ASP Young Sound Campaign

Location or Study Area: Daneborg and Zackenborg, located in Young Sound, north-east coast of Greenland

Submitted by: Søren Rysgaard



Polar Regions play a vital role in the global climate system. Past and on-going climatic changes are amplified at high-latitude areas. Current climate change, associated with large-scale anthropogenic emissions of greenhouse gases, results in a dramatic warming of the Arctic leading to sea ice retreat, melting of glaciers and thawing of permafrost. These processes are not only causing changes in the Arctic systems but will also have implications globally. Despite the urgency and importance of addressing problems posed by climate change, we have only fragmentary understanding of the coupling of atmospheric processes, particle and cloud formation, sea ice retreat, glacial melt, permafrost thaw and biogeochemical processes. Current models predicting climate change and its cascading effects on ecosystem and society suffer tremendously from this lack of understanding.

The aim of this program is to provide this scientific knowledge. Only by providing integrated measurements and scientific understanding of the feedback mechanisms it is possible to make realistic assessments of regional and global impact and, consequently, map and implement adaptation needs in society.

Project Description

The Zackenberg, Daneborg and Cambridge Bay research stations are ideally located to address these atmosphere-cryosphere-land-ocean feedback mechanisms and impacts on ecosystems and the climate system.

The major scientific challenges to be addressed are:

  • Effect of warming and sea ice retreat on atmospheric particle and cloud dynamics.
  • Effect of sea ice biogeochemical processes on gas exchange between the atmosphere, and deeper ocean.
  • Coupling between sea ice retreat and land-based abiotic and biotic processes.
  • Ocean-glacier interactions.
  • Effect of increased runoff from land on ocean circulation
  • Effects of reduced ice cover and altered ocean circulation on biological production, biogeochemistry and greenhouse gas exchange.
  • Impacts of warming on High-Arctic biodiversity and ecosystem services.

An interdisciplinary scientific team using state-of-the-art assessment techniques in a comprehensive four-pronged approach of laboratory, ice tank, in situ, and modeling studies will carry out the project. Combining laboratory experiments simulating atmospheric processes, experimental ice tank and in situ studies will provide important new insight into the regulation of atmosphere-snow-ice-land-ocean processes, their seasonal and geographical distribution, and their variation over geological time through paleoclimatic proxies in lakes and seafloor.

Sub-projects led by CEOS
  • The function of a polynya – deployment of moorings

  • Melt pond evolution of organic contaminants

  • Greenhouse gases dynamics in Young Sound

  • Dynamics of CO2 within sea ice
  • Young Sound Fjord physical oceanography: under-ice dynamics and coastal polynya interaction
  • Case study: seasonal transition of geophysical parameters of different ice types present in Young Sound
  • Greenhouse gas exchange and the carbon cycle in the Arctic coastal area


For a full list of projects, visit:



Principal Investigators (CEOS): Søren Rysgaard, David Barber, Igor Dmitrenko, Tim Papakyriakou, Gary Stern

U Manitoba: David Babb, Vlad Petrusevich, Satwant Kaur, Ryan Galley, Odile Crabeck, Alexis Burt, Sergey Kirillov, Wieter Boone, Alexis Burt

Funding and/or Other Support:

Canada Excellence Research Chair (CERC); NSERC; Canada Foundation for Innovation, University of Manitoba; Aarhus University; Greenland Climate Research Centre

For more information contact:

Dr. Søren Rysgaard




Standard transect (red line) from glaciers close to the Greenland Ice Sheet to off shore Davis Strait. Credit: Søren Rysgaard


On the way to the field site using airboats.
Credit: Søren Rysgaard


Field experiment on frost flowers.
Credit: Søren Rysgaard


Sampling water through a hole in the sea ice.
Credit: Søren Rysgaard