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Collaborative Research: Quantifying microbial controls on the annual cycle of methane and oxygen within the ultraoligotrophic Central Arctic during MOSAiC

General

Project start
01.01.2018
Project end
31.12.2021
Type of project
ARMAP/NSF
Project theme
Ocean & fiord systems
Project topic
Oceanography

Fieldwork / Study

Fieldwork country
Arctic Oceans and various regions
Fieldwork region
Arctic (entire region)
Fieldwork location

Geolocation is 85.21399688721, -87.44499969482

Fieldwork start
01.01.2019
Fieldwork end
31.12.2019

SAR information

Fieldwork / Study

Fieldwork country
Arctic Oceans and various regions
Fieldwork region
Arctic (entire region)
Fieldwork location

Geolocation is 85.21399688721, -87.44499969482

Fieldwork start
01.01.2020
Fieldwork end
31.12.2020

SAR information

Project details

02.10.2019
Science / project summary

The central Arctic Ocean is changing rapidly as multiyear sea ice gives way to a new seasonal sea ice regime, and these regional shifts have important implications for global climate as well as the entire Arctic system. As part of the Multidisciplinary drifting Observatory for the Study of Arctic Climate (MOSAiC), the investigators will use a research vessel frozen into polar ice as a sampling platform to focus on the influence of sea ice on the uptake and release of oxygen and methane across a full annual cycle. Combined with other observations made by MOSAiC collaborators, these data will allow the investigators to build a detailed conceptual model of carbon and energy flow across seasons and improve numerical models explaining the behavior of the broader Arctic system. In addition, they will use genomic techniques to gain a new understanding of microbial dynamics and diversity in this understudied region. The broader impacts of this work include support for early-career scientists, significant international collaboration as part of the MOSAiC program, and training for postdoctoral scientists and undergraduate students. Public outreach will include viewings of the Northwest Polar Passage documentary Frozen Obsession in San Diego, CA, and Providence, RI, followed by panel discussions on polar exploration, ecology, and change. The goal of this project is to identify the biological and physical drivers underlying the production and uptake of oxygen and methane, establishing the metabolic balance of these key gases in the oligotrophic Central Arctic. The investigators will take advantage of the unique opportunity afforded by the international, year-long Multidisciplinary drifting Observatory for the Study of Arctic Climate (MOSAiC) expedition to determine net community production from year-round measurements of oxygen and argon, as well as methane oxidation and production from methane concentration and isotopic ratios. They will measure bacterial and community respiration, bacterial production, and microbial community structure, and analyze gene expression to identify the genes, organisms, and pathways associated with methane production in the surface ocean. Results will be used to model the oceanic methane cycle using the MITgcm Arctic Regional Model and improve the biogeochemical components of the Regional Arctic System Model (RASM).

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