ISAR-5 / Fifth International Symposium on Arctic Research / 第5回国際北極研究シンポジウム

Session Information

General Sessions

(G1) Atmosphere

Main convener: Mio Matsueda / Co-convener: Keiichiro Hara

(G2) Ocean and Sea Ice

Main convener: Hajime Yamaguchi / Co-conveners: Genki Sagawa, Hiroyasu Hasumi

(G3) Rivers, Lakes, Permafrost and Snow Cover

Main convener: Mamoru Ishikawa / Co-convener: Masahiro Hori

(G4) Ice Sheets, Glaciers and Ice Cores

Main convener: Hiroyuki Enomoto / Co-conveners: Teruo Aoki, Konrad Steffen, Yoshinori Iizuka

(G5) Terrestrial Ecosystems

Main convener: Yojiro Matsuura

(G6) Marine Ecosystems

Main convener: Sei-Ichi Saitoh / Co-conveners:Jacqueline M. Grebmeier, Yoshiyuki Abe

(G7) Geospace

Main convener: Yasunobu Ogawa / Co-conveners: Ryuho Kataoka, Yoshizumi Miyoshi, Takuji Nakamura

This session is devoted to a forum to discuss recent progress on geospace in the Arctic region, such as ground-based/space-borne observations, theories and modeling. Geospace is the atmosphere/space near the earth, including middle atmosphere, upper atmosphere, thermosphere, ionosphere and magnetosphere. In the Arctic region, human lives and social structures are sensitively affected by the change of geospace disturbed by solar activities.
Recent studies have indicated that the geospace in the Arctic region is not only linked by magnetic field lines but also by atmospheric dynamical processes including circulation and waves, and further affect the global atmosphere. Contributions from international collaborative projects/facilities (e.g., EISCAT_3D and Arase (ERG)) are highly encouraged.

(G8) Policies and Economy

Main convener: Shinichiro Tabata / Co-convener: Fujio Ohnishi

(G9) Social and Cultural Dimensions

Main convener: Shiaki Kondo / Co-convener: Shirow Tatsuzawa

Special Sessions

(S1) Arctic Warming by Natural Variability and/or Human Impact

Main convener: Hiroshi L. Tanaka / Co-convener: John E. Walsh

The Arctic affects the global climate through strong feedback processes in the system, consisting of the troposphere, stratosphere, mesosphere, ionosphere, ocean with sea ice, and land with climatic effects of volcanic activities. The crucial research topics were identified and the importance of the natural variability was recognized in various time scales.
In order to study Arctic climate change, global warming, and to predict the future changes, quantitative identification of the natural variability superimposed on the human impact has been the key problem. Before the occurrence of warming hiatus in 2000s, researchers pointed out that the global mean temperature had increased in an accelerated manner. The warming trend keeps increasing exponentially from 1970 to 2000. It was that period when climate models were tuned and predicted excessive warming ranging up to 6.8 degree per 100 years. Many climate models appeared to fit the exponential warming trends during 1970 to 2000. The rapid warming was mostly explained by the anthropogenic radiative forcing, and the contribution from the natural variability was estimated as secondary importance. However, after the occurrence of the warming hiatus, the exponential warming trend has peaked out. The exponential warming trend was corrected to nearly linear trend about 1 degree per 100 years in the past, and some researchers started to point out the importance of natural variability with very long time scale which can account for at most 50 percent of the warming hiatus and the global warming in the latter 20 Century.
The focus of this special session is to integrate our understanding of the natural variability in the Arctic under the global climate change. While this problem has long been a key issue, it has become increasingly to the attribution of changes over recent decades. The goal of this session is to argue the fundamental problem in the global warming political actions, associated with the long-term natural variability of the climate system.

