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Thu 22 Oct 13:00: Evolutionary legacies on ecosystem function and implications for global change: new insights from spectral biology

Fri, 18/09/2020 - 10:31
Evolutionary legacies on ecosystem function and implications for global change: new insights from spectral biology

An open question is whether the structure and function of relatively undisturbed ecosystems are inevitable consequences of climate and geology or whether the idiosyncracies of biogeographic and evolutionary processes, including the order and timing of lineage dispersal and diversification, have led to divergent outcomes in ecosystem function. The ecosystem composition and diversity of plant electromagnetic spectra—the patterns of reflected photons from plants—are emerging as important measures of biodiversity, alongside functional and phylogenetic components. Spectra contain abundant information about plant function and are tightly coupled to the tree of life. The evolutionary innovations and legacies of biogeographic history that have contributed to modern plant communities and ecosystems may be revealed from the spectral reflectance of plants and from increasingly available remote sensing data that provide environmental information across spatial and temporal scales. Understanding the context in which plants evolved and the role of evolutionary history in current ecosystem structure and function provides insight into how ecosystems will respond to future environmental changes. These insights combined with advancing methods for detecting and monitoring change in biodiversity and ecosystems can help prioritize conservation and inform strategies for maintaining a habitable planet in the face of global change.

Contact se389@cam.ac.uk for the Zoom link if you are not on our mailing list.

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Wed 23 Sep 16:00: Observing Iceberg Melt in a Greenland Fjord The talk will be online. Contact the host to get Zoom details.

Mon, 14/09/2020 - 19:29
Observing Iceberg Melt in a Greenland Fjord

As much as half of the freshwater flux from the Greenland Ice Sheet enters the ocean through iceberg calving. Up to 50% of iceberg mass is expected to melt within glacial fjords, where it influences the circulation and properties of water masses in contact with the glacier terminus, as well as the characteristics of glacially-modified water exported to the North Atlantic. Observations of iceberg melt in fjords are needed to evaluate predictions of spatial and temporal meltwater distribution under a range of environmental conditions, in order to determine its impacts on the ocean.

We conducted repeat oceanographic surveys of 6 icebergs in Sermilik Fjord, southeast Greenland, during August 2018 to identify environmental factors driving the distribution of iceberg melt, including ocean thermal forcing and stratification, relative velocity between each iceberg and local ocean currents, and iceberg geometry. Our surveys include near-iceberg properties sampled using a remotely-operated surface vehicle (Jetyak) equipped with an ADCP (Acoustic Doppler Current Profiler) and temperature and salinity sensors, as well as full-depth temperature and salinity profiles. Iceberg depth and shape were measured using multibeam sonar and aerial imagery, and some iceberg locations were tracked with GPS . We compare our findings to numerical and laboratory simulations, and discuss their implications for iceberg melt distribution in the context of a decade-long observational record of ocean variability in Sermilik Fjord.

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Wed 09 Sep 15:00: Arctic Freshwater Storage and Export in CMIP6 Models The talk will be online. Contact the host to get Zoom details.

Wed, 02/09/2020 - 09:31
Arctic Freshwater Storage and Export in CMIP6 Models

Recently, the Arctic has undergone substantial changes in sea ice cover and the hydrologic cycle, both of which strongly impact the freshwater storage in, and export from, the Arctic Ocean. The fate of Arctic Ocean freshwater (FW) is of global relevance, as it can impact North Atlantic Deep Water formation and potentially the strength of the Meridional Overturning Circulation. Here we analyze Arctic FW storage and export in 7 climate models from the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project phase 6 (CMIP6) and assess their agreement over the historical period (1980-2000) and in two future emissions scenarios, SSP1 -2.6 and SSP5 -8.5. Rather than focusing on a single realization of each experiment, ensembles from each model are used in order to understand model internal variability and to better constrain inter-model differences.

In both future scenarios the models show an increase in liquid (ocean) freshwater storage that is partially due to a reduction in solid (ice) storage through sea ice melt. This reduction in sea ice coverage also leads to a reduction in solid fluxes through the five major Arctic gateways (Bering Strait, Fram Strait, Nares Strait, Barrow Strait, and the Barents Sea Opening) that is typically larger for SSP5 -8.5 than SSP1 -2.6. The liquid fluxes through the gateways exhibit a more complex pattern, with some models showing a change in sign of the freshwater flux through the Barents Sea Opening, for example. To identify the mechanisms responsible for such changes, the ocean fluxes are decomposed into their salinity and volume contributions. Although the models broadly agree on the sign of the storage and flux changes, substantial differences exist between the magnitude of these changes and the models’ underlying mean states.

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Tue 15 Sep 11:00: Health as an asset: estimating the causal effects of health conditions and health behaviours on social and economic outcomes using Mendelian randomization This seminar will be broadcast live online, please register in advance for this...

