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Blue-Action Spring Newsletter 2021


Spring is in the air, and we are moving into the final year of the Blue-Action project.

In this newsletter, we look back at the past few months of activities, and showcase more of the exciting results that are still coming from the research. We also look ahead to a summer of interesting outreach to share these results with our science community, policy colleagues and beyond.  

From all the Blue-Action team, we hope you have a lovely break this weekend!

Here we highlight some of the recent publication that acknowledge Blue-Action, published in collaboration with partners, projects and organisations across the world. Congratulations to all the authors!
Stratospheric influence on North Atlantic marine cold air outbreaks following sudden stratospheric warming events

Throughout history, seafarers of the North have told tales of unexpected encounters with fierce storms that appeared out of nowhere. Now, we recognise these accounts as polar lows, a special weather phenomenon occurring in Polar Regions also known as Arctic hurricanes or cold depressions. They are short-lived atmospheric low pressure systems much like tropical hurricanes, only they appear where cold winds draw across relatively warm ocean waters. They typically only exist for a few days, but can be dangerous for ships and infrastructure in the areas they form, and due to the size and duration are very difficult to predict.

Recent work has suggested that polar lows are preceded by Marine Cold Air Outbreaks, suggesting they might be predictable if we understand the drivers of MCAOs. This new paper in Weather and Climate Dynamics studies the influence of extreme events in the stratosphere, known as Sudden Stratospheric Warming,s on MCAOs over the North Atlantic Ocean. Hilla Afargan-Gerstman et al. describe how SSW events contribute to the strong northerly flow over the Barents and Norwegian seas and increased the likelihood of MCAOs in the region. These results may increase the predictability of MCAOS in the Nordic Seas. 

Results from this paper were recently presented by Hilla at Arctic Science Summit Week, and more details on the Blue-Action polar lows case study outputs can be found here

Vertical migration of pelagic species found using backscatter data in the Southern Norwegian Sea

An interesting paper merging oceanographic and ecological fields was recently published by Cisewski et al in Marine Ecosystem Ecology. The authors use moored Acoustic Doppler Current Profilers (ADCP) to gain new insights in the dynamics of diel vertical migration of mesopelagic biomass. 

The data show complex movements of species, both up and down the water column on a daily basis, and with with seasonal variation. The authors suggest that both oceanographic and optical conditions are driving these dynamics.

Important reminder

If you are part of the Blue-Action team, please don't forget to let us know about your publication or outreach success!
The United Nations Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development has launched, and there are many opportunities, events and activities taking place over the next few years. To find out more about the upcoming options, please visit the website.
To implement the United Nations Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development in an Arctic context, a Task Force is presently preparing the development of the Ocean Decade – Arctic Action Plan. They are inviting everyone to respond to the first draft of this plan here. 
New event series: Blue-Action Climate Coffees

From May 2021, Blue-Action will be hosting a series of weekly informal discussion events around Arctic, ocean and climate science. Speakers will offer a short talk, followed by discussion, questions and comments. These short informal meetings are an opportunity to share ideas, discuss methods and communicate new results.

Links and details will be published on the Blue-Action webpage. Please join us to support our science community, or let us know if you would like to take a slot to discuss your work! 
Art-Science workshop opportunity

Blue-Action are partners in a new exciting art-science project called Ocean ARTic. Ocean ARTic is a new partnership that aims to bring creatives and marine climate scientists together to explore the impact of climate change in the Arctic and beyond through climate data.

The project kicks off with an afternoon online workshop between scientists and artists to explore how new art can be informed and inspired by climate science. If you are a scientist interested in participating then please get in touch with us. If you are an artist, please find out more details from our art partner, Creative Informatics
UN Ocean Decade Virtual Series
the Ocean Decade Virtual series continues running, and there are upcoming webinars that will be of interest to our community. On 1st April, the topic is Blue Foods: Science for a sustainable future. More information on the series is available here
Scottish Marine Alliance webinar series
The Marine Alliance for Science and Technology host a regular webinar series for scientific engagement across 2021. Blue-Action invited speakers include Helene R. Langehaug from the Nansen Environmental and Remote Sensing Center, and Marilena Oltmanns from the National Oceanography Centre, UK.
Early Career Conference
The Association of Polar Early Career Scientists Conference is being held on 12th May 2021, and abstracts have just been extended.
Icebreaker training opportunity
APECS, ARICE and World Ocean Council have developed training for early-career researchers in polar research. These are a series of webinars, including how to build a robot, and how to manage a moving lab. Registration is still open.
Past events
ClimateScience2Policy workshop

Blue-Action participated in a high-level event organised by the European Commission and the EASME Climate Action team to share recommendations from climate science directly to policymakers. The outputs from this event are available here, and the recommendations from the Oceans and Polar Processes session organised by Blue-Action, APPLICATE, SO-CHIC and Nunataryuk are here
Sustainable Ocean Summit

Blue-Action co-organised a session at the Sustainable Ocean Summit 2020, in partnership with the World Ocean Council and ARICE project. Mark R. Payne from the Technical University of Denmark and Øivin Aarnes from DNV-GL presented the Blue-Action case study work in the session on Arctic Sustainable Development: Changing Environmental Conditions and Shipping Operational Risk.

The session concluded with an interesting discussion from science and industry representatives about the need for future climate services. The Blue-Action presentations are available in full here, and a summary of the whole conference is available here
Policy Briefing with European Intergroup on Climate Change, Biodiversity and Sustainable Development

Blue-Action coordinated a briefing for the European Parliament in December 2020 in partnership with TRIATLAS and MISSION ATLANTIC. The event focused on forecasting fish distributions and abundance in the Atlantic Ocean, and the challenge of balancing exploitation and sustainability. 

Presentations from the Blue-Action team are available to download, including Laura Meller from Greenpeace, Mark R. Payne from the Technical University of Denmark, Joern Schmidt from ICES and Femke de Jong from the Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research.

If you are interested in learning more about the topic, the full policy note is available to freely download here.


Assistant Professor in Hydroclimatic and societal interactions, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
They are seeking an expert with a strong modelling background, but with clear experience in bridging hydrology to societal impacts and feedbacks. Over time, the tenure track will establish a personal research domain within the field of socio-hydrological modelling, with a focus on feedbacks between (future) water-climate extremes (e.g. droughts) and human responses. Deadline 19th April
Check out our new interview blog from Blue-Action and PROSNOW now available on the Year of Polar Prediction blog, Polar Prediction Matters. 

All Blue-Action's open access publications and documents are available in the Zenodo open-access repository.

Check out the latest presentations and reports in our Blue-Action community here, and remember you can use the search bar to find specific results within the community, sort results by date, use key words or filter by type. 

Please contact us if you would like further information about any publications or cannot find what you are looking for. 
The Blue-Action project has received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 727852
Copyright © 2021 Blue-Action, All rights reserved.

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