(S2) Synergies for "New Arctic" Climate Prediction, Observation and Modeling

Main convener: Jun Inoue / Co-conveners: Yusuke Kawaguchi, Benjamin Rabe, Daiki Nomura

Rapid changes in the Arctic lead to an urgent need for reliable information about the state and evolution of the Arctic climate system. This requires more observations and improved modeling over various spatial and temporal scales, and across a wide variety of disciplines. The Year Of Polar Prediction (YOPP) is one of the key elements of the WMO Polar Prediction Project (PPP). YOPP is scheduled to take place from mid-2017 to mid-2019 in order to improve the environmental prediction capabilities for the polar regions and beyond, by coordinating a period of intensive observing, modeling, verification, user-engagement and education activities. After the YOPP, the Multidisciplinary drifting Observatory for the Study of Arctic Climate (MOSAiC) which is the first year-around observation of the coupled `new Arctic’ climate system is planned under the umbrella of IASC. Numerical models ranging from small scales to global scales for multidisciplinary researches would be improved by the in-situ observations obtained from R/V Polarstern, distributed observing networks, and other international cooperative activities. To support the MOSAiC observations, a special observing period as a part of YOPP is planed from February 2020 to March 2020. The outcomes from MOSAiC project would be fed back to PPP activities during its consolidation phase. In this session, we call presentations focusing on operational and extra observations over the Arctic and beyond, predictability studies related to YOPP/MOSAiC, process studies from air-sea-ice interactions to bio-geochemistory/ecosystem, and logistical issues to coordinate the Arctic observing networks. Also, the latest field campaigns (e.g. N-ICE2015, and other Arctic cruises) and coordination of the modeling activities (e.g. FAMOS, Arctic CORDEX) would be relevant to understand the predictabilities of extreme weather events, sea-ice extent/thickness, and other fields during YOPP/MOSAiC. Plans of observations and modeling efforts from Asian countries are also desired to discuss how these countries contribute to YOPP/MOSAiC. Through this session, we would like to share the knowledge about how YOPP and MOSAiC projects are useful for our community and beyond.

(S3) A complex Adapting Arctic Ecohydrology in the Context of Changing Climate

Main convener: Hotaek Park / Co-conveners: Tetsuya Hiyama, Daqing Yang

Warming is expected to accelerate changes in water, snow, ice, vegetation and permafrost within the Arctic system. The areal extent and thickness of the Arctic sea ice have significantly decreased during the recent warming decades, and these changes apparently increase heat and moisture fluxes from the ocean to the atmosphere in particular in autumn and early winter, which may locally increase air temperature, moisture, and cloud cover, and in turn cause anomalously higher snow cover in the terrestrial regions, affecting permafrost dynamic and hydrology through soil moisture and discharge. No single piece of the Arctic system is independent, and to better understand the Arctic system, we need to synthesize studies of the processes, interactions, and causes of the variability in the ecohydrological regimes. This session invites papers examining these linkages, as well as the impacts of changed hydrothermal conditions on biogeochemical and hydrological processes and human environment. Through this session we aim to promote and foster cross-disciplinary engagement and to generate momentum to this very important research area.

(S4) Biogeochemical Cycles and Biodiversity of Terrestrial Ecosystems under Arctic Warming

Main convener: Hideki Kobayashi / Co-conveners: Josef Elster, Yongwon Kim, Elie Verleyen, Shin Nagai

Arctic and sub-Arctic ecosystems play an important role in regulating global climate change. Under the warming Arctic climate, a quantitative assessment of biogeochemical cycles and biodiversity over such ecosystems is particularly important. For example, in Arctic regions, greenhouse gases from the decomposition of soil organic carbon (SOC) are modulated by changes in the deepening of permafrost active layer and snow cover. Photosynthesis and respiration of the vegetation and the soil microbial community are particularly sensitive to climate change in Arctic ecosystems, and all the factors may cause positive/negative feedback effects on carbon stocks such as above-ground biomass (AGB) and SOC. Wildfire event in the boreal and tundra regions is also an important component for the biogeochemical cycles between biosphere and atmosphere. In addition to the warming trend, the seasonal weather extremes (including winter snow melt, dry and hot summer periods, high precipitation and many others) have strong impact on sun-Arctic and Arctic terrestrial environments. These extreme events initiate a number of different ecological and physiological acclimation and adaptation responses. In this session, we invite various aspects of terrestrial ecosystem studies in conjunction with biogeochemical cycles, biodiversity and physiology including ecological role of non-marine oxyphototrophic microbes in mentioned processes. Field based measurements (e.g., eddy covariance and other flux measurements, soil and ecological surveys), remote sensing studies (e.g., satellite, airborne, and unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV)) and terrestrial ecosystem modeling studies, which investigate the greenhouse gas and other trace gas fluxes or biodiversity and physiology information, are in the scope of this session.