Tue, 01/09/2020 - 11:34
Health as an asset: estimating the causal effects of health conditions and health behaviours on social and economic outcomes using Mendelian randomization

A vast body of literature describes the social determinants of health, identifying stark inequalities in many health conditions and health related behaviours. But relationships between health and social factors (such as socioeconomic position, social contact, and wellbeing) are potentially bidirectional; poor health may limit a person’s ability to achieve their full potential in education, employment or in their social life. Studying the social and socioeconomic consequences of health is fraught with difficulties due to the strong potential for confounding and reverse causation. In this talk, I will describe the use of Mendelian randomization to enhance causal inference in this topic, describing findings from UK Biobank and ALSPAC .

This seminar will be broadcast live online, please register in advance for this meeting:

https://mrc-epid.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJckcu6vqTwoHdNAY3h7JqDyxMYglX6JTQuT

This seminar will be broadcast live online, please register in advance for this meeting: https://mrc-epid.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJckcu6vqTwoHdNAY3h7JqDyxMYglX6JTQuT

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Wed 02 Dec 10:00: TBD The talk will be online. Contact the host to get Zoom details.

Wed, 26/08/2020 - 13:48
TBD

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Wed 18 Nov 16:00: TBD The talk will be online. Contact the host to get Zoom details.

Wed, 26/08/2020 - 13:48
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Wed 04 Nov 15:00: TBD The talk will be online. Contact the host to get Zoom details.

Wed, 26/08/2020 - 13:48
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Wed 21 Oct 14:00: Seasonal prediction and predictability of regional Antarctic sea ice The talk will be online. Contact the host to get Zoom details.

Wed, 26/08/2020 - 13:47
Seasonal prediction and predictability of regional Antarctic sea ice

Abstract not available

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Wed 07 Oct 14:00: TBD The talk will be online. Contact the host to get Zoom details.

Wed, 26/08/2020 - 13:47
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Wed 23 Sep 16:00: TBD The talk will be online. Contact the host to get Zoom details.

Wed, 26/08/2020 - 13:46
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Wed 09 Sep 15:00: TBD The talk will be online. Contact the host to get Zoom details.

Wed, 26/08/2020 - 13:46
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Wed 02 Dec 10:00: TBD

Wed, 26/08/2020 - 13:42
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Wed 18 Nov 16:00: TBD

Wed, 26/08/2020 - 13:41
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Wed 04 Nov 15:00: TBD

Wed, 26/08/2020 - 13:39
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Wed 08 Jul 10:00: Influences of Melt Water from Sea Ice/Ice Shelf in Polar Oceans The talk will be online. Contact the host to get Zoom details.

Wed, 08/07/2020 - 08:28
Influences of Melt Water from Sea Ice/Ice Shelf in Polar Oceans

Fresh melt water from sea ice and ice shelf is not only essential to the ocean hydrography but the mesoscale dynamics due to the induced baroclinicity. Warm intrusions from the Bering Strait transport heat and nutrients via baroclinic eddies vertically beneath the sea ice and laterally across structural fronts near the ice edge in the eastern Chukchi Sea. Numerical models using the Regional Ocean Model System (ROMS) are integrated to systematically investigate the importance of the baroclinic eddy field and the factors that affect its dynamics, specifically on the stratifications determined by the fresh water volume. Model results show a noticeable effect of strong wind events on ice edge displacement. The advection of ice away from or toward the inflow changes the ice melt rate and the salinity of the melt water plume, both are the factors that important to the heat transported by baroclinic instability and further feedback to the ice melt rate. Similar mechanisms can be found elsewhere around the ice fronts of sea ice and ice shelves,it is worth studying with more systematically models of the other regional oceans to explore the coincidences and dissimilarities.

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Wed 15 Jul 16:00: Ikaaġvik Sikukun: Bridging the Scientific and Indigenous Communities to Study Sea Ice Change in Arctic Alaska The talk will be online. Contact the host to get Zoom details.

Wed, 08/07/2020 - 08:28
Ikaaġvik Sikukun: Bridging the Scientific and Indigenous Communities to Study Sea Ice Change in Arctic Alaska

