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Netherlands Polar Data Center

Project - Climate monitoring instruments for collaborative research in the Polar Regions

Summary

In response to global warming, rapid changes occur in the Earth's polar regions: surface meltwater production and runoff increase and outlet glaciers accelerate, leading to substantial mass losses that currently dominate sea level rise. Because of the remoteness and harsh climate of these areas, the use of in situ automated climate monitoring equipment has proven invaluable to directly observe the physical processes responsible for glacier mass loss and evaluate remote sensing products and climate model output. For more than 20 years, the technical department of UU/IMAU has designed and built autonomous equipment for the long-term (>5 yrs) monitoring of polar climate. In collaboration with foreign partners (AWI, BAS, NPI and others), data have been successfully collected from grounded and floating ice in Antarctica (Dronning Maud Land, Plateau, Antarctic Peninsula), Greenland (K-transect) and Svalbard (Nordenskiøldbreen). Because of the reliability of the equipment and its innovative nature (e.g. suitcase automatic weather stations, wireless subglacial pressure sensors, mini-wireless snow temperature sensors, autonomous single-frequency GPS receivers, automatic cameras), a growing number of requests for collaboration is received, in which UU/IMAU is asked to participate in polar measurement campaigns of more limited duration. Participating in these collaborative efforts is scientifically highly rewarding, because it allows us to do research in locations outside of our own monitoring locations, with full logistical support (the Netherlands does not have its own logistical infrastructure in either North or South Polar Region). Here we request funds to initiate a polar climate equipment buffer, targeted for use in international measurement campaigns.

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