(S5) Synoptic Arctic Survey – An Ocean Research Program for the Future

Main convener: Are Olsen / Co-conveners: Shigeto Nishino, Leif Anderson, Michiyo Yamamoto–Kawai, Sung-Ho Kang, Øyvind Paasche

The ongoing environmental changes that now are transforming the Arctic Ocean warrant new, coordinated, observations. Interrelated secular trends or shifts in water properties and circulation patterns, biogeochemical cycles, and ecosystems are emerging against a backdrop of diverse spatial and temporal variations. They may intensify as climate changes progresses, with significant local and global impacts and there are urgent needs for improved understanding of how the Arctic Ocean works and how it will evolve.
In this cross-disciplinary session we will shed light on recent changes in the Arctic Ocean that can point towards knowledge gaps that can be closed by the Synoptic Arctic Survey taking place within one season of one year (2020). We invite the science community to act collectively in an unprecedented effort to produce new and reliable observations to better understand and quantify Arctic Ocean processes. Any contribution that addresses current science frontiers in the physical system, the biological system, the carbon cycle and acidification are most welcome to submit to this session.
We foresee that the science highlighted at this ISAR-session will be valuable for the further development of the new SAS Ocean Research Program for the Future, which will engage the international fleet of ice-capable research ships and resources in an unprecedented pan-Arctic, near-synoptic survey of hydrography, biogeochemistry, and lower trophic level ecosystems, over the full water column depth.

(S6) The Pacific Arctic Region: Rapid Environmental Changes and their Impacts on Ecosystems, Climate, and Society

Main convener: Amane Fujiwara / Co-conveners: Kohei Mizobata, Hajo Eicken, Sung-Ho Kang

The Pacific Arctic Region (PAR), which includes the northern Bering Sea, Chukchi Sea, Eastern Siberian Sea, Beaufort Sea, the southern part of the Canada Basin, and the western part of the Canadian Arctic Archipelago, is experiencing significant environmental changes driven by climate change and rapid sea ice reduction. Regarding sea ice conditions in the PAR, most of this region has already transitioned into a seasonal ice area, with shifts towards earlier sea ice break-up and later freeze-up, in particular in the Beaufort and Chukchi Seas. Recent work indicates that such drastic, decadal-scale changes in sea ice conditions in the PAR have large impacts on physical/chemical ocean conditions, marine ecosystems, Arctic and global climate, and are of societal relevance, e.g. for transportation, resource development and Indigenous communities. The efforts of the International Polar Year and many subsequent projects have enhanced the data availability, improved modeling abilities, and helped expand our knowledge base of environmental changes and their impacts on ecosystems, climate and society in the PAR.
In this session, we encourage contributions on emerging findings from field and modeling studies, covering any of the following areas: ocean-sea ice-atmosphere interactions including sea ice dynamics/thermodynamics, regional climatology, physical and biogeochemical changes/processes, and biological responses throughout the marine food web. Contributions on changes to external forcing that may promote marine species shifts or evidence of major ecosystem reorganizations are also welcome. We encourage contributions on the societal impacts of sea ice reductions and environmental changes in the PAR. This multidisciplinary and international session will provide a state of the art evaluation of the environmental status and trends in the PAR, including the connectivity among physical forcing, biogeochemical cycling, ecosystem responses and social-economic interactions.

