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Out in the dark

During the darkest month of the year, the Nansen Legacy chose to conduct two of this year's four cruises. Despite darkness, wind and ice, both cruises turned out a success. The first, a mooring service cruise, managed to recover and re-deploy all Nansen Legacy moorings (see below for more detailed information). The second cruise, the seasonal cruise Q4, managed to revisit most of the Nansen Legacy transect stations and to continue the work started during the seasonal cruise Q3 in August.

Mooring service cruise

The main objective of the joint Nansen Legacy and A-TWAIN/SIOS-InfraNor mooring service cruise was the recovery and deployment of the projects’ moorings in the Barents Sea and north of Svalbard. Additionally, CTD stations with water sampling and a Seaglider deployment were conducted. The cruise left from Longyearbyen Nov 12, heading to the Barents Sea. First sea ice was encountered at Sørkapp, but moorings M4 and M3 could be recovered and re-deployed in open water. M1 and M2 were successfully recovered and re-deployed in ice. After a CTD transect, mooring work continued on the A-TWAIN transect at 30˚E. Further moorings were recovered at 24˚E, 22˚E and 18˚E, as well as deployed at 22˚E. An attempt was made to recover a mooring on the Yermak Plateau. While the mooring was found and communication was established, the sea ice cover prevented recovery in the time that was left before the ship had to turn south again to reach Longyearbyen on the Nov 27. Despite at times heavy sea ice cover, the cruise was highly successful which could not have been achieved without the capabilities of RV Kronprins Haakon. The cruise was led by Arild Sundfjord (NPI) and Angelika Renner (IMR).

Map of cruise track, mooring operations, glider deployment and CTD stations during the joint Nansen Legacy and A-TWAIN/SIOS-InfraNor mooring service cruise.

Impressions from the Nansen Legacy out in the field:

Upcoming Nansen Legacy cruises.

147 in Oslo

The Nansen Legacy annual meeting gathered 147 scientists, technicians and communication advisors in Oslo for three days in October. The meeting was a mixture of plenary presentations of Nansen Legacy first results, group discussion within and across workpackages, as well as dedicated workshops on different topics. The meeting help consolidate the collaboration between researchers within the project, but facilitated also new alliances. Members of the Nansen Legacy scientific advisory board and international collaborating projects actively contributed to the success of the meeting.

The days before the annual meeting, thirty of the about fifty Nansen Legacy early career scientists met for the annual Recruit Forum. The Recruit Forum is a meeting place for the younger researchers in the project for networking and focusing on topics of interest. This years Recruit Forum focused on getting to know each other but personaly as scientificly. Consequently, the program was a mixture of social activities, scientific presentations and discussions. The Research Council of Norway contributed with a presentation on Plan S and the DORA declaration, and Prof. Dag O. Hessen with a talk on the importance of science communication.

Impressions from the Nansen Legacy Recruit Forum 2019.

Warmer, uncertain but predictable? Results from the scenario workshop during the annual meeting.

“Future thinking” is a topic that has received increasing attention in recent decades. A variety of methods exist to think about the future. One of the methods most familiar to the community of natural scientists is based on numerical model simulations. The scenario method is a complementary approach that has been an integral part of the framework of “future studies” or “futurology” for more than 50 years.

Scenario building is not about predicting, but about exploring. Scenarios explore multiple futures, from the expected to the wildcard, in forms that are analytically coherent and imaginatively engaging. Thinking about the future is both universal (everyone thinks about the future) and personal (everyone thinks about it in their own way). Scenario workshops allows scientists and non-scientists (managers, stakeholders) to confront their perspectives about the future. Such workshops can be used as a platform to engage parties into a constructive dialogue and reflect together about potential threats and adaptations to cope with uncertain futures.

A first scenario workshop was organized in August 2019. It was primarily targeting stakeholders. Its objective was to highlight current practices in risk management and how these could be altered under possible future scenarios. During this first workshop the stakeholders emphasised the importance of the continuous dialogue between scientists, managers and sectors. They particularly valued the communication of recent scientific results and of anticipated changes in the natural system. In addition, they identified several domains of interest regarding scientific contributions. These include possible future changes in: biological production, biodiversity, seasonality, species spatial distribution, conflicts of access to resources, ecosystem vulnerability and geopolitics.

A second scenario workshop was organized by Benjamin Planque (IMR) in order to allow Nansen Legacy scientists to jointly explore possible futures. Particular attention was paid to discuss unexpected vs. expected futures, to specify desired vs. undesired futures and to highlight how the research conducted in the Nansen Legacy can contribute to the domains of interest identified earlier by the stakeholders.

The future of the Barents Sea in one word as seen by the participants of the scenario workshop during the Nansen Legacy annual meeting In October 2019.

Of the about 70 participating Nansen Legacy researchers, 72% think that in 30 years from now, the Barents will not function as it does today but at the same time, most believe that we can anticipate the changes (45% of total respondents). The vulnerability of the Barents Sea is perceived as increasing by 61% and decreasing by 2% while 13% think it is not changing very much and 24% think it is not measurable. Respondents are fairly confident about future increases in human activities, pollution (of various kinds), temperature, sea-ice loss and changes in species composition. A number of unlikely events that could possibly alter the future of the Barents Sea were suggested, including oil exploitation accidents, species invasions, radioactive incidents, political incidents and technological inventions.

Nansen Legacy webinar series

There is so much exciting science going on in the project, that it is time to share our knowledge with each other and people outside the project. Therefore, the Nansen Legacy has launched a webinar series open to all interested inside and outside the project.

Nansen Legacy side events at Arctic Frontiers

The Nansen Legacy will be represented through two site events during the Arctic Frontiers conference in Tromsø during the last week of January. On Monday, Jan 27, the project will gather some of its scientists and members of the project's reference group for a dialog on important and relevant issues regarding the Barents Sea and the Arctic marine environment. The goal is to turn science results into powerful knowledge and build a more informed and closer interaction between scientists and policy makers. On Tuesday, Jan 28, the Nansen Legacy contributes to a side event on Arctic fisheries, addressing the critical elements of modern fisheries management.

[Title photo: Nansen Legacy doctoral fellow, Yasemin Bodur, deploys short-term sediment traps with help of a crew member during the cruise with RV Kronprins Haakon in August 2019. (c) Christian Morel / christianmorel.net]