First-ever live interaction on Canada’s Arctic threats

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New Delhi, Aug 20 (IANS) If you are a student or a citizen scientist and curious to understand how waters of the Canadian Arctic Archipelago have been changing as a consequence of the warming trend over the Arctic circle. Here is an opportunity!

A group of scientists along with students — most of them young undergrads – on August 23 is embarking on a major three-week investigation of related conditions at the top of the planet.

During the 22-day voyage, they will produce ground level baseline data to assess changing Arctic Ocean frontier, freshwater inflow from ice melt, CO2, methane, plankton, bird life, marine mammals, more.

The team will also take questions directly from classrooms, citizen scientists and the public worldwide in the first-ever interactive Facebook Live sessions from the Northwest Passage — four in total, August 30, September 3, 5 and 9 — all fully open and available to the public, say voyage organisers.

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Departing from Resolute Bay in Canada’s Nunavut Territory aboard the One Ocean Expeditions’ 384-foot vessel Akademik Ioffe, the Northwest Passage Project team will observe conditions and collect data to improve the resolution of scientific picture of, and assess changes underway in the far North, considered a harbinger of climactic change for the rest of the world.

The voyage will be returning to Iqaluit on September 13.

The team will update the public in real time en route via 31 interactive sessions hosted by three major US museums and science centres: The Smithsonian Institution National Museum of Natural History, Washington DC, the Exploratorium, San Francisco CA, and the Alaska SeaLife Center, Seward AK.

In addition, the team will report in real time with videos and photos via its social media channels, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube, and post blogs accessible on the project website,

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Managed by the University of Rhode Island’s Inner Space Center (ISC), part of the Graduate School of Oceanography, with major funding from the US National Science Foundation and additional support from the Heising-Simons Foundation, the Northwest Passage Project’s 37-member on-board team includes experts in natural and social sciences, students, as well as an award-winning documentary filmmaker and crew.

Led by Chief scientist Brice Loose of the University of Rhode Island Graduate School of Oceanography, the research focuses in particular on volumes and flows of freshwater ice melt entering the Arctic Ocean, which when it enters the Atlantic has world-affecting impacts.

Changing water column chemistry and its effects on greenhouse gases and vulnerable constituents of the Arctic food web: plankton, sea birds and marine mammals are also the focus of the research.

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