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See detailSea ice: Source or sink of nitrous oxide?
Kotovitch, Marie ULg; Fripiat, François ULg; Moreau, Sebastien et al

Conference (2016, October 21)

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See detailA time series study during spring transition in the fast ice at Davis station, Antarctica: preliminary resul
Deman, F.; Roukaerts, A.; Delille, Bruno ULg et al

Conference (2016, October 21)

While representing less than 5% of the total ice cover around Antarctica, fast ice is nevertheless an important habitat with highest biomass and production occurring in the bottom (Archer et al., 1996 ... [more ▼]

While representing less than 5% of the total ice cover around Antarctica, fast ice is nevertheless an important habitat with highest biomass and production occurring in the bottom (Archer et al., 1996). Sea--‐ice algae are playing a key role in structuring the ecosystem, as they are an essential food source for krill. With the annual melting of the sea ice there is a strong release of nutrients and algae to the water, possibly fertilizing and/or seeding algae the underlying water column. A time series was sampled during the Austral spring of 2015 (Oct. 27th – Dec. 11th), in the vicinity of Davis station (68°35’ S, 77°58’ E, Prydz Bay, Antarctica). Fast ice, snow cover and underlying water column were sampled with focus on the nitrogen and carbon cycle and the pivotal role of sea--‐ice algae for higher tropic levels. Different parameters such as nutrients, particulate matter (PM) and isotopic signatures for nitrate, ammonium and PM will be measured. Primary production and uptake rates for different nitrogen substrates were also measured using in--‐situ stable isotope incubation experiments to study the change in algae growth rates. That campaign was performed in close relation with colleagues from the Institute of Marine and Antarctic Studies (Hobart, Australia) to link our findings with the availability of trace metals such as iron. Temperature profiles in the ice showed a clear change halfway the sampling campaign with increasing temperatures, likely accompanied by an increase in permeability throughout the ice. Results show a large accumulation of biomass in the bottom few 5 cm (particulate organic carbon reaching up to 1300 μmol l‐1). Preliminary data also shows a large accumulation of nitrate at the bottom with concentrations exceeding those in the underlying water. Preliminary results will be presented and discussed. [less ▲]

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See detailHighly productive, yet heterotrophic, and still pumping CO2 from the atmosphere: A land fast ice paradigm?
Delille, Bruno ULg; Van der Linden, Fanny ULg; Conte, L et al

Conference (2016, October 21)

The YROSIAE (Year Round survey of Ocean-Sea Ice-Air Exchanges) survey aimed to carry out a year-round survey of land-fast sea ice focusing on the study of sea ice physics and biogeochemistry. Ice cores ... [more ▼]

The YROSIAE (Year Round survey of Ocean-Sea Ice-Air Exchanges) survey aimed to carry out a year-round survey of land-fast sea ice focusing on the study of sea ice physics and biogeochemistry. Ice cores, sea water, brines material were collected at regular intervals about 1 km off cape Evans in McMurdo Sound, Antarctica, from November 2011 to December 2011 and from September 2012 to December 2012. Samples were processed to characterize both the vertical distribution and temporal changes of climate gases (CO2, DMS, CH4, N2O), CO2-related parameters (ice-air CO2 fluxes, dissolved inorganic carbon, total alkalinity and CaCO3 amount), physical parameters (salinity, temperature, and ice texture), biogeochemical parameters (macro-nutrients, particulate and dissolved organic carbon, δ13C, δ30Si and δ15N) and biological parameters (chlorophyll a, primary production within sea ice derived from O2:Ar and O2:N ratios…). Very high chlorophyll a abundance was observed at the bottom of the ice, a common feature of land fast ice in McMurdo Sound. During spring, chlorophyll a exhibited a significant increase suggesting high primary production. . However, at the same time, nutrients at the bottom of the ice increased significantly suggesting high remineralization and heterotrophy. In the middle of the ice column, evolution of dissolved inorganic carbon shown a succession of autotrophic and heterotrophic phases. However, the overall increase of DIC suggests that the ice interior was rather heterotroph. This was consistent with the increase in nutrients observed at the bottom of the ice. Such sea ice system should expel CO2. Yet, strong under saturation in CO2 in surface ice, and negative air-ice CO2 fluxes suggested that sea ice was taking up CO2 from the atmosphere. Meanwhile, measurements of N2O within the sea ice suggest that the ice was releasing N2O to the atmosphere as a result of high nitrification. On the whole land fast sea ice in McMurdo Sound appears as a puzzling ecosystem. It is able to support elevated growth of autotrophic organisms, but appears to be heterotrophic, yet pumping CO2 to the atmosphere but releasing other greenhouse gases. [less ▲]

