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Greencycles II

Greencycles II

MC1 - High latitude trace gas exchanges: the role of ocean-land interactions

Event Dates:19th-22nd September 2011
Location: Nuuk, Greenland
Organisers: Dr F.J.W. Parmentier, Lund University, Sweden
ECTS Point Allocation: 2
Related Publication: The Impact of a Lower Sea Ice Extent on Arctic Greenhouse Gas Exchange (2013) Parmentier et al

In September 2011, the Department of Earth and Ecosystem Sciences held a GreenCyclesII mini-conference at the Greenland Climate Research Center in Nuuk, Greenland. 25 people attended this conference, of which 7 are connected to the GreenCyclesII network (2 supervisors, 1 ER and 4 ESRs) and 18 were external. The participants were based in countries such as the United States, Canada, France, the Netherlands, Denmark, Germany, Greenland and Sweden.

The goal of this conference was to gather a varied group of experts on sea-ice dynamics, ocean and land ecosystems, greenhouse gas exchange, the atmosphere and modelling, to further our knowledge on the interaction between ocean and land and how it influences greenhouse gas exchange around the Arctic. Within this interaction, a special emphasis was put on the role of arctic sea-ice extent.

While the main program was scheduled for September 20 and 21, most participants (including the GreenCyclesII ER and ESRs) were already in Nuuk in the weekend leading up to the conference, to participate in a field trip in the area, as part of the larger conference program. On Sunday September 18, this field trip went by boat to the Nuuk Basic research station in Kobbefjord, where the participants visited the DEFROST and Interact monitoring stations. At these stations, fluxes of methane, CO2, water vapour and energy are being measured with a variety of methods, such as automatic chambers and eddy covariance, and the equipment used to perform these measurements was explained to the participants. The site gave the participants a chance to walk in tundra vegetation with beautiful snow-topped mountains in the back and also to see retreating glaciers with their own eyes. For many of the ERs, this was the first time they visited a field site in an Arctic setting and for those that are involved in modelling, it has been an important day where they could experience for themselves what they are trying to simulate in their models.

The core of the conference program was from Tuesday to Wednesday and on these days, 15 participants, including the ER, gave presentations lasting half an hour (plus 10 minutes for questions). The main topics addressed were: observations of greenhouse gas exchange above land and on/under sea-ice, the current state of the art in modelling of Arctic greenhouse gas exchange, constraints on the global methane cycle from satellite observations, the dynamics of fjord systems from a hydrological and ecological point of view and the spatial connections between vegetation and sea-ice extent. Next to these presentations, 7 people, including the ESRs, also contributed to the conference with a poster. To draw focus to these posters, a poster session was organised on the first day. During this session, the ESRs got the opportunity to discuss their research with the experienced researchers present and gather their input. Following this successful poster session, the participants were invited into town for a dinner to continue the scientific discussion in a social setting.

The presentations continued on Wednesday and after the last talk, a brainstorm session was held to gather any insights that were developed at this conference. From this, it became clear that our current knowledge of Arctic ocean-land interactions is still very limited and in many places insufficient. Nonetheless, recent research has indicated that the discussed interactions are real and significant and all participants could affirm the importance of this research topic. Therefore, the ER is currently involved in drafting a review publication that addresses our current knowledge and the importance of oceanland interactions at high latitudes, to put this issue onto the agenda. Contributions from several conference participants has already been sought, and also confirmed, in the further progress of this publication.

On Thursday, the participants all returned home after experiencing several stimulating days that had given them both new scientific insights and friendships. For the ER and ESRs, it has been an inspiring conference where they were given the opportunity to listen to great talks by people from the top of their field but also to experience the beautiful (sub) Arctic with tundra, fjords with floating icebergs and whales swimming in them and, as a final farewell, the northern lights in the midnight sky.


  1. David McGuire, Fairbanks, AK
  2. Altug Ekici, Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry, Germany – GC
  3. Arnaud Heroult, University Lund, Sweden – GC
  4. Christopher-John Mundy, WA, USA
  5. Donald A. Walker, Fairbanks, AK
  6. Dorte Haubjerg Søgaard Helsinki, Finland
  7. Eugenie Euskirchen, AON
  8. Feiyue Wang, University of Manitoba, Canada
  9. Frans-Jan Parmentier, University Lund, Sweden - GC
  10. Gerhard Krinner, LGGE, France
  11. Jakob Sievers, Aarhus University, Denmark
  12. Jens Hesselbjerg Christensen, DMI, Denmark
  13. John Mortensen, Roskilde, Denmark
  14. Karl Attard, NordCEE, Denmark
  15. Katherine Crichton, LGGE, France – GC
  16. Ko van Huissteden, University Lund, Sweden – GC
  17. Kristine E. Arendt, GCRC, Greenland
  18. Lise Lotte Sørensen, Aarhus University, Denmark
  19. Martin Wik, Stockholm University, Sweden
  20. Peter Schmidt Mikkelsen,GCRC, Greenland
  21. Sander Houweling, IMAU, The Netherlands
  22. Søren Rysgaard, University of Manitoba, Canada
  23. Tim Papakyriakou, University of Manitoba, Canada
  24. Torben R. Christensen, University Lund, Sweden
  25. Yanjiao Mi, VU University Amsterdam, Netherlands – GC