Walters Kundert Fellowship : In the Bleakest Midwinter: Can Arctic Glacial ecosystems survive in Polar night and thrive in winter heatwaves?

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Funding

  • Royal Geographical Society: £10,000.00

Funder Project Reference(s)

unknown
Effective start/end date01 Jun 201731 Jan 2019

Description

Glaciers are living landscapes in summer, but it is not known if their cold-tolerant microbes are active in winter, or how they will fare as the Arctic enters a 'new abnormal' characterised by episodic mid-winter warming. This project will conduct fieldwork in the Svalbard dark season to address this lacuna in the biogeography and biogeochemistry of the Arctic. The project links sampling, in situ incubations and experimental manipulations to provide the first datasets which will reveal whether Arctic glaciers are perennial ecosystems and if glacier microbes might thrive as the Arctic faces bleaker midwinters characterised by unseasonal warming events.