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See detailInfluence of short-term synoptic events and snow depth on DMS, DMSP, and DMSO dynamics in Antarctic spring sea ice
Carnat, Gauthier; Brabant, Frédéric; Dumont, Isabelle et al

in Elementa: Science of the Anthropocene (2016), 4(0), 000135

Temporal changes in the concentration profiles of dimethylsulfide (DMS), dimethylsulfoniopropionate (DMSP), and dimethylsulfoxide (DMSO) were measured in pack ice from the Bellingshausen Sea (Antarctica ... [more ▼]

Temporal changes in the concentration profiles of dimethylsulfide (DMS), dimethylsulfoniopropionate (DMSP), and dimethylsulfoxide (DMSO) were measured in pack ice from the Bellingshausen Sea (Antarctica) during the winter-spring transition of 2007. Two sites with contrasting snow and ice thicknesses were sampled, with high concentrations of DMS, DMSP, and DMSO observed at both sites, especially in surface ice. These high concentrations were shown to correspond to the development of a surface ice microalgal community dominated by strong DMSP producers (flagellates and dinoflagellates) following flooding of the ice cover. Several short-term synoptic events were observed and shown to influence strongly the dynamics of sea ice DMS, DMSP, and DMSO. In particular, a cold spell event was associated with drastic changes in the environmental conditions for the sea ice microbial communities and to a remarkable increase in the production of dimethylated sulfur compounds at both sites. A good correlation between all dimethylated sulfur compounds, sea ice temperature, and brine salinity suggested that the observed increase was triggered mainly by increased thermal and osmotic stresses on microalgal cells. Atmospheric forcing, by controlling sea ice temperature and hence the connectivity and instability of the brine network, was also shown to constrain the transfer of dimethylated sulfur compounds in the ice towards the ocean via brine drainage. Analysis of the two contrasting sampling sites shed light on the key role played by the snow cover in the sea ice DMS cycle. Thicker snow cover, by insulating the underlying sea ice, reduced the amplitude of environmental changes associated with the cold spell, leading to a weaker physiological response and DMS, DMSP, and DMSO production. Thicker snow also hampered the development of steep gradients in sea ice temperature and brine salinity, thereby decreasing the potential for the release of dimethylated sulfur compounds to the ocean via brine drainage. [less ▲]

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See detailImpacts of ikaite export from sea ice to the underlying seawater in a sea ice-seawater mesocosm
Geilfus, N.-X.; Galley, R. J.; Else, B. G. T. et al

in Cryosphere (The) (2016), 10

Ikaite precipitation within sea ice could act as a significant sink for atmospheric CO2. However, the fate of these ikaite crystals is still poorly understood. We quantify temporal inorganic carbon ... [more ▼]

Ikaite precipitation within sea ice could act as a significant sink for atmospheric CO2. However, the fate of these ikaite crystals is still poorly understood. We quantify temporal inorganic carbon dynamics from initial sea ice formation from open water to its melt during a month-long experiment in a sea ice-seawater mesocosm pool. Within sea ice, ikaite precipitation and CO2 exchange with the atmosphere were the main processes affecting inorganic carbon dynamics, while the dissolution of ikaite was the main process affecting inorganic carbon dynamics in the underlying seawater. Based on the total alkalinity (TA) and total dissolved inorganic carbon (TCO2) within sea ice and seawater, we estimated ikaite precipitated up to 167 ± 3 µmol kg-1 within sea ice; up to 57 % of the ikaite precipitated within sea ice was exported to the underlying seawater where it was dissolved. Ikaite export from the ice to the underlying seawater was associated with brine rejection during sea ice growth, increased sea ice vertical connectivity due to the upward percolation of seawater, and meltwater flushing during sea ice melt. The dissolution of the ikaite crystals in the water column kept the seawater pCO2 undersaturated compared to the atmosphere in spite of increased salinity, TA, and TCO2 associated with sea ice growth. Results indicate that ikaite export from sea ice and its dissolution in the underlying seawater can potentially hamper the effect of oceanic acidification on the aragonite saturation state (Ωaragonite) in fall and winter in ice-covered areas, at the time when Ωaragonite is smallest. [less ▲]

