Pan-Arctic Climate, Weather and Sea Ice Measurements
Principal Investigator: Herber, Andreas (3)
Licence Number: 14499
Organization: Alfred Wegener Institute
Licenced Year(s): 2011 2009
Issued: Apr 08, 2009
Project Team: J. Walter Strapp (Lead Researcher, Environment Canada), Andreas Herber (Lead Researcher, Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research)

Objective(s): The main aim of these weather and air quality studies is to improve the understanding of the processes in the Arctic atmosphere and to use these measurements to improve the performance of regional and global climate models of the Arctic.

Project Description: The main aim of these weather and air quality studies is to improve the understanding of the processes in the Arctic atmosphere and to use these measurements to improve the performance of regional and global climate models of the Arctic.
The aim of the sea ice studies is to obtain a snapshot of ice thickness in a vast region of the Arctic, and to create an inventory of Arctic sea ice volume.

The Polar 5 aircraft will take off from Sachs Harbour and fly 500 km (approx. 2 hours) due north (see proposed flight plan) at a low altitude (approx. 100ft) over frozen sea ice taking sea ice thickness measurements. The aircraft will not fly at low altitudes until it is safely away from the coast of Banks Island. The aircraft will follow the same route back (approx. 500km & 2 hours) at high altitudes (approx. 900 - 1500ft) measuring gases and atmospheric soot. No landing of the aircraft will take place. The aircraft will avoid the floe edge and bird sanctuaries. The crew on board the aircraft will be watching for marine mammals on the sea ice, and if encountered during low altitude flight, the aircraft will change course to avoid them. Only one flight (approx. 4 hours) will be conducted on April 18, 2009 (planned date - may change due to weather conditions) from Sachs Harbour. The stop in Inuvik will be for refueling purposes only. If the proposed flight plan is not suitable for this flight, the crew will take a different route based on the recommendation of the Hunters and Trappers Committee in Sachs Harbour. The crew will also consult with the committee upon arrival in Sachs Harbour.

The Polar 5 research aircraft will be equipped with the following instruments:
Ozone monitor, Mercury Monitor, Aerosol and gaseous inlets, Single Particle Soot Photometer, Ultra-High-Sensitivity Aerosol Spectrometer (particle size distribution), Condensation Nucleus Counter (particle concentration), Broadband and spectral radiation sensors, York U. Lidar, AIMMS-20 (winds and turbulence), Dropsondes, CPFM Spectrometer (Composition and Photodissociative Flux Measurement), Electromagnetic Bird (sea ice thickness), Digital video cameras.

Local benefit will come from the further understanding gained about climate change in the Arctic and its affects on its environment and those who live there. Economic benefit will also come in the form of logistical needs. The research team and support staff will need transportation, accommodation, and meals while on the ground in Sachs Harbour and Inuvik. Support staff will use commercial airlines for transportation and freight. Local labour may be required to move around equipment and some equipment may need to be purchased within the communities.

It is agreed that Aurora Research Institute will have permission to publish information on the project in local communities. The study will result in scientific publications which will be available for information for individuals and communities in the Northwest Territories. A brief report and pictures will be sent to the Hunters and Trappers Committee in Sachs Harbour for their records.

The fieldwork for this study will be conducted between April 07 and 30, 2009, over sea-ice north of Sachs Harbour.

There are no locations on the ground where data will be collected. All collection will be done in the air from the DC-3 aircraft. The aircraft will only land at the Sachs Harbour and Inuvik airports to refuel. No off-strip landing will occur. The proposed flight route is flexible. If the route interferes with any wildlife area or harvesting activities, it can easily be changed to a different route recommended by the local Hunters and Trappers Committee in Sachs Harbour.