Project description
The Arctic climate is changing faster than anywhere else on Earth. One of the most obvious consequences of this warming is rapidly diminishing sea-ice, especially in late summer. The observed dramatic loss of summer sea-ice must have strong consequences for marine life thriving in ice-free conditions and on nutrients freed from the melting ice.  Particulate and gaseous emissions from Arctic microbiological marine processes may affect the widespread blanket of low clouds through their role in forming the cloud droplets over the summer Arctic, which in turn affects the melting of sea ice.  Understanding this two-way connection between the sea and the clouds is necessary for the projection of the development of Arctic climate and its influence on human activities.

The proposed project aims at understanding the connections between biological processes in the Arctic seas and the overlying clouds that are known controllers of regional climate and sea-ice.  The research work will include the development and deployment of different tech­niques such as liquid and gas chromatography, and electron microscopy to charac­ter­ize the chemical and physical properties of aerosol particulate matter, its state of mixture, sour­ces and partitioning between air and the surface ocean.  In particular, chemical analyses will focus on the detection of organic compounds such as polysaccharides, proteins, and amino acids in samples to be collected during a scheduled icebreaker expedition to the North Pole in the summer of 2018. Experience in experimental work, and analytical or organic chemistry would therefore be an advantage.

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