The fast decline of Arctic sea ice in the last decades is commonly viewed as manifestation of the climate change. The sea ice reduction exposes a large area of the previously ice-covered Arctic Ocean to the atmosphere, and intensifies air-ocean exchanges. This leads to changes in ocean circulation and impacts ocean ecosystems.
Due to multiple influences between ocean and sea ice the future state of the Arctic ecosystem is not well understood. The proposed project will address changes in the ocean currents in the Arctic Ocean and the regional differences the marine ecosystems between the two provinces in the Arctic Ocean: the Atlantic and Pacific sectors. Using historical data, new observations and high-resolution ocean and ecosystem models the project will investigate current changes in the ocean currents, nutrients supply and ecologically important key substances, such as CO2. The data from the "Multidisciplinary drifting Observatory for the Study of Arctic Climate" Observational Programme (MOSAiC; see also http://www.mosaic-expedition.org/) will be used. The programme is planned to take place in 2019/2020 and will cover a large part of the Eurasian Basin and central Arctic. The project will examine nutrient supply to the upper ocean and the changes in marine ecosystems in the future climate change scenarios for the next assessment of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and will quantify the impact of the emerging new Arctic climate on the ecosystems, fisheries, Arctic industries and societies. The project brings together leading researchers from the UK, Germany and Sweden, building on the research expertise in the Polar Sciences. The project will facilitate a new understanding of the Arctic and climate in the UK, Europe and worldwide.