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Research Spending & Results

Award Detail

Doing Business As Name:Rutgers University New Brunswick
  • Robert M Sherrell
  • (848) 932-3403
Award Date:06/23/2021
Estimated Total Award Amount: $ 496,063
Funds Obligated to Date: $ 248,031
  • FY 2021=$248,031
Start Date:08/01/2021
End Date:07/31/2024
Transaction Type:Grant
Awarding Agency Code:4900
Funding Agency Code:4900
CFDA Number:47.078
Primary Program Source:040100 NSF RESEARCH & RELATED ACTIVIT
Award Title or Description:NSFGEO-NERC: Collaborative Research: Accelerating Thwaites Ecosystem Impacts for the Southern Ocean (ARTEMIS)
Federal Award ID Number:1941304
DUNS ID:001912864
Parent DUNS ID:001912864
Program:ANT Organisms & Ecosystems
Program Officer:
  • Karla Heidelberg
  • (703) 292-2586

Awardee Location

Street:33 Knightsbridge Road
Awardee Cong. District:06

Primary Place of Performance

Organization Name:Rutgers University New Brunswick
Cong. District:06

Abstract at Time of Award

Part I: Non-technical summary: The Amundsen Sea is adjacent to the West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS) and hosts the most productive coastal ecosystem in all of Antarctica, with vibrant green waters visible from space and an atmospheric carbon dioxide uptake rate ten times higher than the Southern Ocean average. The region is also an area highly impacted by climate change and glacier ice loss. Upwelling of warm deep water is causing melt under the ice sheet, which is contributing to sea level rise and added nutrient inputs to the region. This is a project that is jointly funded by the National Science Foundation’s Directorate of Geosciences (NSF/GEO) and the National Environment Research Council (NERC) of the United Kingdom (UK) via the NSF/GEO-NERC Lead Agency Agreement. This Agreement allows a single joint US/UK proposal to be submitted and peer-reviewed by the Agency whose investigator has the largest proportion of the budget. Upon successful joint determination of an award, each Agency funds the proportion of the budget and the investigators associated with its own country. In this collaboration, the US team will undertake biogeochemical sampling alongside a UK-funded physical oceanographic program to evaluate the contribution of micronutrients such as iron from glacial meltwater to ecosystem productivity and carbon cycling. Measurements will be incorporated into computer simulations to examine ecosystem responses to further glacial melting. Results will help predict future impacts on the region and determine whether the climate sensitivity of the Amundsen Sea ecosystem represents the front line of processes generalizable to the greater Antarctic. This study is aligned with the large International Thwaites Glacier Collaboration (ITGC) and will make data available to the full scientific community. The program will provide training for undergraduate, graduate, post-doctoral, and early-career scientists in both science and communication. The team will also develop out-of-school science experiences for middle and high schoolers related to climate change and Antarctica. Part II: Technical summary: The Amundsen Sea hosts the most productive polynya in all of Antarctica, with atmospheric carbon dioxide uptake rates ten times higher than the Southern Ocean average. The region is vulnerable to climate change, experiencing rapid losses in sea ice, a changing icescape and some of the fastest melting glaciers flowing from the West Antarctic Ice Sheet, a process being studied by the International Thwaites Glacier Collaboration. The biogeochemical composition of the outflow from the glaciers surrounding the Amundsen Sea is largely unstudied. In collaboration with a UK-funded physical oceanographic program, ARTEMIS is using shipboard sampling for trace metals, carbonate system, nutrients, organic matter, and microorganisms, with biogeochemical sensors on autonomous vehicles to gather data needed to understand the impact of the melting ice sheet on both the coastal ecosystem and the regional carbon cycle. These measurements, along with access to the advanced physical oceanographic measurements will allow this team to 1) bridge the gap between biogeochemistry and physics by adding estimates of fluxes and transport of limiting micronutrients; 2) provide biogeochemical context to broaden understanding of the global significance of ocean-ice shelf interactions; 3) determine processes and scales of variability in micronutrient supply that drive the ten-fold increase in carbon dioxide uptake, and 4) identify small-scale processes key to iron and carbon cycling using optimized field sampling. Observations will be integrated into an ocean model to enhance predictive capabilities of regional ocean function. This award reflects NSF's statutory mission and has been deemed worthy of support through evaluation using the Foundation's intellectual merit and broader impacts review criteria.

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