SITES_bård 160701-4

The northern summit of Kebnekaise now higher than the southern summit due to a warmer climate

Kebnekaise southern summit on the 3rd of September 2019. Photo: Gunhild Rosqvist. Kebnekaise southern summit on the 3rd of September 2019. Photo: Gunhild Rosqvist.

The annual measurements of Kebnekaise southern summit were conducted on the 3rd of September by Tarfala researcher station. The summit measured 2095,6 meter and is thereby 1,2 meters lower than the northern summit.

The highest part of the northern summit consists of solid ground and is thereby stable, whereas the southern summit is a glacier and varies in height during the year. The measurements are done every year when the melting period is over. When it starts snowing again the southern summit will surpass the northern summit again.

The southern summit is becoming lower and lower due to a warmer climate and this year’s measurements are the lowest ever recorded. During the past 50 years the height of this glacier has decreased with 24 meters.

 

Report from study in the Tarfala valley

Researchers conducting a labbeling study with nitrogen isotopes to improve our understanding of impacts of changes in the vegetation on the nitrogen cycle. Photo: Gunhild Rosqvist. Researchers conducting a labbeling study with nitrogen isotopes to improve our understanding of impacts of changes in the vegetation on the nitrogen cycle. Photo: Gunhild Rosqvist.
Photo: Gunhild Rosqvist. Photo: Gunhild Rosqvist.

Biodiversity and the role of mycorrhiza is undoubtedly of major significance for ecosystem processes such as carbon sequestration and soil nitrogen and organic matter dynamics. Despite their importance, it is poorly understood how and to what extent certain features of biodiversity are linked to ecosystem processes.

In a study lead by Robert G. Björk at the Univeristy of Gothenburg, they aims to improve our understanding of the coupling between plants and microbial diversity and to what extent changes in plant-soil biodiversity affect carbon and nitrogen dynamics in the ecosystem.

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Grand opening of the new Biosphere reserve for the Vindeln River - Juhtadahka. Photo: J. Wallsten. Grand opening of the new Biosphere reserve for the Vindeln River - Juhtadahka. Photo: J. Wallsten.

On Saturday August 17 the grand opening of the new Biosphere reserve for the Vindeln River took place and SITES was there. The decision to grant the new biosphere reserve was taken by Unesco already in mid-June and the opening ceremony was planned for the national river day on August 17. The Vindeln River is one of only four rivers in Sweden not adapted for hydropower production. SITES has two stations within the biosphere area; Svartberget in Vindeln and Röbäcksdalen in Umeå. Charlotta Erefur, head of Svartberget field station and Johanna Wallsten, SITES manager at Röbäcksdalen research station were present during the day to show some SITES activities. They also had an oral presentation where they presented what SITES can offer, with a special focus on the biosphere area.

Vindeln River. Photo: J. Wallsten. Vindeln River. Photo: J. Wallsten.
Charlotta Erefur (head of Svartberget field station) and Johanna Wallsten (SITES manager at Röbäcksdalen reserach station) were present during the day to show some SITES activities. Photo: C. Erefur. Charlotta Erefur (head of Svartberget field station) and Johanna Wallsten (SITES manager at Röbäcksdalen reserach station) were present during the day to show some SITES activities. Photo: C. Erefur.

 

Read more about the Vindeln River biosphere reserve
Read more about biosphere reserve at Unesco’s website

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Finally! After a lot of bureaucracy, the process of getting high-speed internet to SITES Lönnstorp was started up a couple a days ago. If everything goes well, we will have access to fast speed internet at the end of the year. This upgrade will hopefully enable those of us that are associated with projects at SITES Lönnstorp to use the field station as our place to work from, which will in turn most likely   enhance communication between researchers and technicians. In addition, this upgrade of internet capacity will hopefully allow us to get more projects to the research station.

In early August, Eamon Gallagher started his position as a field technician at SITES Lönnstorp. Eamon, who has previously worked at both Yara AB and Hasselblad, will mostly work with tasks related to SITES. Among other things, he and Ryan Davidson will take care of collecting spectral data and make sure that the SAFE experiment is well managed.

In recent months, we have had the pleasure of welcoming a lot of visitors to SITES Lönntorp. In May, about 75 researchers attending the conference "Is the Future Perennial" were given a guided tour of the research station. In June, we had visitors from the Nordic Plant Phenotyping Network as well as and the DiverIMPACTS-project (a total of more than one hundred researchers). Furthermore, in collaboration with Partnership Alnarp, we also organized a “soil-carbon-day” in June.  Farmers, advisors, government officials as well as researchers participated at this event. SITES Lönnstorp was also represented with a “roll-up” at the Borgeby agricultural fair.

The harvest of field trials at SITES Lönnstorp was initiated at the end of July. The season has been dry and therefore we had to start the harvest earlier than we would normally do. However, despite this, preliminary data shows that yield levels are relatively high.

Figure 1. The process to get high speed internet to SITES Lönnstorp has started!

Figure 2. Lars Eklund (Lund University) presents SITES Spectral at SITES Lönnstorp.

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We are building a new ‘staff’ house at Tarfala Research Station. It includes 7 bedrooms, an office, bathroom and drying-room and will hopefully be ready by mid-July. It is a sturdy construction which is necessary to withstand the hurricane force winds that most often occur during winter. However, this year we were exposed to winds up to 40m/s and snowdrift at the end of June, which is unusual and not very pleasant! For the glaciers it meant an extra snow contribution to the mass balance.
Photografer: Gunhild Rosqvist.

First measurement round on the upper part of Storglaciären 9th July. Here we monitor the successive snow and ice melt during the summer. Photografer:Tom Kirkpatrick

Checking the automatic weather station located at 1350 m a sl on Storglaciären. The Sonic Ranger (SR50) instrument is in focus which measures the distance to the snow surface. Photografer:Tom Kirkpatrick

SITES Water
Calibration for discharge measurements in the Tarfala-river. Pressure transducers and a sonar-instrument are used to measure water-pressure and distance to the water surface in the Tarfala-river. Calibration using fluorescein provides data on water discharge out from the Tarfala valley. Four glaciers contribute with meltwater to the river.

SITES Spectral
NDVI sensors are now mounted in Laevasvagge. The valley is located 20 km northeast of Tarfala and is important for reindeer grazing during spring and autumn. Here an automatic weather station records several meteorological parameters including snow depth.

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New SMHI SYNOP-station at the Abisko Scientific Research Station. Photographer: Annika Kristofferson. New SMHI SYNOP-station at the Abisko Scientific Research Station. Photographer: Annika Kristofferson.

In a collaboration between the Swedish Meteorological and Hydrological Institute and the Swedish Polar Research Secretariat, Abisko is now a part of the extensive network of SYNOP-stations covering Sweden. The weather station is placed on the Observation hill at the Abisko Scientific Research Station, where the station’s own weather monitoring has been going on since 1913.
 
 

New SMHI SYNOP-station at the Abisko Scientific Research Station. Photographer: Annika Kristofferson. New SMHI SYNOP-station at the Abisko Scientific Research Station. Photographer: Annika Kristofferson.

The new SYNOP-station measures temperature, precipitation, air pressure, wind, air moisture, sight, and cloud-base height. The radiation sensors are in the process of being upgraded.
 
SYNOP observations from all of Sweden can be found at  https://www.smhi.se/vadret/vadret-i-sverige/observationer

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