Science News News about the main scientific activities

The seasonal investigation has started

The investigation of seasonal changes in the northern Barents Sea is a key milestone for the Nansen Legacy in 2019/2020, with four interdisciplinary research cruises scheduled to complete this task. The first of the four seasonal cruises tok place in August, with a 35 person strong scientists team on board RV Kronprins Haakon. The Nansen Legacy seasonal cruise Q3 (Q3: 3rd quarter of the year) addressed objectives of the research foci in RF1 on physical drivers, RF2 on human drivers, and RF3 on the living Barents Sea, and collected necessary data along the Nansen Legacy transect in open waters and within the ice. Experiments were an important component of the conducted research in order to quantify processes, rates and interactions that will also feed modeling work and projections in RF4. The observational capacity was increased also outside the cruise periods, through deployment of two gliders for RF1, and three moorings in collaboration with RF1/2/3.

Station map for the Nansen Legacy seasonal Q3 cruise. Process stations P1-P7, intermediate CTD stations (NLEG), and mooring sites M1-M6 is shown. Moorings at M5 and M6 were deployed during the cruise.

The seasonal investigation started in August will be continued with cruises in November/December (Q4 cruise), March (Q1 cruise) and April/May (Q2 cruise). A cruise on physical winter processes, planned for early 2020, is postponed until winter 2021, due to repair work on RV Kronprins Haakon during winter 2020.

Upcoming Nansen Legacy cruises.

Nansen Legacy pan-Arctic collaboration and integration

On Sep 20, R/V Polarstern left Tromsø for the largest arctic research expedition of our times; the one-year long MOSAiC-expedtion to the central Arctic Ocean. The formost goal of MOSAiC is a breakthrough in understanding the Arctic climate system and in its representation in global climate models. More than 500 people from 19 countries participate in or contribute to the MOSAiC expedition, among of which also Nansen Legacy researchers. Nansen Legacy scientist Mats Granskog (NPI) leads for exemple the norwegian MOSAiC-project 'HAVOC', in which another nine Nansen Legacy scientists take part. Tight collaboration between MOSAiC and the Nansen Legacy will ensure integration of comparable measurements from different parts of the Arctic, and hence contribute to the understanding of pan-Arctic processes and changes.

Nansen Legacy investigation area (black line: standard transect, white boxes: area for process studies, grey lines: extended transects 2021) and MOSAiC drift trajectory. [Map modified from M. Årthun, UiB]

Other international projects the Nansen Legacy is collaborating with are:

Illustration: Juliette Planque

Stakeholder workshop on the future Barents Sea, risks, mitigation and adaptation options

In August, the Nansen Legacy arranged together with the BarentsRisk project a stakeholder workshop with the title "The future Barents Sea, risks, mitigation and adaptation options". The workshop was attended by 7 researchers (IMR, UiB) and 10 stakeholders, representing the following organisations: the Norwegian Radiation and Nuclear safety authority, the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate, the Norwegian Environment Agency, the Norwegian Coastal Administration, the Norwegian Polar institute, the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea, Equinor, Fiskebåt, Biotech North and the World Wide Fund For Nature.

The objective of the workshop was to undertake a joint exploration of the possible states of the Barents Sea by the horizon 2050, the associated risks and the possible ways to mitigate or adapt to them. The workshop was divided in four sessions. Session #1 focussed on risks and ecosystem services, session #2 focussed on futures for the Barents Sea, session #3 consisted in group work to explore how risk may change under future scenarios and session #4 discussed science-stakeholder interactions.

During these sessions, a broad range of issues were discussed. Some salient points that emerge from the presentations, group work and discussions are: • different stakeholders have different ways of defining risk and managing it • the notion of ecosystem services is not part of the culture of all stakeholders and it should be better communicated • among all future scenarios considered, the global governance perspective was considered most often and associated to increased risks • science-based (fact-based) policy is valued by stakeholders; communication between stakeholders and scientists is valued by stakeholders • dialogue between parties is an important tool to reduce risk, and the dialogue method used in the meeting is perceived as a good way to identify the most pressing issues


The second Nansen Legacy workshop on best practices for ecological model evaluation, chaired by Benjamin Planque (IMR) was held in Oslo on the 23-25th September 2019. The meeting was attended by 15 participants from five institutions. The objective of the workshop was to develop a protocol for describing the evaluation of ecological models.

The workshop started with a test of the evaluation protocol, drafted during the first workshop in 2018. For this purpose, the evaluation protocol was applied to specific applications of six ecological models (Gomperz, Norwecom, Atlantis, NDND, EwE and NorCPM/ESM). In a second phase, workshop participants engaged into open discussions about the efficacy of the protocol, how well it could be understood, or how comprehensive it was. The workshop con-tinued with group work, during which the different sections of the protocol were revised. These were reviewed and commented in plenary, revised again, and discuss in plenary again. This iterative process led to a revision of the protocol. The draft will serve as a basis for a manuscript which is expected to be submitted in 2020.

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.

The first webinar was held by Martin Ludvigsen (NTNU), Ilker Fer (UiB) and Geir Johnsen (NTNU) on "Robotics and technology in marine sciences", addressing the advantages of using autonomous underwater vehicles for both physical and ecological studies in the sea. If you were unable to join the webinar, you can watch the recording here (start at time 1:30 min).

Reaching out!

Nansen Legacy researchers contributed with various activities to this year's national research days ("Forskningsdagene"), such as activities on science fares in Oslo and Tromsø, a photo exhibition and an tehamtic evening program on the Nansen Legacy's research at Litteraturhuset in Oslo. Thanks to all contributors for your creativity, engagement and enthusiasm!

[Title photo: Bodil Bluhm from UiT logs samples of benthic animals and fish, which are preserved with alcohol for further investigation. (c) Christian Morel/www.christianmorel.net]