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See detailIncorporation of iron and organic matter into young Antarctic sea ice during its initial growth stages
Janssens, Julie; Meiners, Klaus M.; Tison, Jean-Louis et al

in Elementa: Science of the Anthropocene (2016), 4(1), 000123

This study reports concentrations of iron (Fe) and organic matter in young Antarctic pack ice and during its initial growth stages in situ. Although the importance of sea ice as an Fe reservoir for ... [more ▼]

This study reports concentrations of iron (Fe) and organic matter in young Antarctic pack ice and during its initial growth stages in situ. Although the importance of sea ice as an Fe reservoir for oceanic waters of the Southern Ocean has been clearly established, the processes leading to the enrichment of Fe in sea ice have yet to be investigated and quantified. We conducted two in situ sea-ice growth experiments during a winter cruise in the Weddell Sea. Our aim was to improve the understanding of the processes responsible for the accumulation of dissolved Fe (DFe) and particulate Fe (PFe) in sea ice, and of particulate organic carbon and nitrogen, dissolved organic carbon, extracellular polymeric substances, inorganic macro-nutrients (silicic acid, nitrate and nitrite, phosphate and ammonium), chlorophyll a and bacteria. Enrichment indices, calculated for natural young ice and ice newly formed in situ, indicate that during Antarctic winter all of the measured forms of particulate matter were enriched in sea ice compared to underlying seawater, and that enrichment started from the initial stages of sea-ice formation. Some dissolved material (DFe and ammonium) was also enriched in the ice but at lower enrichment indices than the particulate phase, suggesting that size is a key factor for the incorporation of impurities in sea ice. Low chlorophyll a concentrations and the fit of the macro-nutrients (with the exception of ammonium) with their theoretical dilution lines indicated low biological activity in the ice. From these and additional results we conclude that physical processes are the dominant mechanisms leading to the enrichment of DFe, PFe, organic matter and bacteria in young sea ice, and that PFe and DFe are decoupled during sea-ice formation. Our study thus provides unique quantitative insight into the initial incorporation of impurities, in particular DFe and PFe, into Antarctic sea ice. [less ▲]

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See detailAssessment of the sea-ice carbon pump: Insights from a three-dimensional ocean-sea-ice biogeochemical model (NEMO-LIM-PISCES)
Moreau, Sébastien; Vancoppenolle, Martin; Bopp, Laurent et al

in Elementa: Science of the Anthropocene (2016), 4(1), 000122

The role of sea ice in the carbon cycle is minimally represented in current Earth System Models (ESMs). Among potentially important flaws, mentioned by several authors and generally overlooked during ESM ... [more ▼]

The role of sea ice in the carbon cycle is minimally represented in current Earth System Models (ESMs). Among potentially important flaws, mentioned by several authors and generally overlooked during ESM design, is the link between sea-ice growth and melt and oceanic dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC) and total alkalinity (TA). Here we investigate whether this link is indeed an important feature of the marine carbon cycle misrepresented in ESMs. We use an ocean general circulation model (NEMO-LIM-PISCES) with sea-ice and marine carbon cycle components, forced by atmospheric reanalyses, adding a first-order representation of DIC and TA storage and release in/from sea ice. Our results suggest that DIC rejection during sea-ice growth releases several hundred Tg C yr−1 to the surface ocean, of which < 2% is exported to depth, leading to a notable but weak redistribution of DIC towards deep polar basins. Active carbon processes (mainly CaCO3 precipitation but also ice-atmosphere CO2 fluxes and net community production) increasing the TA/DIC ratio in sea-ice modified ocean-atmosphere CO2 fluxes by a few Tg C yr−1 in the sea-ice zone, with specific hemispheric effects: DIC content of the Arctic basin decreased but DIC content of the Southern Ocean increased. For the global ocean, DIC content increased by 4 Tg C yr−1 or 2 Pg C after 500 years of model run. The simulated numbers are generally small compared to the present-day global ocean annual CO2 sink (2.6 ± 0.5 Pg C yr−1 ). However, sea-ice carbon processes seem important at regional scales as they act significantly on DIC redistribution within and outside polar basins. The efficiency of carbon export to depth depends on the representation of surface-subsurface exchanges and their relationship with sea ice, and could differ substantially if a higher resolution or different ocean model were used. [less ▲]

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See detailMassive marine methane emissions from near-shore shallow coastal areas
Borges, Alberto ULg; Champenois, Willy ULg; Gypens, N et al

in Scientific Reports (2016), 6

Methane is the second most important greenhouse gas contributing to climate warming. The open ocean is a minor source of methane to the atmosphere. We report intense methane emissions from the near-shore ... [more ▼]

