Phase 2: Evolving the WHOI Ice-Tethered Profiler to Address Changing Arctic Conditions
Arctic Research Initiative
2008 Funded Project
The seasonal Arctic sea ice extent minimum achieved a record low in summer 2007, fully 25% lower than the previous record low in 2005. Understanding the mechanisms of sea ice loss and the consequences for climate and the polar ecosystem are key research questions today. Data collected by the WHOI Ice-Tethered Profilers (a program supported by a prior Arctic Initiative grant) are currently providing unique, important clues to the physical and biological processes now active in the upper ocean. However, thin ice and open water present a challenge to the present ITP design. Addition of some new measurement capability is also desirable. Here, support is requested to engineer and prototype several modifications to the basic ITP system to insure it remains a viable research instrument for the future. We also request supplemental support to facilitate deployment of up to 5 existing ITP systems from a Russian icebreaker this summer. We are confident that given the requested support, we will continue to be successful securing funding from the U.S. National Science Foundation as well as overseas ITP users to build and deploy instruments and thus remain a central pillar of the nascent Arctic Observing Network.