Arctic Freshwater Synthesis Project Update

- contributed by Arvid Bring and Johanna Mård Karlsson, Stockholm University, project co-leads

There is increasing scientific recognition that changes to the Arctic freshwater systems has produced, and could produce even greater, changes to bio-geophysical and socio-economic systems of special importance to northern residents and also produce some extra-arctic effects that will have global consequences. To address such concerns, a scientific synthesis is being conducted that focuses on assessing the various Arctic freshwater sources, fluxes, storage and effects. Notably, most of these are directly or indirectly controlled by cryospheric components and processes.

The Arctic Freshwater Synthesis (AFS) is structured around five major components: atmosphere, ocean, terrestrial hydrology, terrestrial ecology and resources, with modeling as a sixth cross-cutting component. The AFS is currently being developed with scientific and financial support from the World Climate Research Program’s Climate and Cryosphere Project (CliC), the International Arctic Science Committee (IASC), the Arctic Council’s Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Program (AMAP), the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Norwegian Ministry of Climate and Environment.

Publication plans for the AFS include a number of reports tailored to the scientific foci of the individual participating organizations, and to a suite of scientific-journal review papers.  Research needs identified by the AFS are also to act as benchmarks for the upcoming International Conference on Arctic Research Planning III, planned for 2015 and will form the basis for policy recommendations to be presented to the Arctic Council.

So far, the project has involved two meetings of scientific co-leads that are responsible for each component. Writing teams for each component have been formed, and first-order drafts of each review paper have been finished. Next steps involve meetings and continued work for each component writing team to produce the final texts.

For further information contact the project leads: Terry Prowse, Arvid Bring, Johanna Mård Karlson.

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Johansson, Kang and Pavlova to Join CliC SSG

Margareta JohanssonWe are pleased to announce that the Joint Scientific Committee (JSC) for the World Climate Research Programme (WCRP) has appointed Margareta Johannsson (Sweden), Shichang Kang (China), and Tatiana Pavlova (Russia) as new members of the CliC Scientific Steering Group (SSG) beginning in January 2015.

Dr. Margareta Johansson is based at the Dept of Physical Geography and Ecosystem Science at Lund University and at the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences in Sweden. Dr. Johansson has a broad experience in Arctic research, ranging from glaciology/climatology to Arctic ecology and for the last eight years focussing on permafrost in a changing climate in northern Sweden. Her research experience includes helping to coordinate major environmental assessments such as a chapter in the Arctic Climate Impact Assessment (ACIA) on terrestrial ecosystems, and international networks such as “A circumarctic network of Terrestrial Field Bases" (SCANNET). She is currently the Executive Secretary for a FP7 EU project INTERACT networking more than 60 research stations in the north and for a nordic top-level research initiative DEFROST and was a co-coordinator of the Permafrost Young Researchers Network (PYRN) during 2006-2008 when it was initiated. Dr. Johansson was one of two convening lead authors for two chapters (snow and permafrost) of the SWIPA assessment (Snow Water Ice and Permafrost in the Arctic) that is a follow up on the Arctic Climate Impact Assessment but are focussing on the cryosphere. The SWIPA report was published in December 2011.

Shichang KangDr. Shichang Kang is a Professor and Director of the State Key Laboratory of Cryospheric Sciences, Cold and Arid Regions Environmental and Engineering Research Institute, Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS). Dr. Kang has been awarded the "Talent Project" of CAS and National Science Foundation of China for Distinguished Young Scholars. He has been a PI or co-PIs for more than 40 projects, and has organized more than 30 expeditions in the Tibetan Plateau including several 7000+ meter expeditions. He has supervised more than 20 PhD and Master students. Dr. Kang is the associate editor of Atmospheric Research, and a member of Education and Capacity Building of IUGG. Dr. Kang mainly focuses on glacier and climate changes, environmental chemistry of snow/ice and atmosphere, and paleo-climate and environmental variability recovered by ice core records in the Tibetan Plateau. He has published more than 300 peer-reviewed papers, with more than 150 papers published in international journals.

Dr. Tatiana Pavlova is a lead scientist at the Laboratory for Atmospheric General Circulation and Global Climate Modelling, Voeikov Main Geophysical Observatory (MGO) in St. Petersburg, Russia. She received M.Sc in meteorology from the Leningrad Tatiana PavlovaHydrometeorological Institute and Ph.D. (also in meteorology) from MGO. Tatiana’s research interests include climate modeling, climate change and variability in extratropics, cryospheric processes. She is an expert in terrestrial processes modeling (including permafrost). Tatiana was a contributing author to IPCC WGI AR4 (2007) and IPCC WG1 AR5 (2013), an author and lead author of Russian national first (2008) and second (2014) climate assessments. She is a member of WG27 PICES: “North Pacific Climate variability and Change” (PICES- The North Pacific Marine Science Organization) and a member of the Russian National Committee for CliC.

Please join us in welcoming Margareta, Shichang and Tatiana to the CliC SSG.

