About this CERC


Arctic marine ecosystems are impacted by major perturbations in their most fundamental properties: sea-ice cover, light, nutrients, and temperature. Such perturbations are already causing major shifts in ecosystem structure and services in some arctic and sub-arctic regions (e.g. Grebmeier et al. 2006). Impacts are especially strong in the upper trophic levels of the food chain and the consequences on the culture and way of life of northern communities seem unavoidable. The scientific community faces the major challenge of documenting and anticipating (1) the evolution of marine ecosystems, (2) the fate of the associated fauna and flora; (3) modifications in carbon fluxes and energy transfer across trophic levels; and (4) changes in the services provided by arctic marine ecosystems resulting from climate change and industrialization.

The proposed CERC research program will address this challenge by:

  • Applying the most recent advances in remote sensing, completed by process studies at sea, to track the response of arctic marine ecosystems to climate variability and change
  • Developing diagnostic and predictive models of arctic marine ecosystems
  • Perfecting the deployment of Profiling Floats and Autonomous Underwater Vehicles in ice-covered seas
  • Building a fully georeferenced archiving system to help synthesize and broadcast to stakeholders our scientific understanding of arctic marine ecosystems and their fate