Winnipeg, MB – A University of Manitoba research project examining the impact of climate change in the Arctic region will receive $1.6 million in funding from Manitoba’s provincial government.
The funding, from the Manitoba Research Innovation Fund, supports the Circumpolar Flaw Lead System (CFL) study. The study is led by the University of Manitoba and brings together more than 200 researchers from 16 countries to examine the effects of global climate change in the Arctic.
The study will focus on the ‘flaw lead’ system, a phenomenon created when the central Arctic ice pack moves away from coastal ice, leaving areas of open water. Flaw leads are considered to be early indicators of what the Arctic will look like in the future.
The study is designed to examine how changes in the physical system affect biological processes, and is planned to have three integrated components, including a field program, an observatory and a modeling effort. The approach will integrate testable hypotheses that examine the importance of climate processes in changing the nature of the flaw lead system in the Northern Hemisphere and the effect these changes will have on the marine ecosystem, contaminant transport, carbon fluxes, and the exchange of greenhouse gases across the ocean-sea ice-atmosphere (OSA) interface.
The project calls for the new Canadian Research Icebreaker (NGCC Amundsen) to over-winter within the Banks Island flaw lead, thereby supporting a large Canadian-led international effort to understand how climate variability/change affects marine physical-biological coupling within this system as part of Canada’s contribution to the International Polar Year.