Minnett OPP-0327187 Sellar OPP- 0327234

This is a collaborative proposal by Principal Investigators at the Universities of Miami (UM) and Central Florida (UCF). The Arctic is recognized as area that is particularly sensitive to the effects of climate change, the effects of which are not regionally limited but extend to the entire climate system. The cloud radiative forcing and the surface response are components of competing feedback mechanisms that can enhance or dampen the response of the Arctic system to changes in climate. The seasonal changes of albedo of the snow and ice cover over the Arctic Ocean, which are most rapid and profound at the time of snow melt and breakup of the ice cover, have a profound effect on the surface radiation and heat budget of the Arctic. Errors in the measurement or specification of the surface albedo overwhelm other sources of uncertainties in the measurement or modeling of the surface heat budget and response of the Arctic to cloud radiative forcing. The project is focused on the deployment of a new instrument, the High-Efficiency HyperSpectral Imager (HEHSI), together with a suite of extant ancillary sensors, on the Canadian Coast Guard Ship Franklin during part of the year-long expedition to the Cape Bathurst area as part of the Canadian Arctic Shelf Exchange Study (CASES).

Intellectual Merit This project involves the first Arctic field deployment of a new, small, robust, lightweight imaging spectroradiometer with no moving parts (other than the computer disk). This is a significant improvement in capabilities of current, non-imaging spectrometers, and video imagers. In collaboration with Canadian colleagues, these measurements will be used to study the relationships between optical properties and physical properties of the surface. The project will improve our understanding of the variability in the spectral reflectivity of he frozen surface under a range of conditions of illumination, and how narrow-band measurements of reflectivity can be related to broad-band hemispheric albedo. The field measurements will be compared to coincident data from the new generation of satellite imagers, thereby establishing the foundation for extending the accurate but localized measurements to the Arctic as a whole.

Broader Impacts This project will build on and strengthens international collaboration between the US and Canada in Arctic research from previous NSF funding. It will involve students at many stages in their careers, from high school juniors and seniors (through the Miami-Dade Academic Internship program at UM), through undergraduate and post graduate research assistants (at both UM and UCF). The University of Miami is a Hispanic Serving Institution and thereby fosters the participation of under-represented groups in science and engineering. The data will be made available through a WWW pages at Rosenthiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences (RSMAS). The project will contribute to the active outreach activities coordinated through the RSMAS Dean's Office. The improvement of understanding of the physical processes in the Arctic, especially in the framework of the changing climate, has important, multifaceted societal impacts.

National Science Foundation (NSF)
Division of Polar Programs (PLR)
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William J. Wiseman, Jr.
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University of Central Florida
United States
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