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Past and present changes to the ocean and sea-ice in the Arctic Archipelago

The goal of this project is to provide the modelling framework for future impact studies on the Canadian Arctic Archipelago’s pack ice, oceanography and marine food web. In developing a modeling capability (for both the ocean and sea-ice), using the newest and most advanced techniques for numerical modelling of the Canadian north and Arctic Archipelago, there is the potential to provide the tools for many future studies of this region.

Once the tools (i.e. new advanced modelling techniques) have been developed and tested, they can be provided to other groups within Canada (such as the operational forecasting groups associated with Fisheries and Oceans Canada and the Canadian Ice Service).

Additionally, with solid physical models, one can then foresee an improved ability to examine issues of ocean chemistry, biology, ecosystem or pollution through the coupling of these ‘applied’ models to the newly developed physical modeling capability.

Being able to simulate this large region of the Canadian North will be important given the many recent observations that suggest that significant changes are presently occurring in the Arctic, as reported in the recent Arctic Climate Impact Assessment.

There is also a strong need in both industry and government for greater numbers of individuals trained in developing, setting up, running and analyzing complex general circulation models. A larger pool of HQP will also be a legacy of this project.

Study site locations

The model domain includes the en-tire region from the Arctic Ocean through to the Labrador Sea, but focused at a higher resolution on the Arctic Archipelago.

Local collaborations

Mainly still needing to be developed as the model has only just reached the stage where it can be used to answer questions relevant to people living in the north.

-Churchill Northern Studies Centre for snow on ice field validation studies.

Project contact information:

Paul Myers
Associate Professor
Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences
University of Alberta
Edmonton, Alberta