Arctic Challenge for Sustainability Project

ArCS Blog

ArCS Blog

On 7 March 2017, the first debriefing session of the program for overseas visits by young researchers was held right after the plenary meeting of ArCS project. Four young researchers attended the session as speakers: Ms. Narumi Tahara (Osaka Prefecture University), Dr. Takuya Nakanowatari (National Institute of Polar Research), Mr. Ryozo Ohshima (Mitsui O.S.K. Lines) and I (Kobe University). Since Mr. Arata Kioka (University of Innsbruck) was not able to attend the session, he made a poster to introduce his research activity for the poster session in the plenary meeting.

Scientist Quest “What will happen in the Arctic? Ocean, Life and People” was held on Monday, 8th January at Miraikan (the National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation), Odaiba. The event was organized by Theme 4, Theme 6 and Theme 7 of the ArCS Project. Under the common question of “What happens as the Arctic sea ice decreases?”, the program of the event consisted of three talks: “Ocean, ice and small living things in the Arctic” from Theme 4, “The migration of Shearwaters” from Theme 6 and “What will change as the sea ice in the Arctic Ocean decreases?” from Theme 7.

I conducted a research on paleoceanography of the Arctic Ocean at Bird Polar and Climate Research Institute, Ohio State University in the United States for 9 months from September 1, 2016 to May 31, 2017 with financial assistance from the program for overseas visits by young researchers, which is a part of ArCS project. The sediment cores retrieved from the Arctic Ocean are stored at Bird Polar and Climate Research Institute, and it offers an ideal environment to study paleoceanography of the Arctic Ocean.

First round-table conference on Arctic between government officials and researchers was held on Monday, 5th February 2018.

Prior to this epoch making round-table conference, Keiji Ide who is the Japan's Ambassador in charge of Arctic Affairs and some officials from the Ocean and Earth Division in the Research and Development Bureau of the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) attended at Roundtable discussion on Arctic Council and its working groups which was held on Thursday, 19th October 2017 as a part of research activity of Dispatch of Experts menu and Theme7: People and Community in the Arctic: Possibility of Sustainable Development of the ArCS project. It was triggered to hold this round-table conference. There were about 50 participants consisting of about 30 researchers, mainly from ArCS participants, and 20 government officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Cabinet Office, MEXT and other ministries.

Long awaited agreements (comprehensive MoU and Agreement on specific cooperative observations) between Arctic and Antarctic Research Institute, Russia (AARI) and National Institute of Polar Research, Japan (NIPR) were signed and cooperative observation on black carbon (BC) has been started at Cape Baranova Station (79.27N, 101.75E) as a part of ArCS project in October 2017. At this occasion, two-day workshop on Arctic research (WS) was held together with 5 members from AARI including new director, Dr. Alexander Makarov, and Japanese member from NIPR and other institutions.

I visited the Alfred-Wegener-Institute (AWI) from 1 March to 30 May 2017 with funding from the ArCS’ program for overseas visits by young researchers. There are many AWI’s research buildings in the northern part of Germany and the plankton laboratory I visited belong to the Polar Biological Oceanography section located in a port town named Bremerhaven.  There we can see a lot of cars and windmills manufactured in and being exported from Germany and I felt that the atmosphere was similar to Tomakomai in Hokkaido.

I visited University of Toronto (U of T), Toronto, Canada, for four months from January 4th, 2017, with financial support from ArCS’ Program for Overseas Visits by Young Researchers. My research focuses on Stratospheric Sudden Warming, a dynamical phenomenon which occurs in the Arctic stratosphere in winter. Prof. Paul Kushner, my supervisor at U of T, is a well-known researcher in my area. I greatly appreciate this program which gave me an opportunity to do research with him and hope this program will be widely known and used by students and young researchers.

From March 22 to April 21, 2017, I visited the Institute of Biological Problems of Cryolithozone Siberian Branch of RAS (IBPC) in Yakutsk, Sakha Republic, Russia. In the coastal area of Sakha Republic, feeding ecology of polar bears is suggested to have changed recently, however the actual condition and the cause of the occurrence are not clear. Therefore I decided to start the study of the feeding ecology of polar bears in the north-eastern Russia as a joint research program with IBPC. The purpose of this visit was to establish the joint study system and carry out the first field survey to collect fecal samples of polar bears.