Arctic-COLORS (Coastal Land Ocean Interactions in the Arctic) – a NASA field campaign scoping study to examine land-ocean interactions in the Arctic

Thursday, 18 December 2014
Peter Hernes, University of California - Davis, Davis, CA, United States, Maria Tzortziou, CUNY City College, New York, NY, United States, Joseph Salisbury, University of New Hampshire, Durham, NH, United States, Antonio Mannino, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD, United States, Patricia Matrai, Bigelow Lab for Ocean Sciences, East Boothbay, ME, United States, Marjorie Anne Friedrichs, Virginia Inst Marine Science, Gloucester Point, VA, United States and Carlos E Del Castillo, Applied Physics Laboratory Johns Hopkins, Laurel, MD, United States
The Arctic region is warming faster than anywhere else on the planet, triggering rapid social and economic changes and impacting both terrestrial and marine ecosystems. Yet our understanding of critical processes and interactions along the Arctic land-ocean interface is limited. Arctic-COLORS is a Field Campaign Scoping Study funded by NASA's Ocean Biology and Biogeochemistry Program that aims to improve understanding and prediction of land-ocean interactions in a rapidly changing Arctic coastal zone, and assess vulnerability, response, feedbacks and resilience of coastal ecosystems, communities and natural resources to current and future pressures. Specific science objectives include:

- Quantify lateral fluxes to the arctic inner shelf from (i) rivers and (ii) the outer shelf/basin that affect biology, biodiversity, biogeochemistry (i.e. organic matter, nutrients, suspended sediment), and the processing rates of these constituents in coastal waters.
- Evaluate the impact of the thawing of Arctic permafrost within the river basins on coastal biology, biodiversity and biogeochemistry, including various rates of community production and the role these may play in the health of regional economies.

- Assess the impact of changing Arctic landfast ice and coastal sea ice dynamics.
- Establish a baseline for comparison to future change, and use state-of-the-art models to assess impacts of environmental change on coastal biology, biodiversity and biogeochemistry.

A key component of Arctic-COLORS will be the integration of satellite and field observations with coupled physical-biogeochemical models for predicting impacts of future pressures on Arctic, coastal ocean, biological processes and biogeochemical cycles. Through interagency and international collaborations, and through the organization of dedicated workshops, town hall meetings and presentations at international conferences, the scoping study engages the broader scientific community and invites participation of experts from a wide range of disciplines, to refine our science objectives and outline detailed research strategies needed to attain these objectives. The deliverable will be a comprehensive report to NASA outlining the major scientific questions, and developing the initial study design and implementation concept.