Jump to content

Climate response to a Bluer Arctic with increased newly-formed winter Sea ICe


The scientific community still has no consensus on if and how Arctic warming and sea ice loss can influence weather and climate in the Northern Hemisphere. The BASIC project sets out to better understand the climate response to Arctic change, especially focusing on the new Arctic characterized by more open water in summer (hence bluer) and increased newly-formed sea ice in winter. This latter change has been mostly overlooked, but it has potentially profound climate impacts.

Sea ice change can affect the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC) through modulating ocean salinity: AMOC is a large ocean current driven by the sinking of denser water in the northern North Atlantic. It carries tropic warm water into the North Atlantic and thus along the Norwegian coast, but has been weakened by the increase of freshwater due to long-term sea ice melting. As multi-year ice is decreasing rapidly, the recent and future increasing newly-formed ice may change such impacts.

A bluer Arctic may change the respective roles of Arctic Ocean temperature and sea ice in impacting climate. Model experiments have shown that the climate responses to an ice-free state are appreciably distinct from an ice-covered state. We expect that, before the Arctic reaches an ice-free state, Arctic sea ice may shrink stepwise and go through a threshold where ocean temperature takes over to impact climate. Identifying this threshold is important for climate prediction.

Bluer Arctic with increased newly-formed winter sea ice is concurrent with an Arctic warming extending downwards into ocean interior and upwards to mid-troposphere (~5 km). But the climate models have divergent abilities to simulate the observed deep Arctic warming, which caused debates in this field. BASIC will develop a new methodology to conquer this problem.

The BASIC project will analyze available observed and simulated datasets and run new experiments with the Norwegian Earth System Model to address the above issues.

Towards a reliable assessment of nanomaterial health effects using advanced biological models and assays


A sound scientific basis is needed to assess the risks to workers and consumers, to inform regulatory bodies and to ensure a responsible development of nanotechnology. Most of the existing laboratory (in vitro) biological models, exposure systems and doses, as well data (in silico) models do not reflect the real life exposure to nanomaterials (NMs). A significant source for unreliable results is represented by possible interactions of NMs with the reagents and detection systems for toxicity evaluation. The fast pace at which NMs enter the market requires a shift from expensive and ethically doubtful animal testing to innovative, reliable and socially acceptable in vitro and in silico test systems.

NanoBioReal aims to design and establish "real-life like" biological methods from single cell to three-dimensional reconstructed models, including "organ- on-a-chip" systems, as well as data models.

A special focus will be placed on label- and interference-free methods, including label-free microscopy and impedance-based methods. Their capacity to mimic true short and long term exposure situations will be tested by comparison with appropriate testing on animal models and with results from EU and national projects (NANoREG, NANoREG2, NorNANoREG, ProSafe). At the end of the project, reliable, efficient and relevant biological and data models and methods will be delivered to support a safe®-by-design approach to NM development answering the needs of various end-users, stakeholders and regulators.

National partners:

Dept. of Clinical Dentistry (IKO), Fac. of Medicine, Univ. of Bergen (UiB), Norwegian Inst. for Air Research (NILU), National Inst. of Occupational Health (STAMI), and Norwegian Univ. of Science and Technology (NTNU).



International partners:

Catalan Inst. of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology (ICN2), Univ. of Gdansk. Collaborators: Dept. of Physics and Technology (UiB), Dept. of Electrical Engineering (HVL), NIOM, TkVest and TkØst.