What are the global impacts of an ice-free Arctic? How will the Arctic develop with increasing climate warming? What does an ice-free Arctic mean for our environment and our society? Researchers want to answer these questions with the “i2B – Into the Blue” project, looking back to the past and forward to the future. This project has now been funded with 12.5 million euros by a Synergy Grant from the European Research Council (ERC) for six years. The project’s proposers are Dr Jochen Knies and Research Prof Dr Stijn De Schepper from Norway, and climate modeler Prof Dr Gerrit Lohmann from the Alfred Wegener Institute and the University of Bremen.

The impact of a melting Arctic has long preoccupied researchers, because the concrete effects on the region and the entire earth system have so far been unclear. This is precisely the question that the “i2B – Into the Blue” project wants to get to the bottom of by taking a look into the past, to time periods warmer-than-present (i.e. Pleistocene interglacials, the Pliocene, and the Miocene) when the Arctic lost its white landscape and had a blue, ice-free ocean. To this end, expeditions to the Arctic are planned in order to quantify the changes from climate archives.

Currently, the dynamics of changes in sea ice and land ice and the feedback with the environment have not been sufficiently analyzed. Thus, important aspects for climate projections in the Arctic are missing. The project now aims to make up for this. “The timeliness of i2B is associated with the acquisition of new geological data in the Arctic for warm periods in combination with novel climate models integrated in a concerted framework beyond the state of the art”, the three researchers describe their project. Read more at Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research

Source: ENN

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