Change and variability of Arctic Systems Nordaustlandet, Svalbard

Project Description
Short Title: Kinnvika
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We will mount a series of research expeditions during IPY to Nordaustlandet, Svalbard, the northernmost island in the Nordic Arctic sector which is 90% ice covered. The multi-disciplinal and multi-national initiative is composed by 26 projects, having individual goals, but well integrated common themes ( The spectrum of projects from geosciences to the humanities, investigates how the environmental and anthropogenic dynamics have changed recently in comparison with past records of change from existing expedition logs and photographs, proxy climate data from ice-, lake- and sea-sediment cores, and dynamic studies both on terrestrial as marine ice, comprising more than 80 Principal Investigators (

We will monitor atmospheric, terrestrial and cryospheric chemical, and physical fluxes continuously over, and beyond, the period of the IPY. The activities will be integrated to existing research and monitoring in Svalbard as well as to relevant IPY projects to which Kinnvika base will serve an important add on site.Historical remains in the field and in archives from a succession of cultures of whale hunting, trapping, exploration and mineral exploitation are abundant on Nordaustlandet and northwestern Spitsbergen. Economic change and cultural variability are major themes in the interdisciplinary humanistic research that will investigate these traces at significant sites, esp. natural harbors located at good hunting grounds of the past. Historical archaeology, including pioneering arctic marine archaeology, will be combined with scientific investigations of e.g. soil chemistry, erosion and local biological alterations resulting from human interaction with the wilderness of Spitsbergen. History of science will be a major integrating endeavor in this, relating a temporal and geographical sequence of aboriginal and Western knowledge projects to the crucial transition from colonial to post-colonial arctic science and scholarship.Earlier research expedition data viewed through modern surveys and data gathering will provide data on the degree of change and variability in this particular system. Proxy-records from a variety of natural archives will bring a time-dimension to more process-focused or monitoring studies. Special attention will be paid to the response of the cryosphere to past climate and environmental changes. This is closely linked to geological assessment of glacial history and monitoring of atmospheric pollutant transport pathways. Advanced statistical methods and numerical models will be used to elucidate linkages between the systems and global teleconnections. In addition the biological legacy of the 1957-58 IGY will be explored via investigation of anthropogenically disturbed vegetation, soils, and soil biology (invertebrates, microbes) to determine the persistence of human influence on semi-desert ecosystems. We aim to provide a platform for broadband scientific endeavour into a relatively poorly investigated part of the Svalbard Archipelago. The plethora of instruments and methods we plan to unleash are required to fully measure change and variability in the Arctic system both from the human use to the resonances within the natural system. For synergies sought between different research fields, see ( will provide a legacy in the form of a renovated scientific base for future, primarily Nordic field research on Nordaustlandet