Taking its name from the Iñupiaq phrase for “ice bridge” the Ikaaġvik Sikukun project has successfully built bridges between a diverse team of scientists and Indigenous Knowledge-holders to study the changing sea-ice environment of Kotzebue Sound, Alaska. We have broken new ground by co-producing our hypotheses in partnership with an Indigenous Elder advisory council to develop research questions that cut across disciplinary boundaries and address the needs of both the local and scientific communities. To share our story broadly and in a way that respects the oral traditions of Indigenous Knowledge, our team also includes an ethnographic film-maker who has been documenting each step of our unique research journey. Over the past three years, with continued guidance from our advisory council, we have designed and carried out a research plan to observe the sea ice and marine mammals in Kotzebue Sound and how these come together as habitat and hunting grounds. Using satellite data, unmanned aerial systems (UAS), oceanographic moorings and on-ice measurements we have witnessed two exceptional years (2018 and 2019) with unprecedentedly low sea ice extent and the earliest start of bearded seal (Erignathus barbatus) hunting in recent memory – contributing to a broader trend towards shorter spring hunting seasons, which have been recorded in Kotzebue since 2003. We also observed widespread flooding of the landfast ice, possibly caused by relatively high snowfall on top of thin ice, as well as the detachment and fragmentation of landfast ice recently occupied by ringed seal (Phoca hispida) pups, adults, and their lairs. Having integrated Indigenous Knowledge throughout our approach, we are now in a unique position to turn these interrelated observations into answers to our research questions. Join the diverse Ikaaġvik Sikukun team as I share an overview of our research approach and preliminary results including observations of the sea ice heat budget that undergoes a rapid change during Spring melt and breakup, as well as the profound impact of sea ice change on the traditional use of these regions by local indigenous Iñupiaq populations.

Team: Andrew R. Mahoney, Sarah Betcher, Donna Hauser, Ajit Subramaniam, Alex Whiting, John Goodwin, Cyrus Harris, Robert Schaeffer, Ross Schaeffer, Nathan Laxague, Jessica Lindsay, Carson Witte

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Thu 23 Jul 11:00: Ice melt driven by the ocean - Two process studies on the physics of ice-ocean interactions based on observations from NE Greenland and the central Arctic Ocean The talk will be online. Contact the host to get Zoom details.

Wed, 08/07/2020 - 08:27
Ice melt driven by the ocean - Two process studies on the physics of ice-ocean interactions based on observations from NE Greenland and the central Arctic Ocean

Part I: Rapid supply of warm Atlantic waters below Greenland’s largest glacier tongue

Mass loss from the Greenland ice sheet has increased over the past two decades, currently accounting for 25% of global sea level rise. This is due to increased surface melt driven by atmospheric warming and the retreat and acceleration of marine terminating glaciers forced by oceanic heat transport. We use ship-based profiles, bathymetric data and moored time series from 2016 to 2017 of temperature, salinity and water velocity collected in front of the floating tongue of the 79 North Glacier in Northeast Greenland. These observations indicate that a year-round bottom-intensified inflow of warm Atlantic Water through a narrow channel is constrained by a sill. The associated heat transport leads to a mean melt rate of 10.4 ± 3.1 m yr–1 on the bottom of the floating glacier tongue. We conclude that near-glacier, sill-controlled ocean heat transport plays a crucial role for glacier stability.

Part II: Trapped in the Arctic ice – First results from the MOS AiC expedition (leg 3)

MOS AiC (Multidisciplinary drifting Observatory for the Study of Arctic Climate) aims at a breakthrough in understanding the Arctic climate system and in its representation in global climate models. The backbone of MOS AiC is the year-round operation of RV Polarstern, drifting since October 2019 with the sea ice across the central Arctic. A distributed regional network of observational sites has been set up on the sea ice in an area of up to ~40 km distance from RV Polarstern. Team OCEAN aims at a better understanding of ocean boundary-layer mixing processes and heat fluxes from the warm Atlantic water across the halocline. On leg 3, all teams carried out measurements during the transition from 24-hours darkness to 24-hours light. Furthermore, we sampled in newly formed leads and ridges, during the passage of storms, and captured the onset of the melting season – under challenging work conditions.

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Wed 08 Jul 10:00: Influences of Melt Water from Sea Ice/Ice Shelf in Polar Oceans The talk will be online. Contact the host to get Zoom details.

Wed, 24/06/2020 - 16:40
Influences of Melt Water from Sea Ice/Ice Shelf in Polar Oceans

Fresh melt water from sea ice and ice shelf is not only essential to the ocean hydrography but the mesoscale dynamics due to the induced baroclinicity. Warm intrusions from the Bering Strait transport heat and nutrients via baroclinic eddies vertically beneath the sea ice and laterally across structural fronts near the ice edge in the eastern Chukchi Sea. Numerical models using the Regional Ocean Model System (ROMS) are integrated to systematically investigate the importance of the baroclinic eddy field and the factors that affect its dynamics, specifically on the stratifications determined by the fresh water volume. Model results show a noticeable effect of strong wind events on ice edge displacement. The advection of ice away from or toward the inflow changes the ice melt rate and the salinity of the melt water plume, both are the factors that important to the heat transported by baroclinic instability and further feedback to the ice melt rate. Similar mechanisms can be found elsewhere around the ice fronts of sea ice and ice shelves,it is worth studying with more systematically models of the other regional oceans to explore the coincidences and dissimilarities.

The talk will be online. Contact the host to get Zoom details.

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Thu 02 Jul 15:00: ROSETTA-Ice: a new framework for understanding the Ross Ice Shelf The talk will be online. Contact the host to get Zoom details.

Wed, 24/06/2020 - 16:34
ROSETTA-Ice: a new framework for understanding the Ross Ice Shelf

Abstract not available

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