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  • Polar research

Polar research

The polar regions form an important part of the Earth's climate system, where we are currently seeing great changes such as rising temperatures and the shrinking of the sea ice cover in the Arctic. The vast ice sheets of Greenland and the Antarctic occupy a special position because of the enormous amount of frozen water which would have a significant impact on sea level should these melt.

The polar seas also constitute special chemical environments and support unique flora and fauna. Marine polar research is carried out largely in the form of international collaboration and is often multidisciplinary. The department is active in several areas of polar research where our researchers participate in international expeditions to the polar regions, often as part of major international programmes. Marine polar research is to a great extent related to climate issues.

The overall research themes relating to the Arctic


  • Ocean circulation in the deep sea, the continental rise and shallow-shelf areas.
  • The significance of biogeochemical processes for the transformation of different chemical elements such as carbon, oxygen and nutrients in water and sediment, including their impact on ocean acidification and the ocean-atmosphere interaction of carbon dioxide.
  • The role of the Arctic Ocean as sink of anthropogenic carbon dioxide
  • The role of sea ice in the production of ozone-depleting halogenated hydrocarbons, and the interaction of gases between snow – ice - sea and atmosphere.
  • Sea ice as a medium for different biological organisms.
  • Sediment formations on the continental shelf in the Arctic as a climate archive
  • The melting of Greenland's glaciers

The overall research themes relating to the Antarctic


  • Ocean circulation and floating glaciers in the coastal areas of the Antarctic
  • The development of autonomous marine observation systems in the Southern Ocean (www.soos.aq)
  • The role of sea ice in the production of ozone-depleting halogenated hydrocarbons, and the interaction of gases between snow – ice - sea and atmosphere.
  • Research into the ice caves under the floating glaciers in the Antarctic
  • Mechanisms for transporting water, heat and substances between the deep sea and the continental shelf
  • We are also participating in a UNEP-led research panel to assess the significance of UV-B rays for the ecology of the polar seas.


Sea ice, as a porous medium on the surface of polar oceans and subpolar seas, represents an important interface for gas and material exchanges between the ocean and atmosphere. This interface is drawing attention for its biogeochemical implications, especially in the Arctic, given rapid climate change and thinning of the sea ice, which may enhance exchanges across it. In this symposium, we have examined specific biogeochemical processes and exchanges that occur above, within and below the sea ice. In the process we have considered aspects of the basic biology of cold-adapted microbes and emerging information and predictions from genomic analyses and modelling efforts.

Please download the report from the symposium entitled Biogeochemistry of sea ice, with a focus on the Arctic as a pdf. Our guest professor Jody Deming was host for the symposium.


Page Manager: Annika Wall|Last update: 5/3/2018

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Utskriftsdatum: 2020-07-06