Arctic Challenge for Sustainability Project

ArCS Blog

ArCS Blog

The Arctic Greenland and Antarctic Ice Sheets are made of ice from the past snow. By drilling the ice sheet and analyzing the ice core (cylindrical ice), it is possible to reconstruct the global environment up to dozens of 10,000 years ago. From this year, I started research on ice core for polar ice sheets, focusing on the gas components contained in ice cores and the physical characteristics of snow and ice. Ice Core Analysis Techniques (ICAT) PhD school-2019 was held from September 23 to 28, 2019 in Copenhagen, Denmark, for the purpose of educating young ice core scientists. The International Ice Drill Symposium (IDS) was held from September 30th to October 3rd. I participated in ICAT and IDS with the aim of deepening my understanding of ice core research and solidifying the basis for future research.

Kobe University Polar Cooperation Research Centre (PCRC) was established in 2015 to undertake Arctic international legal and policy studies under Theme 7 of ArCS project. PCRC will convene a special session at 12th Polar Law Symposium held in Hobart, Tasmania, 2-5 December 2019, to showcase the result of international collaborative research over the last 5 years and to consider the post-ArCS research agenda. 

In the past month of July I had the opportunity to travel to Middleton island, Alaska, to conduct my research about plastic ingestion by seabirds. In collaboration with the Institute for Seabird Research and Conservation (ISRC), and sponsored by ArCS Program for Overseas Visits by Young Researchers, I had the possibility to conduct my experiment on Black-legged Kittiwakes, a seabird species that belongs to the gull family Laridae.

The CAFF board meeting held on 5 and 6 September at the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency, Stockholm. This meeting was first- time for the Swedish chair. About forty-five people from fourteen countries attended the meeting. Main work of the meeting was to confirm the present situation for each monitoring and project. As for monitoring, freshwater monitoring report was issued. Since The Circumpolar Biodiversity Monitoring Program(CBMP) expart groups have accumulated knowledge for management, data summarise and so on. It was suggested that chairs of each expert group attend other expert groups to learn above issues. Also,  Sustainability of CBMP and facilitation of cross-cutting integration across the four CBMP monitoring groups to be a considered at upcoming scoping workshops meetings. It may be big news for observer countries that CBMP are welcome to receive resources from observer countries to support the CBMP.

We started our expedition to Qeqertat on 12th August after the glacial observation on Qaanaaq Icecap and oceanographic observations in Bowdoin Fjord. Qeqertat is a small village located in the innermost area of Inglefield Fjord, with easy access to the marine-terminating glaciers within the fjord (e.g., Tracy Glacier, Heilprin Glacier).

ArCS Research Theme 2 "Variations in the ice sheet, glaciers, ocean and environment in the Greenland region" studies interaction between the Greenland ice sheet and the ocean. Every summer since 2012, we have carried out field observations around Qaanaaq village in northwestern Greenland. This year in 2019, we went to Bowdoin Glacier located 30 km northeast from Qaanaaq from 1st to 15th July. Field data from glaciers in this region are sparse because of poor accessibility to Qaanaaq area and difficulty in field activity on crevassed ice surface. With this background, we continue glacial field observation to investigate recent changes in glacier flow and their mechanism.

As a part of ‘theme 6’ ecosystem and biodiversity research program, ArCS researchers studied seabirds breeding on St Lawrence Island, Northern Bering Sea. This season is the fourth year of our fieldwork, which started in 2016. Researchers from NIPR and University of Alaska Fairbanks worked together with native guides from St. Lawrence Island, from mid-June to mid-August. I traveled to join the fieldwork during 19 June – 6 July 2019.

I visited Italy and Russia from 14 March to 13 April, 2019 through the support from the ArCS Program for Overseas Visits by Young Researchers. This is the second time that I was able to get support from the program. My first visit in 2017 was to the Sakha Republic, Russia, where I started the polar bear research project with the Yakutian researchers. The main purpose of my second visit was for disseminating the results of our research and meeting with my collaborators for further development of polar bear study in Russia.