Current research projects
The overall purpose is to investigate the processes involved in air-ice-sea interaction, something which is quite badly represented in today’s climate models with main emphasis is on the atmospheric boundary layer over open water and sea ice and investigation of processes controlling momentum and heat fluxes at the air-ice-sea interface.
The main goals are:
1) To investigate the heat exchange between sea and atmosphere in the Svalbard fjords in wintertime, when the temperature difference between sea and air is large and the thermal stratification is known to be connected to sea ice cover and heat advection.
2) To study the effect of polynyas on the characteristics of turbulence, heat fluxes and the vertical structure of the atmospheric boundary layer.
3) To simulate (with numerical mesoscale model) the effects of different sea ice extents on regional weather conditions, such as temperature and wind patterns, in the mountainous area around the fjords.
Contact person: Professor Frank Nilsen
Providing weather data from several stations in the area, the Isfjorden weather information network aims at improving our understanding of local atmospheric processes and ultimately weather forecasts for the region itself. By providing online real-time data, the network furthermore helps to plan and conduct field activities in a safe manner. Find out more about the project and check out the latest data from our stations here.
Magnetic Pulsations and Transients: The Sun-Earth Connection and Impact on the High Latitude Ionosphere (MAPAT)
The project brings together researchers from 3 different countries (Norway, Russia and France) with the aim of understanding how energy is transferred into the Earth’s upper and middle atmosphere through ULF (Ultra Low Frequency) Waves in the Earth’s magnetic field. The energy source for these waves can be both internal and external to the Earth’s magnetosphere (the protective bubble the Earth sits inside, generated by it’s intenal magnetic field – see figure below). The project will use data from instrumentation across the polar regions, with a specific focus on instruments in Svalbard and Northern Scandinavia. In addition to the research project, new students will be introduced to the topic through mobility grants and course development at UNIS. This project is continuing and expanding upon a research program (AWAT) which ran from 2015 – 2019 (https://www.unis.no/research/arctic-geophysics/awat/)
Contact person: Associate professor Lisa Baddeley