Methane is the second most important greenhouse gas contributing to climate warming. The open ocean is a minor source of methane to the atmosphere. We report intense methane emissions from the near-shore southern region of the North Sea characterized by the presence of extensive areas with gassy sediments. The average flux intensities (~130 μmol m−2 d−1) are one order of magnitude higher than values characteristic of continental shelves (~30 μmol m−2 d−1) and three orders of magnitude higher than values characteristic of the open ocean (~0.4 μmol m−2 d−1). The high methane concentrations (up to 1,128 nmol L−1) that sustain these fluxes are related to the shallow and well-mixed water column that allows an efficient transfer of methane from the seafloor to surface waters. This differs from deeper and stratified seep areas where there is a large decrease of methane between bottom and surface by microbial oxidation or physical transport. Shallow well-mixed continental shelves represent about 33% of the total continental shelf area, so that marine coastal methane emissions are probably under-estimated. Near-shore and shallow seep areas are hot spots of methane emission, and our data also suggest that emissions could increase in response to warming of surface waters. [less ▲]

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See detailAir-ice carbon pathways inferred from a sea ice tank experiment
Kotovitch, Marie ULg; Moreau, Sébastien; Zhou, Jiayun et al

in Elementa: Science of the Anthropocene (2016)

Air-ice CO2 fluxes were measured continuously using automated chambers from the initial freezing of a sea ice cover until its decay. Cooling seawater prior to sea ice formation acted as a sink for ... [more ▼]

Air-ice CO2 fluxes were measured continuously using automated chambers from the initial freezing of a sea ice cover until its decay. Cooling seawater prior to sea ice formation acted as a sink for atmospheric CO2, but as soon as the first ice crystals started to form, sea ice turned to a source of CO2, which lasted throughout the whole ice growth phase. Once ice decay was initiated by warming the atmosphere, the sea ice shifted back again to a sink of CO2. Direct measurements of outward ice-atmosphere CO2 fluxes were consistent with the depletion of dissolved inorganic carbon in the upper half of sea ice. Combining measured air-ice CO2 fluxes with the partial pressure of CO2 in sea ice, we determined strongly different gas transfer coefficients of CO2 at the air-ice interface between the growth and the decay phases (from 2.5 to 0.4 mol m−2 d−1 atm−1). A 1D sea ice carbon cycle model including gas physics and carbon biogeochemistry was used in various configurations in order to interpret the observations. All model simulations correctly predicted the sign of the air-ice flux. By contrast, the amplitude of the flux was much more variable between the different simulations. In none of the simulations was the dissolved gas pathway strong enough to explain the large fluxes during ice growth. This pathway weakness is due to an intrinsic limitation of ice-air fluxes of dissolved CO2 by the slow transport of dissolved inorganic carbon in the ice. The best means we found to explain the high air-ice carbon fluxes during ice growth is an intense yet uncertain gas bubble efflux, requiring sufficient bubble nucleation and upwards rise. We therefore call for further investigation of gas bubble nucleation and transport in sea ice. [less ▲]

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See detailImaging air volume fraction in sea ice using non-destructive X-ray tomography
Crabeck, O; Galley, R.J.; Delille, Bruno ULg et al

in Cryosphere (The) (2016), 10

Although the presence of a gas phase in sea ice creates the potential for gas exchange with the atmosphere, the distribution of gas bubbles and transport of gases within the sea ice are still poorly ... [more ▼]

Although the presence of a gas phase in sea ice creates the potential for gas exchange with the atmosphere, the distribution of gas bubbles and transport of gases within the sea ice are still poorly understood. Currently no straightforward technique exists to measure the vertical distribution of air volume fraction in sea ice. Here, we present a new fast and non-destructive X-ray computed tomography technique to quantify the air volume fraction and produce separate images of air volume inclusions in sea ice. The technique was performed on relatively thin (4–22 cm) sea ice collected from an experimental ice tank. While most of the internal layers showed air volume fractions <2 %, the ice–air interface (top 2 cm) systematically showed values up to 5 %. We suggest that the air volume fraction is a function of both the bulk ice gas saturation factor and the brine volume fraction. We differentiate micro bubbles (Ø<1 mm), large bubbles (1mm<Ø<5 mm) and macro bubbles (Ø>5 mm). While micro bubbles were the most abundant type of gas bubbles, most of the air porosity observed resulted from the presence of large and macro bubbles. The ice texture (granular and columnar) as well as the permeability state of ice are important factors controlling the air volume fraction. The technique developed is suited for studies related to gas transport and bubble migration. [less ▲]

