Sea ice has declined significantly over the past several decades in the Arctic Ocean. It is predicted that sea ice declines further. In addition, the Arctic region has significantly warmed more than the global average. It is predicted that it continues to warm more than the global average significantly. It is known as Arctic Warming Amplification. The presence or absence of sea ice and sea surface temperatures have a significant impact on marine ecosystems. In particular, the ecosystems of oceans under sea ice throughout the year are greatly different from those that are ice-free even during certain periods. Therefore, Hokkaido University is engaged in daily research and education to comprehensively clarify the ongoing changes in the Arctic Ocean through understanding physical and chemical environmental changes, such as not only nutrients but also greenhouse gases (such as carbon dioxide and methane), and the impact of these changes on the marine ecosystem. We are working on research and education to comprehensively understand the changes in the environment and the impact of these changes on marine ecosystems. In this course, we will introduce some of these studies.
Arctic Research by Hokkaido University
Hokkaido University, Arctic Research Center (https://www.arc.hokudai.ac.jp) conducts research in the natural sciences, engineering, humanities, and social sciences related to the Arctic region. In terms of natural science, we visit the field to research the Arctic Ocean, atmosphere, snow, ice, and Arctic land areas such as permafrost and glacial ice sheets in Greenland and other regions. We utilize not only field observations but also satellite data and oceanographic databases. From a social engineering perspective, we conduct environmental engineering research on Arctic sea routes, and from a humanities and social science perspective, we conduct research on the lives of indigenous people in the Arctic. Faculty members from the Institute of Low Temperature Science, the Graduate School of Fisheries Science, the Graduate School of Engineering, the Graduate School of Global Environmental Science, the Graduate School of Science, the Graduate School of Law, the Graduate School of Letters, the Field Science Center for Northern Biosphere, the Slavic-Eurasian Research Center, and the Center for Ainu and Indigenous Studies also participate in the Arctic Research Center as adjunct faculty, Education and research related to the Arctic is conducted across departments and fields of expertise. In the Faculty of Fisheries, many fourth-year undergraduate students are conducting graduate research in the fields of physics, chemistry, and biology of the Arctic Ocean. Many students go on to master's and doctoral programs to further develop their research. Hokkaido University offers many opportunities to get involved in Arctic research through various routes, so if you are interested, please check it out.
In addition, for a period of about four and a half years, from June 2020
to March 2025, the university will be involved in the "Arctic Challenge
for Sustainability II (ArCS II, https://www.nipr.ac.
jp/arcs2/)," a national flagship project for Arctic research subsidized
by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology
of Japan. Hokkaido University plays a central role in ArCS II, along
with the National Institute of Polar Research and the Japan Agency for
Marine-Earth Science and Technology (JAMSTEC). Numerous researchers are
working to achieve the project goal, "Towards the realization of a
sustainable society, we promote advanced research to understand the
current status and process of environmental changes in the Arctic and to
improve meteorological and climate prediction in order to assess the
impact of rapid environmental changes in the Arctic on human society,
including Japan, as well as to implement the results of this research
into society. We also provide domestic and international stakeholders
with our scientific knowledge that will be a basis for legal and policy
for the formation of international rules in the Arctic."
Marine Physics in the Arctic
Marine Chemistry in the Arctic
Marine Organisms in the Arctic
Oceanographic Observations in the Arctic
Diverse field studies in cold oceans around the world