I thought I would take some time to talk about what it is we will be doing during the Arctic Safari Expedition with Adventure Canada!
Methane is an important greenhouse gas, accounting for over a third of anthropogenic driven climate warming and has risen by a factor of 2.5 since the early 1800s. Methane is far more destructive in our atmosphere than carbon dioxide as it effectively absorbs 36 times more heat. It is widely agreed upon that atmospheric methane concentrations have undergone significant increases, and it is also widely accepted that this has occurred in conjunction with shifts in the global climate that is causing coastal permafrost to thaw. Critically, it seems likely that coastal Arctic methane emissions may have a major role to play in modern methane emissions, however, methane released from Arctic coastal regions is not well constrained and the fate of sub-seafloor methane in the Arctic oceans in a warming Arctic is far from certain. Coastal areas remain critically under sampled with all data coming from eastern Siberia and Svalbard, Norway. Numerical models of the Arctic methane budget are in desperate need of data points from the Canadian high Arctic, namely the areas in which this voyage travels. Having the opportunity to take part in this expedition would provide highly sought after data for global methane models. Furthermore, given the diversity of locations visited as part of this voyage it would allow for further investigation in to how sources of methane differs across the diverse Arctic environments. Not only would conducting research on this voyage support research efforts, it would also provide an excellent educational opportunity for participants about to learn about a critical but often overlooked climate warming pathway.
Check out my interview on CBC to learn more about this experience: http://www.cbc.ca/player/play/996546627726 (clip begins at 19:35)
I am still in shock from receiving the email from Adventure Canada informing Kenzie Kuhn and I that we have been selected as the Scientists in Residence on their Arctic Safari Expedition. We applied with little belief we would be chosen. I'm failing to find the words to describe what this means to us that Adventure Canada has chosen to support two young, female early career researchers! Kenzie and I are currently prepping our sampling equipment and designing workshops for participants to enjoy! Stay tuned for the next blog post where I'll discuss what we will be studying, hint, it includes biogeochemical cycling! :) For more details on the expeditions check out the Adventure Canada website!
"Our classic Arctic expedition begins by exploring Greenland’s fjords and communities with hosts from WWF-Canada. The great icefjord at Ilulissat, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and source of the majority of the icebergs in the North Atlantic, is one of many highlights. Across the Davis Strait, the Canadian Arctic experience begins in Qikiqtarjuaq (Broughton Island). As we head north, opportunities for polar bear, whales, and musk ox abound on Devon Island, while Prince Leopold Island is one of Canada’s best birding areas. Abandoned RCMP and HBC posts offer a glimpse into the region’s rich history; at Beechey Island, we’ll pay our respects at the graves of three of Sir John Franklin’s men. Resolute Bay memorializes the courage of the Inuit of Canada’s Arctic. On this trip, we will live and breathe the natural history of some of the planet’s most striking features as we search for the cultures and wildlife of the vast and beautiful north" - Adventure Canada