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See detailContrasting Arctic and Antarctic sea ice temperatures
Vancoppenolle, M.; Raphael, M.; Rousset, C. et al

Conference (2016, April)

Sea ice temperature affects the sea ice growth rate, heat content, permeability and habitability for ice algae. Large-scale simulations with NEMO-LIM suggest large ice temperature contrasts between the ... [more ▼]

Sea ice temperature affects the sea ice growth rate, heat content, permeability and habitability for ice algae. Large-scale simulations with NEMO-LIM suggest large ice temperature contrasts between the Arctic and the Antarctic sea ice. First, Antarctic sea ice proves generally warmer than in the Arctic, in particular during winter, where differences reach up to ∼10◦C. Second, the seasonality of temperature is different among the two hemispheres: Antarctic ice temperatures are 2-3◦C higher in spring than they are in fall, whereas the opposite is true in the Arctic. These two key differences are supported by the available ice core and mass balance buoys temperature observations, and can be attributed to differences in air temperature and snow depth. As a result, the ice is found to be habitable and permeable over much larger areas and much earlier in late spring in the Antarctic as compared with the Arctic, which consequences on biogeochemical exchanges in the sea ice zone remain to be evaluated. [less ▲]

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See detailULB-ULg: Seaicebiogeochemistryworkplan
Kotovitch, Marie ULg; Van Der Linden, Fanny ULg; Tison, Jean-Louis et al

Scientific conference (2016, March 16)

1. Manuscript submitted to Elementa Last year we submitted a manuscript about air-ice CO2 fluxes measured in continuous with a chamber over the ice during INTERICE V experiment. The results show that sea ... [more ▼]

1. Manuscript submitted to Elementa Last year we submitted a manuscript about air-ice CO2 fluxes measured in continuous with a chamber over the ice during INTERICE V experiment. The results show that sea ice shifts from: (i) a sink during ice crystals formation, (ii) a source during ice growth, (iii) return to a sink during ice melt. We attempt to reproduce these fluxes with the 1Dimension model developed by Martin and Sebastien in Moreau et al. (2015). The inversion between outward CO2 fluxes during ice growth and inward CO2 fluxes during ice melt depicts well the observations. However, the model strongly underestimates the fluxes during the cold phase if the formation rate of gas bubbles is low. Since ice is permeable throughout the cold phase, higher gas bubble formation rates lead to higher CO2 fluxes. The contribution of gas bubble buoyancy to upward flux was the main hypothesis of this manuscript. 2. TA-DIC compilation With the code developed by Martin (and others), we computed profile of DIC normalized to the mean ice salinity. We observe a reverse C shape with a depletion at the surface and more scattered data at the bottom. It’s striking to observe that at mid-depth (0.5 m), all data sounds to converge at the same value (around 480 µmol/kg). It makes us confident with the fact that we can gather data and compare them. The mean DIC value in the middle of the cores is similar to the sea surface water DIC in Antarctica. Our idea is that these value are due to simple brine rejection and that there is a depletion at the top and at the bottom. The bottom depletion is subject to biogeochemistry processes. While the top depletion may be due to the CO2 release during ice formation which lead to a potential CO2 flux out of the ice. For the time beeing, we aim to derive a budget of CO2 flux from this compilation. This will be presented at the next BEPSII meeting. 3. Further studies and perspectives (PhD thesis of Fanny and Marie) Sea ice production of N2O and halocarbons and their contribution to atmospheric concentrations. Development of a flux chamber in process. [less ▲]

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See detailNitrous oxide dynamics in sea ice
Kotovitch, Marie ULg; Fripiat, François ULg; Moreau, Sébastien et al

Conference (2016, February 26)

Fluctuations in greenhouse gases (GHGs) concentration alter the energetic budget of the climate system. There is high confidence that natural systems related to snow, ice and frozen ground (including ... [more ▼]

