About the IPY-CFL projectThe results of global warming are seen first and strongest in the polar regions of our planet. The Arctic sea ice has shrunk at an average annual rate of about 70,000 km2 per year since 1979, with 2005 being the minimum.
The Circumpolar Flaw Lead (CFL) system study is designed to examine how changes in the physical system affect biological processes. An international team of researchers will study what effect these changes will have on the marine ecosystem, contaminant transport, carbon fluxes, and the exchange of greenhouse gases across the ocean-sea ice-atmosphere interface.
The Circumpolar Flaw Lead (CFL) is a perennial characteristic of the central Arctic. The CFL system is formed when the central pack (which is mobile) moves away from coastal fast ice, opening a flaw lead which occurs throughout the winter season, forming first in the fall and continuing as thin ice areas in the winter season. The flaw lead is circumpolar, occurring in the Norwegian, Icelandic, North American and Siberian sectors of the circumpolar Arctic. Due to a reduced ice cover, these regions are exceedingly sensitive to changing atmospheric and oceanic conditions and provide a unique laboratory from which to gain insights into the changing polar marine ecosystem.