(S7) Challenges for Sustainable Use of the Arctic Sea Route

Main convener: Natsuhiko Otsuka

Against the background of Arctic sea ice retreat in summer, commercial sailing activities along the Northern Sea Route and the North West Passage are becoming reality. In recent years, numbers of ships have been sailing the Northern Sea Route mainly for natural resource exploitation. Cruise ships are also increasing to enjoy vast and unique nature in the Arctic. However, still many risks and uncertainty could be found in navigating ice infested waters in the Arctic. There are still uncertain issues in sailing the Arctic sea route such as actual sea ice condition, navigability of sailing ship, risk and environmental effect and so on. Growing number of sailing ships results in increase of emissions and risk of maritime accident as well. Thus, in order to achieve sustainable use of Arctic sea route, natural science, engineering and other fields of research works should be integrated to investigate diverging risks and tasks.
Therefore, the session will focus on practical issues on sustainable use of the Arctic sea route. The session will cover themes on feasibility, environment, safety and risk related issues of ships navigating in the Arctic sea route and adjacent waters. Themes such as risk analysis, environmental impact, oil spill, satellite monitoring, sea ice and other sailing condition, navigability and routing, and other issues related to ship activities will be expected.

(S8) Developing Under-ice AUV Systems

Main convener: Peter Wadhams / Co-convener: Bo Krogh

The session will focus on the improvement of under-ice measurement by autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs), and their use in Arctic science, especially with respect to mapping climate-related changes. Technically, the session will cover guidance systems; questions of range and accuracy; safety; types of multi beam sonar; methods for combining underside with topside measurements; development of new longer-range systems on the one hand, and small hand-launched systems for local use on the other. Novel types of measurement will be explored, including mapping of oil spills, use of mass spectrography to detect chemicals on ice underside, water column measurements and biological mapping. Possible collaborative programmes between Japanese, European and North American partners will be discussed.

(S9) Understanding the Changing Arctic through Data: Stewardship, Publication, and Science

Main convener: Peter L. Pulsifer / Co-conveners: Masaki Kanao, Øystein Godøy, Shannon Christoffersen Vossepoel, Hironori Yabuki, Julie Friddell

The ISAR-5 Conference aims to contribute to our understanding of a rapidly changing Arctic. These changes are being observed and experienced at a range of different scales from local to global. Science and other ways of knowing increasingly reveal that these changes are a result of a complex, interconnected physical and sociological system. Atmospheric, cryospheric and ocean drivers are interacting in ways that impact ecosystems, and all of these phenomena are connected to challenges and potential opportunities being faced by humans. Observations are at the foundation of many types of science and Indigenous knowledge, and in the 21st century these observations are typically stored as digital data. These data are transformed and mediated through analysis, visualization or other methods to form different kinds of information that is used to generate knowledge for action.
In recent years, there has been much attention paid to data and the many ways that we collect, store, manage, transform and use data. The Internet, mobile computing, and increases in computing power and storage capacities, are presenting new opportunities for supporting research and sharing knowledge. At the same time, many challenges remain in the areas of data management and use of new technology, such as securing interoperability, disclosure of data, big data treatment, data rescue, etc. In this session we call for papers that share ideas, experiences, and results related to data. Relevant topics include but are not limited to:

  • Advances in data publication and citation, including establishment of new journals and tracking of data usage and decisions (such as scientific, administrative and political) made using data;
  • Data rescue;
  • Making data from all countries widely available;
  • Improving the reusability of data;
  • Innovative ways of managing data, including integration of data in Virtual Research Environments;
  • Attempts to realization of the interoperability between datasets over the different disciplines;
  • The integration of high performance and distributed computing in data analysis;
  • Advances with data collection, including technologies simplifying data sharing, utilization, and monitoring carried out at a local scale;
  • Modeling socio-ecological systems using new techniques (e.g. agent-based modeling);
  • Innovations in data representation methods such as document oriented databases or linked open data;
  • Documenting, modeling and benefits using vocabularies and ontologies;
  • Working with Big Data.

Papers from the social sciences, Northern communities, and interdisciplinary approaches are strongly encouraged.

