Atmosphere-Ice-Ocean Interaction Studies

The project will use Svalbard fjords as a natural laboratory for studying small scale air/ice/ocean interaction processes with potential large scale implications. Field work in ice-covered fjords in winter and spring will address freezing and melting of sea ice and how to represent such processes in models, including effects of radiation and snow cover as well as under-ice molecular and turbulent transport. Vertical heat exchange and water mass formation associated with openings in the sea ice cover will also be studied. The controlled conditions in the fjords allow in-depth studies of processes and hypotheses with major implications for global climate. The field work and the parameterizations to be developed will provide a basis for climate model integrations addressing the future of the Arctic ice cover.

The multi-year project includes collaboration with US colleagues. In 2003 there will be two field campaigns, one during freezing conditions in April and one during melting conditions in June. Both will take place in the same location in Kongsfjorden.