Special Feature: ASPIRE: The Amundsen Sea Polynya International Research Expedition

Collection launched: 15 Jul 2014

Understanding the climate-sensitive processes supporting the Antarctic's most productive marine ecosystem
The Amundsen Sea is a place on Earth about as far as you can get from human civilization. Satellites reveal it to be the most productive region of coastal Antarctica. Nearby glaciers and ice sheets are melting rapidly. Between November 2010 and January 2011, the U.S. Research Icebreaker Nathaniel B. Palmer was joined by the Swedish Icebreaker Oden for the Amundsen Sea Polynya International Research Expedition (ASPIRE). Scientists on the NBP focused on understanding the climate-sensitive dynamics of the open water region, known as a “polynya,” while the Oden investigated the disappearing sea-ice ecosystem nearby. Here we report our findings from this extraordinary place.

Additional articles under review

Related Content

Patricia L. Yager Explains the Significance of the ASPIRE Special Feature

Please describe the focus of the ASPIRE Special Feature. The Amundsen Sea hosts the most productive polynya in all of coastal Antarctica, with its vibrant green waters visible from satellites. It is also one of the global regions most vulnerable to climate change, experiencing rapid losses in both sea ice cover and nearby ice sheets.

Collection Articles

Research Article
A carbon budget for the Amundsen Sea Polynya, Antarctica: Estimating net community production and export in a highly productive polar ecosystem
PL Yager, RM Sherrell, SE Stammerjohn, HW Ducklow, OME Schofield, ED Ingall, SE Wilson, KE Lowry, CM Williams, L Riemann, S Bertilsson, A-C Alderkamp, J Dinasquet, R Logares, I. Richert, RE Sipler, AJ Melara, L Mu, RG Newstead, AF Post, R Swalethorp, GL van Dijken

Research Article
Pelagic microbial heterotrophy in response to a highly productive bloom of Phaeocystis antarctica in the Amundsen Sea Polynya, Antarctica
C.M. Williams, A.M. Dupont, J. Loevenich, A.F. Post, J. Dinasquet, P.L. Yager

Research Article
Dynamics of dissolved iron and other bioactive trace metals (Mn, Ni, Cu, Zn) in the Amundsen Sea Polynya, Antarctica
R.M. Sherrell, M.E. Lagerström, K.O. Forsch, S.E. Stammerjohn, P.L. Yager

Research Article
In situ phytoplankton distributions in the Amundsen Sea Polynya measured by autonomous gliders
Oscar Schofield, Travis Miles, Anne-Carlijn Alderkamp, SangHoon Lee, Christina Haskins, Emily Rogalsky, Rachel Sipler, Robert M. Sherrell, Patricia L. Yager

Research Article
Freshwater distributions and water mass structure in the Amundsen Sea Polynya region, Antarctica
E. Randall-Goodwin, M. P. Meredith, A. Jenkins, P. L. Yager, R. M. Sherrell, E. P. Abrahamsen, R. Guerrero, X. Yuan, R. A. Mortlock, K. Gavahan, A.-C. Alderkamp, H. Ducklow, R. Robertson, S. E. Stammerjohn

Research Article
Bioavailability of surface dissolved organic matter to aphotic bacterial communities in the Amundsen Sea Polynya, Antarctica
Rachel E. Sipler, Tara L. Connelly

Research Article
Seasonal sea ice changes in the Amundsen Sea, Antarctica, over the period of 1979–2014
S. E. Stammerjohn, T. Maksym, R. A. Massom, K. E. Lowry, K. R. Arrigo, X. Yuan, M. Raphael, E. Randall-Goodwin, R. M. Sherrell, P. L. Yager

Research Article
Particle flux on the continental shelf in the Amundsen Sea Polynya and Western Antarctic Peninsula
Hugh W. Ducklow, Stephanie E. Wilson, Anton F. Post, Sharon E. Stammerjohn, Matthew Erickson, SangHoon Lee, Kate E. Lowry, Robert M. Sherrell, Patricia L. Yager

Research Article
The influence of light and water mass on bacterial population dynamics in the Amundsen Sea Polynya
Inga Richert, Julie Dinasquet, Ramiro Logares, Lasse Riemann, Patricia L. Yager, Annelie Wendeberg, Stefan Bertilsson

Research Article
Fe availability drives phytoplankton photosynthesis rates during spring bloom in the Amundsen Sea Polynya, Antarctica
Anne-Carlijn Alderkamp, Gert L. van Dijken, Kate E. Lowry, Tara L. Connelly, Maria Lagerström, Robert M. Sherrell, Christina Haskins, Emily Rogalsky, Oscar Schofield, Sharon E. Stammerjohn, Patricia L. Yager, Kevin R. Arrigo

Research Article
Meso- and macro-zooplankton community structure of the Amundsen Sea Polynya, Antarctica (Summer 2010–2011)
Stephanie E. Wilson, Rasmus Swalethorp, Sanne Kjellerup, Megan A. Wolverton, Hugh W. Ducklow, Patricia L. Yager

Research Article
Spatial variability of surface pCO2 and air- sea CO2flux in the Amundsen Sea Polynya, Antarctica
L. Mu, S. E. Stammerjohn, K. E. Lowry, P. L. Yager

Commentary
ASPIRE: Teachers and researchers working together to enhance student learning
Lollie Garay, Anna Marie Wotkyns, Kate E. Lowry, Janet Warburton, Anne-Carlijn Alderkamp, Patricia L. Yager

Research Article
Sea ice algal biomass and physiology in the Amundsen Sea, Antarctica
Kevin R. Arrigo, Zachary W. Brown, Matthew M. Mills