(S10) Sustainable Development in the Russian Arctic: Perspectives from Economic, Environmental and Policy Studies

Main convener: Violetta Gassiy / Co-convener: Daria Gritsenko

This panel will unite contributions that look at sustainable development (SD) in Russia through the analysis of industrial development, environmental change and policy interventions. We invite papers that discuss the problems of the Russian Arctic in broader context, identify the key threats and potentials for its sustainable development, consider the changes of the indigenous communities and the impacts of the industrial development on their traditional way of life and the environment, ponder the relationship between the strategic planning and sustainable development, and propose the ways for international cooperation and partnership in Russian Arctic. The topics will include, but not limited to:

  • Social-economic challenges to urban and local communities in the Russian Arctic;
    žClimate change as an anthropogenic stressor in the Arctic;
  • The Northern Sea Route and sustainable infrastructure development;
  • Traditional indigenous knowledge and participatory science for sustainable development;
  • Green economy in Russian Arctic: eco-business and eco-tourism development;
  • The role of public and private companies in advancing sustainability policies;
  • Arctic environmental change, damage of traditional territories and sustainable livelihoods;
  • International cooperation and partnership in Russian Arctic.

(S11) Environmental, Economic, Societal and Geopolitical Dynamics in the Arctic, their Global Drivers and Iimplications

Main convener: Lassi Heininen / Co-conveners: Matthias Finger, Fujio Ohnishi

To begin with, the Arctic as a geographical region is placed within the context of globalization. Due to globalization what happens at the global level in terms of climate change, technology, industrial development, as well as social and cultural change, is not only affecting the Arctic; rather, it is transforming it. On the other hand, what takes place today in the Arctic, notably in terms of ice melting, resources exploitation, transport and urbanization directly affects the planet and accelerates the above global trends. At the same time, we have witnessed a sharp increase in the number of actors interested in the Arctic and a great diversification has taken place in the background of actors involved. It can, in other words, be argued that the quantity of players and the premises of their actions are now greater and more scattered than ever before. When our underlying conceptual framework is thus a part of the dynamics of the Earth System we have two interrelated systems and research focuses, the Earth System and the ‘globalized’ Arctic. On this basis we devise a methodology to more systematically analyze the dynamics between the Global and the Arctic.
At the heart of the Project lies a framework and a methodology for research about the globalized Arctic in the age of the Anthropocene: The GlobalArctic is interpreted here as a new geopolitical context, and used as a research method.
The idea and aim of the GlobalArctic Special session is examine and discuss on relevant cross-cutting themes from the point of view of several disciplines and fields. For example, the following themes and topics are being aimed to be included:

  • Land-rush / grabbing and indigenous land claims;
  • Resources exploitation in the Arctic (incl. the role of TNCs and SOEs);
  • Regional economies and traditional livelihoods;
  • Trade between the Arctic and Asia, and Arctic shipping;
  • Urbanization of the Arctic;
  • The change in the international system in the Arctic;
  • Societal impacts of climate change in the Arctic;
  • Climate Change and Security from the point of view of values, gender and ethics;
  • Comprehensive security (incl. militarization) as related to the resources dynamics and climate change;
  • Science diplomacy and paradiplomacy;
  • Perceptions of the Arctic.

(S12) Greenlandic Reflections of Global Concerns: Ecological, Social and Political Perspectives on the Future

Main convener: Naotaka Hayashi / Co-convener: Minori Takahashi

This session explores pressing issues arising from human-environment relationships in Greenland regarding wider ecological, sociocultural, and political contexts. Residents in Greenland – the vast majority of which identify themselves as Inuit– have formed and shaped a sense of community through livelihoods closely related to their environment, such as hunting and fishing.
Historically, Inuit have exercised remarkable adaptation to the harsh and ever-shifting Arctic environment, which can be seen in various components of Inuit social life, including tools such as the kayak. As the archaeology of Greenland demonstrates, sensitivity and inter-generational knowledge of the environment are assets to cope with environmental change. However, the recent dramatic change in climate and ecology may push Inuit Greenlanders’ adaptability to the limit. We discuss implications of climatic and environmental change from natural and social scientific points of view.
We also discuss socio-political aspect of climate change. Recently, the Greenlandic Self-Government is trying to establish a self-reliant economy through resource-extraction-based industries, which is indispensable for achieving a higher level of autonomy within the Danish realm. We will ask whether this government-led nation-building is going to change and reshape Greenland’s historical diplomatic policy. Another question is how the Greenlandic government can achieve a balance between a resource-based economy and traditional livelihoods which form the backbone of Greenland’s cultural and spiritual identity.
Climate change, community resilience, and sustainable development became global concerns just as Greenland entered the arena of international discourse. Viewing Greenland as a reflection of these global concerns, we will strive to discuss a vision of future human-environment relationships.

