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MALINA International Arctic programme, 2008 to 2011

The objective of this international collaboration jointly organized by Canada, France and USA is to assess the impact of climate change in the coastal Arctic Sea (Mackenzie Bay/ Beaufort Sea).

Key actions include the study of (1) the fate of terrestrial carbon delivered to the ocean by the Mackenzie River and permafrost melting; (2) the impact of climate change (ice-cover retreat) on primary production, bacterial diversity and photo-oxidation of organic material in the Beaufort Sea system, a major carbon sink area.

IAEA-NAML contributes to this experiment by measuring natural radionuclides for assessing particle export from surface waters and water mass exchanges between shelf and offshore areas, as well as downward particle flux at several depths and areas. NAML will also identify the source of particles using stable isotopes and molecular biomarkers.

Credit B. GASSER and J. Martin, IAEA/EL

The legacy of MALINA will be an extensive and self-consistent dataset for future regional studies, diagnostic and predictive models for future monitoring of the Arctic environment and, an assessment of the fate of carbon fluxes in the Arctic Ocean over the next decades (linked to earth observation remote sensing). Furthermore, the project will contribute to the ongoing effort toward transferring knowledge to Arctic local communities.