Fluctuations in greenhouse gases (GHGs) concentration alter the energetic budget of the climate system. There is high confidence that natural systems related to snow, ice and frozen ground (including permafrost) are affected. Nitrous oxide (N2O) is one of the potent GHG naturally present in the atmosphere, but witch has seen his concentration growing since industrial era. N2O has a lifetime in the atmosphere of 114 years and a global warming potential (GWP) of 298 to be compared to carbon dioxide that has a GWP of 1. N2O is also describe as the dominant ozone-depleting substance emitted in the 21st Century. Yet, there are still large uncertainties and gaps in the understanding of the cycle of this compound through the ocean and particularly in sea ice. Sources and sinks of N2O are therefore still poorly quantified. The main processes (with the exception of transport processes) involved in the N2O cycle within the aquatic environment are nitrification and denitrification. To date, only one study by Randall et al. present N2O measurements in sea ice. Randall et al. pointed out that sea ice formation and melt has the potential to generate sea-air or air-sea fluxes of N2O, respectively. [less ▲]

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See detailAnnual dynamics of pCO2 within bulk sea ice and related CO2 fluxes at Cape Evans (Antarctica)
Van Der Linden, Fanny ULg; Champenois, Willy ULg; Heinesch, Bernard ULg et al

Poster (2016, February 26)

Sea ice is a biome actively participating in the regional cycling of CO2 as both a source and a sink at different times of the year. In the frame of the YROSIAE project (Year-Round Ocean-Sea-Ice ... [more ▼]

Sea ice is a biome actively participating in the regional cycling of CO2 as both a source and a sink at different times of the year. In the frame of the YROSIAE project (Year-Round Ocean-Sea-Ice-Atmosphere Exchanges), annual dynamics of sea ice pCO2 was compared with CO2 fluxes measured by automated accumulation chambers at Cape Evans (Ross Island, Antarctica). Results confirmed a general trend of brine pCO2 supersaturation with respect to the atmosphere during the late winter (concentration of dissolved inorganic carbon - DIC - in brine and brine expulsion in the brine skim) leading to CO2 degassing, and undersaturation during the spring (carbon-uptake by autotrophs and brine dilution) leading to atmospheric CO2 uptake. Despite high primary production at the bottom of the ice in spring, DIC profiles suggest that sea ice as a whole appears to be net heterotrophic. Still, sea ice absorbs CO2 from the atmosphere, as a result of physical processes. Some variability in the CO2 fluxes (both in magnitude and sign) could not be explained by variability in sea ice pCO2 but rather seemed driven by variability in atmospheric conditions and sea ice surface properties. For instance, in late spring, CO2 fluxes showed a diurnal variability (from CO2 degassing to uptake) related to atmospheric temperature variations. Large and episodic CO2 fluxes were systematically positively correlated with strong wind events, and large CO2 degassing was observed over thin, wet and salty snow cover. [less ▲]

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See detailAnnual dynamics of pCO2 within bulk sea ice and related CO2 fluxes at Cape Evans (Antarctica)
Van Der Linden, Fanny ULg; Champenois, Willy ULg; Heinesch, Bernard ULg et al

Poster (2016, February 12)

Sea ice is a biome actively participating in the regional cycling of CO2 as both a source and a sink at different times of the year. In the frame of the YROSIAE project (Year-Round Ocean-Sea-Ice ... [more ▼]

Sea ice is a biome actively participating in the regional cycling of CO2 as both a source and a sink at different times of the year. In the frame of the YROSIAE project (Year-Round Ocean-Sea-Ice-Atmosphere Exchanges), annual dynamics of sea ice pCO2 was compared with CO2 fluxes measured by automated accumulation chambers at Cape Evans (Ross Island, Antarctica). Results confirmed a general trend of brine pCO2 supersaturation with respect to the atmosphere during the late winter (concentration of dissolved inorganic carbon - DIC - in brine and brine expulsion in the brine skim) leading to CO2 degassing, and undersaturation during the spring (carbon-uptake by autotrophs and brine dilution) leading to atmospheric CO2 uptake. Despite high primary production at the bottom of the ice in spring, DIC profiles suggest that sea ice as a whole appears to be net heterotrophic. Still, sea ice absorbs CO2 from the atmosphere, as a result of physical processes. Some variability in the CO2 fluxes (both in magnitude and sign) could not be explained by variability in sea ice pCO2 but rather seemed driven by variability in atmospheric conditions and sea ice surface properties. For instance, in late spring, CO2 fluxes showed a diurnal variability (from CO2 degassing to uptake) related to atmospheric temperature variations. Large and episodic CO2 fluxes were systematically positively correlated with strong wind events, and large CO2 degassing was observed over thin, wet and salty snow cover. [less ▲]

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See detailNitrous oxide dynamics in sea ice
Kotovitch, Marie ULg; Fripiat, François; Moreau, Sebastien et al

Poster (2016, February 12)

