ArCS Arctic Challenge for Sustainability Project

International Collaborative Researches
Elucidate the status and trends of ongoing Arctic Ocean environmental changes and evaluate their impact on the Arctic marine ecosystems and the global climate system

Theme 4
Observational research on Arctic Ocean environmental changes

Dr. Takashi Kikuchi (JAMSTEC)

PI : Takashi Kikuchi (JAMSTEC)Implementation Structure

Study Sites : Pan-Arctic area, Chukchi Borderland, Chukchi Sea, Canada Basin, Coastal area off Barrow, Alaska

Background of the Research

Changes in the Arctic Ocean environment, typically shown as unpredictably rapid reductions of sea ice in the Arctic Ocean, are well known as one of the most remarkable evidence of global warming. Such sea ice reduction is closely related to significant warming, freshening and ocean acidification in the Arctic Ocean, and these changes are matters of concern for marine ecosystems and biogeochemical cycles. Furthermore, changes in air-sea interaction due to sea ice reduction in the Arctic certainly have climatological impacts not only in the Arctic region, but also for the global climate system. Changes in the Arctic environment and these impacts on marine ecosystems and the climate are among the most important issues for the Arctic countries as well as non-Arctic countries, including Japan. Amid the growing concern about global climate change and interest in Arctic environmental issues, Japan was admitted as an Observer at the Arctic Council in May 2013, and presented Japan’s Arctic Policy in October 2015. Further international contributions to Arctic environmental and climate issues from scientific points of view are very important, as noted in Japan’s Arctic Policy.

Overview of the Research

The overall theme of our research is to elucidate the status and trends of ongoing Arctic Ocean environmental changes and to evaluate their impact on Arctic marine ecosystems (mainly focused on lower trophic levels) and the global climate system (e.g., climatological and hydrological interaction between the Arctic and sub-Arctic regions). Specific themes of our research are: (1) to understand ongoing changes in physical and biogeochemical conditions in the Arctic Ocean and seasonal/inter-annual variability in interactions between climatological and hydrological systems and changes in the Arctic environment; (2) to evaluate the effect of ocean warming and acidification on marine ecosystems in the Arctic Ocean; (3) to understand seasonal/inter-annual variability in the freshwater budget in the Arctic Ocean; and (4) to understand variability in sea ice dynamics, especially for the Alaskan coast.

To achieve these scientific purposes, we plan to carry out: (1) field observation, mainly in the Pacific sector of the Arctic Ocean, by using R/V Mirai and icebreakers under international collaboration; (2) year-long mooring observations at key areas of ongoing Arctic changes; (3) on-site and laboratory experiments to evaluate impacts of changes in the Arctic environment; and (4) numerical modeling to address details of changes in the Arctic environment. International collaboration is indispensable for our research activities. Based on our previous experience, we are continuing our collaboration with the US, Canada, Norway, Germany, Russia and other countries.

Schematic of Observational research on Arctic Ocean environmental changes

Cooperative Institutions / International Projects

Department of Fisheries and Ocean (Canada), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (US), University of Alaska, Fairbanks (US), Norwegian Polar Institute (Norway), Institute of Marine Research (Norway), Alfred Wegener Institute (Germany), Russia Academy of Science (Russia), Korea Polar Research Institute (Korea) *under planning, etc.

Pacific Arctic Group (PAG), Distributed Biological Observatory (DBO), International Arctic Systems for Observing the Atmosphere (IASOA), CliC sea ice group, International Permafrost Association (IPA), International Arctic Buoy Programme (IABP), Forum for Arctic Modeling & Observational Synthesis (FAMOS), Synoptic Arctic Survey (SAS), Ecosystem Studies of Sub-Arctic and Arctic Seas (ESSAS), RACArctic, etc.

Implementation Structure


Name Institutes
Takashi Kikuchi JAMSTEC
Motoyo Itoh JAMSTEC
Satoshi Kimura JAMSTEC
Shigeto Nishino JAMSTEC
Park, Hotaek JAMSTEC
Amane Fujiwara JAMSTEC
Akihiko Murata JAMSTEC
Sayaka Yasunaka JAMSTEC
Eiji Watanabe JAMSTEC
Sohiko Kameyama Hokkaido University
Naomi Harada JAMSTEC
Jonaotaro Onodera JAMSTEC
Minoru Kitamura JAMSTEC
Name Institutes
Hajime Kimura JAMSTEC
Katsunori Kimoto JAMSTEC
Koji Sugie JAMSTEC
Maki Noguchi JAMSTEC
Takuhei Shiozaki JAMSTEC
Michiyo Kawai Tokyo University of Marine Science and Technology
Kohei Mizobata Tokyo University of Marine Science and Technology
Yasushi Fukamachi Hokkaido University
Keiichiro Ohshima Hokkaido University
Daisuke Hirano Hokkaido University
Toru Takatsuka Hokkaido University


Name Institutes
Yoshihiro Iijima Mie University
Masato Ito Hokkaido University
Yusuke Kawaguchi The University of Tokyo
Kazuhiro Oshima Institute for Environmental Sciences
Akio Ishida Tokoha University
Takahito Ikenoue Marine Ecology Research Institute (MERI)
Name Institutes
Masao Ishii Meteorological Research Institute
Naohiro Kosugi Meteorological Research Institute
Daisuke Sasano Meteorological Research Institute
Katsuya Toyama Meteorological Research Institute
Yasunori Tohjima National Institute for Environmental Studies
Shigeyuki Ishidoya National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST)
Masatake Hori National Institute of Polar Research

Study Sites (Map)

  • Pan-Arctic area
  • Chukchi Borderland
  • Chukchi Sea
  • Canada Basin
  • Coastal area off Barrow, Alaska

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