape, impacting communities, infrastructure, and traditional ways of being. In this region, northern stakeholders have invested in research infrastructure that enables them to actively participate in research, research design and implementation, and lead their own research programs. Since permafrost is intrinsically linked to the social, cultural, and economic fabric of the region, it is critical that local stakeholders be engaged in permafrost research.

The Western Arctic Research Centre (WARC) is located in Inuvik, Northwest Territories, Canada. Inuvik is situated in the Beaufort Delta Region of Northwestern Canada, approximately 120km from the Arctic Ocean. A key goal of WARC is to support and conduct research that fosters the social, cultural, and economic prosperity of the people of the Northwest Territories. In response to local concerns, WARC has developed a suite of research programs that focus on the impacts of permafrost thaw on terrestrial, freshwater, and marine systems. To ensure that these research programs are responsive to the concerns of northern and Indigenous residents, WARC works in partnership with researchers, communities, government bodies, and Indigenous and co-management organizations. Project partners provide critical feedback on research design, study site selection, and how to communicate research to a northern audience. Furthermore, the Permafrost Information Hub at WARC is working with local organizations to establish community-based permafrost research and monitoring in the Beaufort Delta Region. This includes the development and delivery of training programs for local environmental monitors, increasing capacity in the region to support permafrost research. Northerners need to be involved in permafrost research. How Northerners want to be involved will differ depending on the location within the region and the nature of the research. This emphasizes the need for consistent, open lines of communication between researchers and local partners.

This oral presentation will outline the steps WARC has taken to engage northern and Indigenous residents in its permafrost research programs, lessons learned, and successes.

How to cite: Hille, E., McAlister, J., Wilson, A., and Kokelj, S.: Community Engagement in Permafrost Research at the Western Arctic Research Centre, Inuvik, Northwest Territories, Canada, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-591, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-591, 2019

D2219 |
Rick Saltus and Manoj Nair

The Earth’s magnetic field is especially dynamic at high latitudes.  The most awesome manifestation of this is certainly the aurora borealis or northern lights – caused by the interaction of the solar wind with the Earth’s magnetic field.  Aside from the aurora you can’t see these magnetic variations.  But your phone can.  Virtually every modern smartphone is equipped with a 3-component magnetometer to enable the compass pointing capability for navigation.  CrowdMag is a popular NOAA/CIRES citizen science app that we developed to tap into your smartphone’s magnetometer.  It lets you interact with the Earth’s magnetic field.

The purpose of this presentation is to highlight the possibilities for using CrowdMag for science outreach and engagement, particularly in Arctic regions where day-to-day magnetic variations can exceed hundreds of nano-Teslas.  We will show example projects that were carried out by summer interns as part of the University of Colorado’s “Research Experience for Community College Students” (RECCS) program.  CrowdMag can be used to carry out various simple experiments for mapping and investigating the Earth’s magnetic field.  We seek input and collaboration with others interested in Citizen Science and outreach in Arctic regions.   

How to cite: Saltus, R. and Nair, M.: CrowdMag for personal interaction with Arctic magnetic variation, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-11764, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-11764, 2020