Fluctuations in greenhouse gases (GHGs) concentration alter the energetic budget of the climate system. There is high confidence that natural systems related to snow, ice and frozen ground (including ... [more ▼]

Fluctuations in greenhouse gases (GHGs) concentration alter the energetic budget of the climate system. There is high confidence that natural systems related to snow, ice and frozen ground (including permafrost) are affected. Nitrous oxide (N2O) is one of the potent GHG naturally present in the atmosphere, but witch has seen his concentration growing since industrial era. N2O has a lifetime in the atmosphere of 114 years and a global warming potential (GWP) of 298 to be compared to carbon dioxide that has a GWP of 1. N2O is also describe as the dominant ozone-depleting substance emitted in the 21st Century. Yet, there are still large uncertainties and gaps in the understanding of the cycle of this compound through the ocean and particularly in sea ice. Sources and sinks of N2O are therefore still poorly quantified. The main processes (with the exception of transport processes) involved in the N2O cycle within the aquatic environment are nitrification and denitrification. To date, only one study by Randall et al. present N2O measurements in sea ice. Randall et al. pointed out that sea ice formation and melt has the potential to generate sea-air or air-sea fluxes of N2O, respectively. Study on ammonium oxidation and anaerobic bacterial cultures shows that N2O production can potentially occur in sea ice. Denitrification can act as a sink or a source of N2O. In strictly anaerobic conditions, N2O is removed by denitrification. However, denitrification can also occur in presence of O2 at trace level concentrations (<0.2 mg L-1), and in these conditions there is a large N2O production. Recent observations of significant nitrification in Antarctic sea ice shed a new light on nitrogen cycle within sea ice. It has been suggested that nitrification supplies up to 70% of nitrate assimilated within Antarctic spring sea ice. Corollary, production of N2O, a by-product of nitrification, can potentially be significant. This was recently confirmed in Antarctic land fast ice in McMurdo Sound, where N2O release to the atmosphere was estimated to 4 µmol.m-2.yr-1. This assessment is probably an underestimate since it only accounts for dissolved N2O while a significant amount of N2O is likely to occur in the gaseous form like N2, O2 and Ar. Finally, nitrification produces little N2O in oxygenated waters but the N2O production yield from nitrification strongly increases as O2 levels decrease. Hence, it is not possible to distinguish the sources of N2O solely based on bulk N2O concentrations or environmental conditions, while deepened knowledge of processes is needed to well understand N2O emissions. [less ▲]

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See detailThe impact of dissolved organic carbon and bacterial respiration on pCO2 in experimental sea ice
Zhou, Jiayun; Kotovitch, Marie ULg; Kaartokallio, H. et al

in Progress in Oceanography (2016), 141

Previous observations have shown that the partial pressure of carbon dioxide (pCO2) in sea ice brines is generally higher in Arctic sea ice compared to those from the Antarctic sea ice, especially in ... [more ▼]

Previous observations have shown that the partial pressure of carbon dioxide (pCO2) in sea ice brines is generally higher in Arctic sea ice compared to those from the Antarctic sea ice, especially in winter and early spring. We hypothesized that these differences result from the higher dissolved organic carbon (DOC) content in Arctic seawater: Higher concentrations of DOC in seawater would be reflected in a greater DOC incorporation into sea ice, enhancing bacterial respiration, which in turn would increase the pCO2 in the ice. To verify this hypothesis, we performed an experiment using two series of mesocosms: one was filled with seawater (SW) and the other one with seawater with an addition of filtered humic-rich river water (SWR). The addition of river water increased the DOC concentration of the water from a median of 142 µmol L-1 in SW to 249 µmol L-1 in SWR. Sea ice was grown in these mesocosms under the same physical conditions over 19 days. Microalgae and protists were absent, and only bacterial activity has been detected. We measured the DOC concentration, bacterial respiration, total alkalinity and pCO2 in sea ice and the underlying seawater, and we calculated the changes in dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC) in both media. We found that bacterial respiration in ice was higher in SWR: median bacterial respiration was 25 nmol C L-1 h-1 compared to 10 nmol C L-1 h-1 in SW. pCO2 in ice was also higher in SWR with a median of 430 ppm compared to 356 ppm in SW. However, the differences in pCO2 were larger within the ice interiors than at the surfaces or the bottom layers of the ice, where exchanges at the air-ice and ice-water interfaces might have reduced the differences. In addition, we used a model to simulate the differences of pCO2 and DIC based on bacterial respiration. The model simulations support the experimental findings and further suggest that bacterial growth efficiency in the ice might be 0.15-0.2. It is thus credible that the higher pCO2 in Arctic sea ice brines compared with those from the Antarctic sea ice were due to an elevated bacterial respiration, sustained by higher riverine DOC loads. These conclusions should hold for locations and time frames when bacterial activity is relatively dominant compared to algal activity, considering our experimental conditions. [less ▲]

