RUSSIAN ACADEMY OF SCIENCES
ASSOCIATION OF RUSSIAN POLAR EXPLORERS.
PAICEX conception was approved by a resolution of the Russian National IPY Organizing Committee, September 30, 2005.
Preparation for the IPY (2007-2008) are in high gear in many countries, demonstrating the strong interest of the international scientific community in taking advantage of an opportunity to unite the efforts of many nations to better understand the natural processes that result in major climate changes. Global warming and the consequent exacerbation of processes in the atmosphere and the ocean, manifesting themselves as cataclysmic hurricanes, floods, tsunamis, droughts, mudslides and other natural disasters.
These developments force us to not only understand the nature of these processes, but also work out a system of defensive measures that make it possible to forecast extreme climatic changes and help the international community learn to deal with them.
Thus, the National Organizational Committee of Russia for the preparation and implementation of the IPY proposes the establishment of a system of international drifting stations during the IPY, known collectively as the PanArctic Ice Camp Expedition (PAICEX) for long-term multidisciplinary observations of processes in the ocean, the atmosphere, the sea ice and marine ecosystems.
Scientific concept of PAICEX is to show: How will recent warming in the Arctic affect physical, chemical and biological properties of the sea ice-upper ocean system? Do the recent remarkable shrinking and melting of permanent sea ice cover and warming and freshening of surface water in the Canada Basin of the Arctic Ocean represent to be local or connect with globally processes in a whole scale of the Arctic Ocean? Still now, information about these questions is still insufficient, however, the knowledge is very important for assessment of the permanent sea-ice cover condition and modeling of climatic and ecological processes in the Arctic Ocean in the nearest future.
Logistic concept of PAICEX is to organize during the IPY a number of Ice Drifting Camps (IDC) in key-regions of the Central Arctic Ocean. Each Ice Camp team will consist of 5-7 scientific and logistic persons to develop and conduct field round-year “sea ice-upper ocean” observations. Science and Action Plans need to be similar at each IDC as well as field observations and samplings need to be done with same technology, field and labs equipment, using same methods of measurements, scheduled samplings, fixation etc. Main priorities need to be focused on observations of snow and sea-ice cover dynamic, CTD casts, hydrological samplings and biodiversity studies. This approach will allow getting “snap-shot” round-year information about sea ice-upper ocean system in the geographical scale of the Arctic Ocean. Expected results may be very important for assessment of permanent sea-ice cover condition, upper ocean and ecosystems in recent climatic changes in the Arctic.
Russia has unique experience in establishing drifting stations and conducting air operations in the Arctic. This experience was used to organize the Russian drifting stations NP-32, NP-33 and NP-34 in the period of 2003 to 2005 and yearly ice airfield ”Borneo”. That is why the Russian participants of the PAICEX are ready to provide complete logistic support. However, the scale of the PAICEX does not allow preparing and implementing it by one country's efforts due to financial reasons. The best solution may be a consortium of stakeholders from various countries. In this case it is evident that the scientific program of the experiment can be significantly added and expanded taking into account other IPY scientific programs.