GrIS-MeltProject ID: 752325
Impacts of Greenland Ice Sheet melt on primary productivity and carbon cycling in Greenland coastal ecosystems
Due to recent anthropogenic climate warming, the Greenland Ice Sheet (GrIS) is melting at accelerating rates, increasing the freshwater content of the Arctic Ocean. Freshwater run-off from the GrIS influences circulation patterns and stratification of the water column and also introduces large fluxes of allochthonous organic and inorganic matter into the Greenland coastal environment, both of which have the potential to influence microbial carbon cycling. Changing patterns of circulation and stratification have the potential to effect water column mixing and thus nutrient supply to primary producers, while introduction of particles and suspended sediments can limit light availability to primary producers and provide increased surface area for bacterial activity. Recent studies also documented that GrIS melt water contains significant amounts of bioavailable organic carbon and nutrients, which could provide subsidies to the microbial community, but the impact is unknown. At present, studies have only quantified the effects of GrIS melt water on the physical and chemical environment of Greenland fjords, no studies have addressed the physicochemical effects of melt water and its allochthonous constituents on ecosystem carbon cycling, making it difficult to estimate how increased melting is altering the productivity regimes in coastal marine ecosystem around Greenland. Primary production is the base of the marine food web and supports commercial and sustenance fisheries along the Greenland coast. Melting of the GrIS is expected to intensify in the future. Thus, this project proposes a timely effort to determine the impact of GrIS melt water on productivity and carbon cycling in the Greenland coastal ecosystem, the results of which can be used by climate scientist and fisheries managers to predict the future productivity of an locally and globally important ecosystem.
EU contribution: EUR 200 194,80
NORDRE RINGGADE 1
8000 AARHUS C