(S13) Non-Arctic Decision-making and the Dynamics of Social Change in the North

Main convener: Nikolas Sellheim / Co-convener: Osamu Inagaki

Many political decisions are made every day. And in light of the ongoing changes in the north, many of these decisions now either implicitly or explicitly impact social and cultural sustainability in the Arctic. For instance, when the European Union in 2009 adopted its ban on trade in seal products, despite its Inuit exemption, Inuit livelihoods were affected severely, prompting some to argue that this is partly responsible for the spiking in suicide rates in Inuit communities.
This session seeks to explore how political decisions taken outside the region affect communal life in the Arctic. It delves into the outside understanding of the Arctic, the prevailing narratives, simplifications and even stereotypes based on which decisions are made that have a direct or indirect impact on the way communities in the north are able to maintain their livelihoods. At the same time it shall be examined how non-Arctic actors can positively contribute to livelihood preservation in the north. The topic can be approached through an interdisciplinary lens. Presentations are therefore invited from the legal scholarship, political sciences, International Relations or environmental sciences.

(S14) Synthesizing Local Interactions between Permafrost and Human Societies

Main convener: Hiroki Takakura / Co-conveners: Tamara Litvinenko, Yoshihiro Iijima

In climate change research, permafrost is currently a focus of public attention because underground methane, once thawed, can accelerate the speed of global warming. On the other hand, due to its role in underground water freezes, permafrost is a topography that has a unique role in Artic and sub-arctic human societies. When the surface ground of permafrost thaws in the summer months, it affects as the material circulation in different ways than do effects related to atmospheric conditions. Thus the thawing of permafrost then contributes the formation of local ecosystems. The interaction between permafrost and local society has been studied in various places; however, as of yet attention has not been given to comparing this type of interaction on a global scale. The present session aims to synthesize various interactions between both arctic and sub-arctic local societies and permafrost. The permafrost formed in the tundra, boreal forest, mountains both in Eurasia and American continents provides unique conditions for human survival and subsistence. For example, the permafrost in the past has contributed to the formation of unique ethnic cultures. On the other hand, the current permafrost thaw may lead to natural disasters in many areas. The purpose of this session is to promote exchange of knowledge of past and contemporary case studies in this field and to generalize the scientific task of examining the interaction between local societies and permafrost. Oral paper presentations or poster presentations will be given by researchers in human social sciences as well as by scholars in natural sciences who will focus on local permafrost change.

(S15) Technology, Infrastructure and Human Space in the Past and Present of Northern Regions

Main convener: Naoko Iwasaki / Co-conveners: Peter Schweitzer, Hiroki Takakura

Technology and infrastructure have greatly changed social relationship between and within societies, as well as with the environment. The compass and the sailboat enabled crossing the sea and connected four continents and different ethnic groups living there. The steam engine made it easier to move between continents via the ocean. It increased the speed at which people move and control the impact of the climate.
While technology and infrastructure are a result of lifestyle, they can change and create lifestyles themselves. The possession of technology and infrastructure also can lead to social divisions between groups, namely between those who have access to it and those who have not. These differences reinforced social and political divisions.
Which features of technology and infrastructure changed the livelihoods of northern ethnic groups the most? How have technology and infrastructure changed the relationship between northern people and people residing elsewhere? What were the results of these changes and who benefitted from them?
In this session, we will focus on the influence of technology and infrastructure on northern regions from broad topical and temporal perspectives. By examining the history of various regions and studying current developments, we will be able to deepen our understanding of the changing Arctic and its regional to global impacts.