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Arctic Checkpoint

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The Climate Change Challenge evaluated publicly available data on climate change and its effects in the Arctic Sea Basin. Nine sub-challenges were set for which parameters were selected, these focused (among others) temperature, ice and phytoplankton. Links to the sub-challenges can be found below.

During the data collection several things came to light. For some topics, such as sea-ice extent for example, a lot of data from different sources was available. For other topics, such as phytoplankton, it can be quite difficult to gather useful data for the entire area. For many parameters, data can be found on a very small spatial and temporal scale, making it difficult to present an overview of the entire Sea Basin. For certain parameters, this also would not make sense as different parts of the sea basin can have completely different circumstances. This was the case not only for phytoplankton, but also for animal behaviour for example. Some practical problems we came across with some examples:

  • Data was asked from SAHFOS, this data was freely available for non-profit research scientists but not for commercial enterprises.
  • For phytoplankton a collection of data was available on the COPEPOD website, however the data did not cover the entire Sea Basin or the required time period and the data was presented in a format which needed processing before it can be presented in the preferred way.
  • Data on Sea Ice was available through a portal of NERSC, however the catalogue had quite technical terms which might confuse non-experts or layman, the same went for the used format in which the data can be downloaded, as this was not a standard format for many data users.

The nine sub-challenges for this challenge were:

 

Calving glacier
Photo: Martine van den Heuvel-Greve