About this Research Topic
The ice-covered Arctic Ocean has undergone rapid changes, including a pronounced decline of the overall summer sea ice extent. In the Southern Ocean, the regions surrounding the Antarctic Peninsula and the Scotia, Amundsen and Bellingshausen Seas have experienced a strong shortening of the in sea ice season. Sea ice decline and other strong changes in sea ice properties have been seriously affecting ecological key species and harvested stocks, such as Polar cod and Antarctic krill.
To address the physical-ecological consequences of continued climate change, innovative technologies are now available that bridge multiple spatial-temporal scales across disciplines. Examples for this are platforms with mounted bio-environmental sensor arrays, such as ROVs, AUVs and sea ice buoys, as well as devices tailored to investigate sea ice-associated organisms in their natural habitat, such as under-ice nets, video-optical and hydro-acoustic profilers. In combination with remote sensing and numerical models of sea-ice ecosystems, an increasingly comprehensive understanding of the interaction of these organisms with their environment can be scaled in time and space. Further development and the bridging/connecting of these various approaches and technologies across disciplines will solidify predictions of the impact of changing sea ice habitats on biodiversity and ecosystem functions.
This Research Topic focuses on interdisciplinary research during the recent decade of rapid change in the ice-covered Polar Oceans. Papers presenting interdisciplinary research in sub-polar ice-covered regions (e.g., Baltic Sea) or in a laboratory setting with clear application for polar research are also welcome. Potential contributions may include, but are not limited to:
• innovative methods and applications of sampling the in ice and under-ice environment, including autonomous/ remotely operated vehicles, autonomous ice-tethered sensor systems, and/or moorings
• quantifying the spatial variability of key sea ice bio-environmental properties with linkages to sea ice associated ecosystems, such as: under ice light, sea ice thermodynamic processes, biogeochemical properties (e.g., nutrients, salinity, any inorganic and organic compounds), algae biomass, brine volume, snow depth, sea ice thickness, different sea ice habitats (e.g., ridges, level ice, hummocks, landfast ice, pack ice)
• Novel approaches to relate sea ice biological parameters, e.g. biodiversity, community structure, key species abundance, to environmental properties of sea ice across spatial / temporal scales
• Both in vivo and in situ experimental studies with interdisciplinary applications. Novel approaches for in situ experiments are strongly encouraged
• Understanding how climate change is affecting sea ice-driven environments and ecosystems, and how these changes impact on local human communities
Keywords: sea ice, Arctic Ocean, Southern Ocean, climate change, interdisciplinary science
Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.