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See detailAssessing the O2 budget under sea ice: An experimental and modelling approach
Moreau, S.; Kaartokallio, H.; Vancoppenolle, M. et al

in Elementa: Science of the Anthropocene (2015), 3(000080),

The objective of this study was to assess the O2 budget in the water under sea ice combining observations and modelling. Modelling was used to discriminate between physical processes, gas-specific ... [more ▼]

The objective of this study was to assess the O2 budget in the water under sea ice combining observations and modelling. Modelling was used to discriminate between physical processes, gas-specific transport (i.e., ice-atmosphere gas fluxes and gas bubble buoyancy) and bacterial respiration (BR) and to constrain bacterial growth efficiency (BGE). A module describing the changes of the under-ice water properties, due to brine rejection and temperature-dependent BR, was implemented in the one-dimensional halo-thermodynamic sea ice model LIM1D. Our results show that BR was the dominant biogeochemical driver of O2 concentration in the water under ice (in a system without primary producers), followed by gas specific transport. The model suggests that the actual contribution of BR and gas specific transport to the change in seawater O2 concentration was 37% during ice growth and 48% during melt. BGE in the water under sea ice, as retrieved from the simulated O2 budget, was found to be between 0.4 and 0.5, which is in line with published BGE values for cold marine waters. Given the importance of BR to seawater O2 in the present study, it can be assumed that bacteria contribute substantially to organic matter consumption and gas fluxes in ice-covered polar oceans. In addition, we propose a parameterization of polar marine bacterial respiration, based on the strong temperature dependence of bacterial respiration and the high growth efficiency observed here, for further biogeochemical ocean modelling applications, such as regional or large-scale Earth System models [less ▲]

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See detailAir-sea ice gases exchange: update of recent findings, outcomes from sea ice models, caveats and open questions
Delille, Bruno ULg; Zhou, Jiayun; Kotovitch, Marie ULg et al

Conference (2015, September 21)

There are growing evidences that sea ice exchanges climate gases with the atmosphere. We will rapidly present a state of the art of current large scale assessment of spring and summer uptake of ... [more ▼]

There are growing evidences that sea ice exchanges climate gases with the atmosphere. We will rapidly present a state of the art of current large scale assessment of spring and summer uptake of atmospheric CO2. We will challenge these assessments with 1) new evidence of significant winter CO2 release for winter experiments 2) new finding of the role of bubbles formation and transport within sea ice and 3) impurities expulsion derived from combined artificial ice experiment and modelling. Finally, comparison of air-ice fluxes derived from automated chamber and micrometeorological method and, mechanistic and box models show significant discrepancies that suggest that the contribution of sea ice to the air-ocean fluxes of CO2 remain an open question. We will also highlight that sea ice contribute to the fluxes of other gases as CH4 ,N2O and DMS [less ▲]

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See detailYear Round Survey of Ocean-Sea Ice-Air Exchanges – the YROSIAE survey
Delille, Bruno ULg; Van Der Linden, Fanny ULg; Fripiat, François et al

Poster (2015, September 08)

YROSIAE survey aimed to carry out a year-round integrated survey of land-fast sea ice focusing on the study of sea ice physics and biogeochemistry in order to a) better understand and budget exchanges of ... [more ▼]

YROSIAE survey aimed to carry out a year-round integrated survey of land-fast sea ice focusing on the study of sea ice physics and biogeochemistry in order to a) better understand and budget exchanges of energy and matter across the ocean-sea ice-atmosphere interfaces during sea ice growth and decay and b) quantify their potential impact on fluxes of climate gases (CO2, DMS, CH4, N2O) to the atmosphere and on carbon and macro- nutrients and micro-nutrients export to the ocean. We will present the aims, overall approach and integrated sampling strategy of the YROSIAE survey. We will also discuss CO2 and N2O dynamics within sea ice. It appears that sea ice acts as a source of CO2 for the atmosphere in winter, counterbalancing spring sink. In addition, mineralization in spring appears to alleviate spring CO2 uptake. Intense nitrification in sea ice in spring fosters emission of N2O at the air-ice interface. [less ▲]

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