Arctic Field Projects



Project Title: BLACK and BLOOM - Microbial processes darken and accelerate the melting of the Greenland Ice Sheet (Award# WilliamsonNERC)

PI: Williamson, Christopher (c.williamson@bristol.ac.uk)
Phone: 44GB(0117) 331.4151 
Institute/Department: Bristol University, Schools of Biological & Geographical Sciences 
IPY Project?
Funding Agency: GB\Federal\NERC
Program Manager: Mr. Patrick Haggerty (phaggert@nsf.gov)
Discipline(s): | Cryosphere |

Project Web Site(s):
Project: http://darksnow.org/
Project: https://blackandbloom.org/

Science Summary:
The UK Natural Environment Research Council(NERC) has funded a consortium of UK scientist to work together with their international collaborators on issues related to why the melting of the Greenland Ice Sheet is accelerating. Global warming alone is not enough to account for the increasingly rapid melting of the ice sheet. Other factors are darkening the ice sheet surface, which results in greater rates of melting. The main focus of this large research project is based on our hypothesis that microbes thrive and bloom on melting snow and ice surfaces, and darken the ice sheet surface as a consequence.

Logistics Summary:
The main focus of this large UK-led research project, funded by the UK Natural Environment Research Council (NERC), will test the hypothesis that microbes thrive and bloom on melting snow and ice surfaces, and darken the ice sheet surface as a consequence. Beginning in 2016, this five year project will conduct detailed measurements of how the surface of the ice sheet darkens over the whole spring, summer and autumn, starting with cold snow, going through slush, then ice as the snow melt drains away, and finally to rotten ice, a mix of ice and water. Note: The lead PI for this project is Martyn Tranter, however, the NSF billing arrangement was made directly with Dr. Williamson, a collaborator on this project, therefore, Williamson is listed as the PI in this document and record. In 2016, a field team of five will travel to Kangerlussuaq, Greenland via commercial air. They will use Kangerlussuaq as a hub to access the ice sheet for these measurements throughout the summer.

CPS will provide Air National Guard (ANG) coordination of shipments of two LN2 dewars NY><Kangerlussuaq. All other logistics, including the cost of procuring the LN2 and vent kits, will be arranged and paid for by the grant. NSF will recoup costs associated with this support directly from NERC/Bristol University.
SeasonField SiteDate InDate Out#People
2016Greenland - Kangerlussuaq07 / 12 / 2016 08 / 05 / 20165
 


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