Research program of the drifting research station North Pole-36


Arctic region is the part of the global climate system, where climate fluctuations, caused by either natural or anthropogenic factors, show the most. The most important problems, stimulating the interest of Russia and other Arctic Nations for the study of Arctic Ocean are :

                     Sensitivity of Arctic to climate variations and the necessity of modeling for the forecast of their changes ;

                     Vulnerability of Arctic environment and role of the Arctic Ocean in transport of matter, including the pollutants and radioactive nuclides;

                     Growth of economical activity in the high north

Active study and development of Arctic, necessity of monitoring of the ecological situation in the Arctic ocean, especially its coastal zones, make organization and monitoring of the system atmosphere-ice-cover ocean in the real time scale in the complex of meteorological, ice, hydrophysical , geochemical, geophysical , biological and other parameters the prior task. Results of such monitoring will be the basis for the improvement of monitoring of the Arctic Ocean and weather forecast methods and models of Arctic climate.

The first question, which appears at the proposal of large scale research in the Arctic, is always as: is it worth spending forces and funds to organize the drifting stations and oceanographic surveys of the territories covered by ice? The response can only be positive. Climatic and oceanographic meaning of the Ocean with the unique characteristics stays far beyond its boarders. For example, deep waters, originated in its seas fill the Atlantic Basin and influence much the circulation World Ocean. Ice cover of the Arctic Ocean has thermodynamic stability, remains for millions of years, spreading from time to time to the North Atlantic and influences the global heat balance and the climatic system of the whole Earth. During interaction of water masses of various origins with the ice cover and atmosphere, their transport and transformation, positive and negative thermodynamic connections are forming. They determine the fluctuations of climatic regime in the North Polar region, spreding then southwards.

Today there are reasons to suggest that long period climate changes of the Polar system exist, the origin of which is not clear enough. Influence of water mass with high salinity developing on the shelves of the marginal arctic seas on the regime deep waters of the Arctic Ocean is not deeply studied. It is also not quite obvious at what seasons the reorganization of ice-hydrilogical regime in the Arctic Basin takes place. Lack of such information is explained by scarcity of annual reliable observations with the modern equipment.

                     It is worth mentioning, that up to 90-ies Russia conducted complex monitoring together with fundamental and applied investigations of Arctic environment and especially the Arctic Ocean. From 1948 to 1991 in the Arctic marginal seas and central Arctic Basin uninterrupted annual scientific observations were performed on drifting stations North Pole (NP), accompanying by annual oceanographic surveys of the Arctic Ocean (high latitude air surveys Sever) and marine expeditions to the arctic seas (ice patrols). This resulted into consideravle enlargement of knowledge about Arctic Ocean. Observations data together with scientific summarizing give up to the present the multiple pictures of the environmental conditions and processes in the AO.

Results of the performed observations and scientific research provided the priority of Russia in AO study. This was reflected in Arctic Ocean Atlas published in 80-ies (1980) and Atlas if the Arctic (1985). Later on, on the basis of available Russian and several foreign oceanographic, sea ice and meteorological data in 1997-2001 the series of electronic climatic atlases on oceanography and hydrochemistry, sea ice and meteorology of AO was produced.

Climate changes, being observed during the last decade, without any doubts must have been reflected on the meteorological regime of the high latitudes. Instrumental proves were obtained during meteorological observations on the drifting stations NP-32,NP-33,NP-34,NP-35 in 2004-2008. During their drift positive anomalies of mean daily air temperatures prevailed. At that occurrence of extreme weather conditions increased: maximus and minimus of air temperatures, often changes of air temperatures and air pressure, intensity of occasional precipitation(s), occurrence of storms etc. So, according to observational data aboard the Norwegian vessel Fram during the whole summer period in 1985 there were only three days observed with the mean daily temperature above 0 ˚. According to the observational data on the drifting stations in 1950-ies - 90-ies the amount of days with the positive mean daily temperatures did exceed six for the whole year. On the drifting station NP-32, drifting higher north comparing to Fram such days appeared to be 26.

More often precipitation became more typical for NP-32": from June to September each month was registered with 20 days with precipitation. In June the amount of precipitation became 5 times higher then the multi annual standard, monthly standards were also exceeded more then twice from July to September and 3, 2 times more in November.

Per se, the results of systematical meteorological observations on NP-32-NP-35 became instrumental proves of climate changes and particularly continuous warming of the low layers of atmosphere in high Arctic latitudes.

Together with mentioned atmosphere warming the increase of intensity of upper layer and concenration of greenhouse gases, positive temperature anomaly of the Atlantic waters, inflowing onto the Arctic Basin of the Arctic Ocean and decrease of the sea ice cover, beng called in the international community Rapid Arctic Climate Change and determining realization in the last years the international and national programs of Arctic research are observed.

At the most degree such a sufficient Arctic climate anomaly became the reason of initiative of International Polar Year 2007-2008.

Investigations of the last years note the role of iner annual cylcles in the formation of inter annual (climatic) viraibility of the AO, especially large scaled viraibility of its ice and hydrological regimes. At that summer and winther proceses in he Arctic seas and Arcitc Basin influnce diferently on transport and transformation of upcoming mattters from rivers and atmosphere, on biological , sedimentation and gas echange proceses in the Arctic region.

Mentioned obstacles make as the prioity the research of seasonal cycles of the various AO characteristics as key processes formating the cliatic variability of meteorological, sea ice, hydrological, biological and sedimenation regimes and ecological state of the Ocean.

Therefore, the program of AO research must be of a complex character and its key section must be annual AO observations emphasizing the study of physical mechanisms, responsible for the development of seasonal processes and formation of inter annual changes. The basis for such research as well as providing of qualified hydrometeorological information of the forcast Russian organiation ns be complex observations on the drifting stations North Pole , accompanying by summer marine and winther oceanographic surveys .

The resuls of works of drifitng station will be Main priorities of works, planning on the drifting station NP-36 are : annual sandard meteorological , sea ice and oceanographic observations, monitoring of the modern environment and its pollution in the area of drift, gas exchange research I nthe system atmosphere-sea ice-ocean, special experimental works, aiming to invistigate the proceses, deermining climatic changes in the Central Arctic and estinations of its unfluence on the environment and ecosystem of the Arctic region in Russia in the whole .

Drifting station NP-36 is organized with the perspective of work during one year.

On the first stage (September 2008 March 2009) the works on preparation of the station and its facilities, organization and basic for meteorological, sea ice and oceanographic observations will be done, and as well as the number of special observations, provided by this program.

In March-May 2009 it is planned to enlarge works of fundamental and operational character on the station. At that joint observations and experiments are possible, types and volume of which will be determined depending on Russian interests and logistic possibilities of spring 2009.

In June-August 2009 standard observations will be continued and special seasonal investigations to study the processes, connected with summer melting of ice cover and development of summer processes in the area of the station drift.