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Permafrost Carbon Network: Late summer Update 2014


- The Permafrost Carbon Network is a CliC sponsored activity


71 abstracts was received for the AGU session about the Vulnerability of Permafrost Carbon to Climate Change and PCN were allocated three oral time slots and one poster session. The high number of abstract submissions is very satisfactory and they are looking forward to great sessions at AGU.

The first round of funding for the Permafrost Carbon Network is ending and they have finished an exciting number of synthesis activities. The Permafrost Carbon Network will be continued and is part of the permafrost action team within SEARCH ( They will provide more details on structural changes and additional angles to the network at their annual meeting on Sunday prior to AGU.


Some recent publications:

Aiken GR, Spencer RGM, Striegl RG, Schuster PF, Raymond PA (2014) Influences of glacier melt and permafrost thaw on the age of dissolved organic carbon in the Yukon River basin. Global Biogeochemical Cycles, 28, 2013GB004764.

Deng J, Li C, Frolking S, Zhang Y, Bäckstrand K, Crill P (2014) Assessing effects of permafrost thaw on C fluxes based on multiyear modeling across a permafrost thaw gradient at Stordalen, Sweden. Biogeosciences, 11, 4753-4770.

Olefeldt D, Roulet NT (2014) Permafrost conditions in peatlands regulate magnitude, timing, and chemical composition of catchment dissolved organic carbon export. Global Change Biology, 20, 3122-3136.

Li J, Luo Y, Natali S, Schuur EAG, Xia J, Kowalczyk E, Wang Y (2014) Modeling permafrost thaw and ecosystem carbon cycle under annual and seasonal warming at an Arctic tundra site in Alaska. Journal of Geophysical Research: Biogeosciences, 119, 2013JG002569.

Lupascu M, Welker JM, Xu X, Czimczik CI (2014) Rates and radiocarbon content of summer ecosystem respiration in response to long-term deeper snow in the High Arctic of NW Greenland. Journal of Geophysical Research: Biogeosciences, 119, 2013JG002494.

Walter Anthony KM, Zimov SA, Grosse G et al. (2014b) A shift of thermokarst lakes from carbon sources to sinks during the Holocene epoch. Nature, 511, 452-456. 10.1038/nature13560

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2014 Sea Ice Outlook – August Report Available

1The August Sea Ice Outlook (SIO) report is now available at:

The SIO is an activity of the Sea Ice Prediction Network project (SIPN: as a contribution to the Study of Environmental Arctic Change (SEARCH:

The organizers thank the groups and individuals that contributed to the 2014 August report, which includes 23 pan-Arctic contributions and four regional outlooks.


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Permafrost Young Researchers Workshop Report Available

In June 2014 CliC supported the Permafrost Young Researchers Workshop 2014 ( researchers-workshop.html), which was held in conjunction with the Fourth European Conference on Permafrost 2014 in Evora, Portugal ( This workshop involved about 100 early career permafrost scientists and engineers. The major focus of the workshop was to determine future avenues of permafrost research from a young researchers‘ perspective. This activity was mentored by the International Arctic Science Committee (IASC), who is leading the process towards ICARP III (3rd International Conference on Arctic Research Planning), and the International Permafrost Association (IPA) together with CliC, both coordinating permafrost activities within ICARP III.


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ICARP III and the Cryosphere

The scientific, political and economic interest in the Arctic is rapidly growing and the increasing number of Arctic and Polar research programs requires a better coordination in order to ensure the best value for funds spent. Thus, agreeing on shared objectives, across all eight Arctic states and with other countries and international programs is becoming increasingly important. Consequently, the International Arctic Science Committee (IASC) initiated the planning of a third ICARP, to be held in conjunctions with its 25th anniversary in 2015, and invited all interested partner organizations to participate in shaping the future of Arctic research needs.

CliC is one of the members of the ICARP III Steering Committee and is contributing through a number of projects:

Arctic Freshwater Synthesis
Permafrost Research - A Roadmap for the Future
Linkages between Arctic Climate Change and Mid-latitude Weather Extremes
Arctic Snow Cover Changes and their Consequences
Permafrost Young Researchers Workshop
Where Are They Now?
ICARP III FrostBytes

The Fall 2014 Issues of the IASC Newsletter provides an introduction to ICARP III and features some of the projects that CliC is sponsoring.  For more information on ICARP III and the current list of projects related to the cryosphere, visit

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Gwen Hamon Joins CliC Office

The CliC Office is happy to welcome Gwénaëlle Hamon to our team for the remainder of 2014. Gwen will work on various CliC activities but will more specifically help the team with the Arctic Freshwater Synthesis Project in preparation for the 3rd International Conference on Arctic Research Planning (ICARP III). Gwen holds a Master’s degree in Ecology and Environmental Studies from the University Paris-Sud XI in France where she is from. Gwen worked for more than four years for the Global Ocean Forum, an NGO dealing with international marine policy issues based at the Center for Marine Policy of the University of Delaware in the USA. She had a central role in the NGO in terms of project management and science coordination. Before that Gwen worked at UNESCO Headquarters in Paris as an intern working on scientific research and commercial uses of marine genetic resources. Gwen is currently on contract here in Tromsø until mid-December.

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