Over the last decades, sea-ice in the Arctic Ocean (AO) has undergone unprecedented changes, with drastic decline in its extent, thickness and duration. Modern climate models are unable to simulate these changes, leading to large uncertainties in Arctic and Global Change predictions. Sea-ice strongly attenuates solar radiation and it is generally thought that phytoplankton, which drives Arctic marine CO2 sequestration, only grow in open waters once sea-ice retreats in spring. However, the discovery of large under-ice phytoplankton blooms (UIBs) growing beneath sea-ice contradicts this paradigm. UIB productivity in ice-covered regions has been suggested to be ten-fold larger than presently modeled. By initiating an international network (USA, France, Canada, Germany, Norway), the CAP-ICE project will acquire knowledge on the occurrence of UIBs, the physical mechanisms that control their initiation and productivity, and will quantify how UIBs affect the Arctic carbon cycle and climate.
This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 746748.
European project MSCA-IF-GF - Global Fellowships