Arctic Challenge for Sustainability Project

ArCS Blog

Field observation in Qaanaaq, northwestern Greenland (From Qaanaaq 1)

In order to quantify the changes of glaciers and the ice sheet, and to study their interaction with the ocean, we are conducting in situ field observations in northwestern Greenland.

These observations have been carried out five times since 2012, and from last year we started collaboration with researchers from ETH Zurich and the University of Florence. In the coastal area of Qaanaaq, where we are based in, sea ice is now disappearing day by day with a start of summer season. In such severe environment, starting sea ice melt only in July, colorful houses of the village give us the impression of people’s life. After arrival to Qaanaaq, mass balance observations were initiated at the Qaanaaq Ice Cap. We measured heights of so called melting stakes, or poles that were left last year on the ice cap in order to monitor changes in the amount of snowfall and melting. Based on such continuous monitoring, we expect to reveal ongoing environmental changes in the Arctic region. Tomorrow, camp-based field observations will start at the Bowdoin Glacier.

Yoshihiko Ohashi (Hokkaido University)

*This post was written on 3rd July, 2016.

Sea ice is disappearing from the coast of Qaanaaq village

Mass balance measurement on Qaanaaq Ice Cap