Recently, Pinngortitaleriffik – the Greenland Institute of Natural Resources – and in particular Søren Rysgaard, professor at the centre’s Climate Research Centre, had an exclusive visit by professor and oceanographer Marcel Babin from the Canadian Excellence Research Chair (CERC) and two of his fellow scientists from the Laval-university in Quebec, Canada. The scientists from the Laval-university visited Pinngortitaleriffik in order to check out the possibilities of using the Nuuk region as test area for the development of a new and advanced computer- and satellite based measuring equipment for the surveillance of the Arctic eco-system.
During the visit numerous collaboration projects were discussed with the interest especially focusing on the following issues: testing of advanced measuring equipment in the Nuuk-region, development of buoys with measuring equipment in Baffin Bugten and finally the possibility of calibrating data from these buoys with direct measurements gathered by the Institute’s huge network of measurements around Greenland.
The aim of the project concerning the Nuuk region is to develop, improve and optimize measuring instruments so that they will be able to perform measurements from the sea surface to the sea bed. Throughout the year the instruments will automatically measure a number of objects, such as salinity, temperature, light, nutritive salts, chlorophyll etc. from several localities. One of the problems is that data has to be transmitted via satellite and the measuring equipment – when surfacing to transmit those data – may be destroyed by sea ice or icebergs. A number of methods will be developed and tested to enable the instruments themselves to sense whether it is safe to surface or not. The purpose of this instrument-network is the chance to gather data automatically all year round from distant areas and to illustrate the possible consequences of the climate change. With regard to the buoy project in Baffin Bugten, the aim is to expand measuring stations in the ocean and increase the capacity of gathered data. As an example, the measuring equipment placed on buoys – which is used for measuring the possible impact, the noise level from oil research activities may have on whales – may be upgraded. Development of the measuring equipment for surveillance of plankton and nutritive salts etc., will enable scientists to gather far more detailed information than at present.
No Mr. Anybody
Professor Marcel Babin is an internationally acknowledged scientist within his field, which is development of oceanographic measuring equipment and satellite based surveillance systems. Such equipment is essential in order to test the computer based models used today when counselling governments and society on a number of conditions.
Professor Marcel Babin, along with professor Søren Rysgaaard, was nominated for the prestigious Canadian Excellence Research Chair (CERC) by the Canadian government. This title is held by only 19 scientists all over Canada. The title is presented to internationally acknowledged scientists on professor level. With their respective research programs Søren Rysgaard and Marcel Babin are leading a huge research group. Both professors have been granted a two-figured million amount in Canadian dollars as support to their research. The requirements for such research programs are that they must be ambitious and the CERC-nominations are regarded as the internationally most prestigious ones.
Babin’s CERC is titled “Remote Sensing of Canada´s New Arctic Frontier” while Rysgaard’s CERC is called “Arctic Geomicrobiology and Climate Change”.