Principal InvestigatorKim, Seong-Joong The purpose of this study is to understand the mechanisms of climate change in the Antarctica and the Arctic through collaborative efforts between teams responsible for glaciers, atmospheric observation, and modeling, to conduct the reconstruction of past climate change records using ice core data, the quantification of current climate change using observations from the Arctic and the Antarctic base stations, and the application of such observational data to numerical models.
Principal InvestigatorJee; Geonhwa The purpose of this study is Investigation of the upper atmospheric changes via vertical coupling processes in the polar space environmnets including the lower and upper atmospheres (ionosphere), magnetosphere, and solar wind.
Principal InvestigatorLee, Bang Yong This research project has been supported by the Ministry of Science and ICT(National Research Foundation of Korea). Primary objectives include accurate diagnosis and analysis of rapidly changing weather conditions and ecosystems in the Arctic based on observation nodes, forecast of ripple effects on midand low-latitude regions such as the Korean Peninsula, and development of technologies designed to utilize useful substances from the Arctic.
Principal InvestigatorPark, Ki-Tae The main objective of this research project is to develop the analytical techniques for important climate relevant compounds and its application to polar environment with the following 3 detailed goals: 1) Research Goal 1 -Development of trace level climate gas (N2O, DMS) analytical system ; 2) Research Goal 2- Development of analytical method for the analysis of molecular characteristics of aerosol particles; 3) Research Goal 3- Application of newly developed analytical methods to polar environment. To deepen our understanding of the changing emission of these climate relevant compounds, we plan to develop unique analytical techniques which can be utilized in the remote polar environment.
Principal InvestigatorJee, Geonhwa In order to understand the physical mechanisms of the changes in the polar upper atmosphere, it is critical to monitor various upper atmospheric parameters in the polar regions. We are currently operating a number of groundbased optical and radar instruments at Arctic and Antarctic stations, including michelson interferometers, Fabry-Perot interferometers(FPIs), meteor radars, all sky cameras, ionospheric digisonde(VIPIR), magnetometers, neutron monitor, GPS TEC/Scintillation monitors. This year, we added two more instruments at Antarctic stations. A FPI was installed at King Sejong station to expand the existing observations of neutral winds and temperature in the Mesophere and Lower Thermosphere(MLT) in collaboration with National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR), USA.
Principal InvestigatorLee, Won Sang The dramatic mass loss in the polar regions and global sea level rise caused by global warming and climate change represent major global issues. Multidisciplinary research that links cryosphere- lithosphere-hydrosphere-atmosphere is the only way to identify the role of cryosphere in future sea level change. The international and multidisciplinary study of ice sheet around the Jang Bogo Antarctic station, led by KOPRI, is gathering speed towards an innovative understanding of ice sheet revolution.
Principal InvestigatorLee, Min Kyung; Lee, Jae Il The major tasks of this research project are as follows: 1) reconstruction of paleoclimatic and paleoenvironmental changes since the Last Glacial Maximum; 2) reconstruction of paleoenvironmental changes during the Pleistocene; 3) introduction of climatic indicator and age dating methods and investigation of principle applicable as proxies. We will analyze sediment cores obtained from the continental shelf and the deep sea in the Southern Ocean to reconstruct the past environment and identify the principles for the introduction of the dating method and the climate indicator and the development of available climatic proxy.
Principal InvestigatorNam, Seung-Il The purpose of this study is 1) Reconstruction of glacial history and paleoclimatic & paleoceanographic changes in the western Arctic Ocean; and 2) Submission of an international Joint-drilling proposal for drilling the Arctic continental margin using results acquired from RV Araon expeditions.
Principal InvestigatorYoon; Ho Il; Lee, Jae Il The rapid collapse of ice shelf in West Antarctica due to recent global warming is contributing to the global sea-level rise. This project's objectives are to establish a monitoring system for ice shelf movements and to reconstruct past environmental changes in response to climate changes in ice shelf areas. The main research contents of this project are: 1) establishment of a long-term monitoring system (AMIGOS, GPS, sediment trap, etc.) for abrupt environmental changes of the ice shelf system in the Antarctic Peninsula; 2) reconstruction of late Quaternary ice shelf development using marine sediment and terrestrial samples and its relation to paleoclimatic changes; 3) reconstruction of paleoclimatic changes using paleoclimatic proxies of marine sediment in the ice shelf region and studies on glacier movements and paleo-bottomcurrent direction and intensity changes; and 4) marine biological/geochemical/photochemical examination of the role of meltwater or oceanic processes that influence ice shelf stability.
Principal InvestigatorPark, Tae-Yoon S. Most of the organisms that we call 'animals' arose in the fossil record about 540 million years ago at the beginning of the Cambrian Period, and underwent a radical morphological evolution to attain the great variety of morphological blueprints that we see today. The morphological origin of the modern animals, therefore, lies in the Early Cambrian animal fossils. However, only the hard part of the animals, such as bones and shells, can get fossilized in normal condition, and less than 14% of animal species have hard parts in the body. This means that about 86% of the animals usually do not leave a hint in the fossil record. Nevertheless, there are several fossil localities around the world which yield fossils that preserve details of soft parts, such as eyes, guts, and appendages. These localities include Burgess Shale of Canada, Chengjiang biota of China, and Sirius Passet of North Greenland. In order to solve the mystery of the early animal evolution, Korea Polar Research Institute carried out a field expedition to Sirius Passet, North Greenland, and collected more than 6,000 specimens of diverse animal fossils from the Early Cambrian. The main research focus this year was on the early evolution of nervous system, including brain, in a stem-group arthropod. The newly collected specimens from North Greenland enabled us to reconstruct the almost complete shape of the stem-group arthropod, which provides a clue to the morphological origin of arthropods, the most diverse animal group in the history of Earth. Significantly, some of the specimens preserve the remnant of the brain of the animal, which was detected by Carbon elemental map.
Principal InvestigatorKim; Hyun-cheol "SaTellite remote sensing on west Antarctic ocean Research (STAR)" project was launched in 2014 and completed in 2016. This study investigated the West Antarctic Ocean using remote sensing techniques and numerical models to understand the interaction between sea-ice and the Antarctic Circumpolar Current (ACC). The project included the following research topics: 1) research on ACC frontal features and seaice dynamics using remote sensing and numerical modeling; 2) primary production monitoring using ocean color sensor; 3) monitoring pCO2 and net community production, and development of a remote sensing model; 4) development of remote sensing techniques for the cryosphere; and 5) investigation and development of remote sensing applications for multidisciplinary research in the polar region.
Principal InvestigatorKim, Hyun-cheol Arctic sea ice is a key indicator of climate change. It also plays a key role in the development of the new Northern Sea Route (NSR). Satellite remote sensing technology is a useful tool to conduct observations of sea ice in the Arctic Ocean. Therefore, developing appropriate techniques for processing and analysis to retrieve sea ice indices from satellite images is necessary. A project launched in 2017 at KOPRI to be completed in 2019, "Research on analytical technique for satellite observation of Arctic sea ice" consists of three objectives: 1) development of a satellite data archiving/management system(STAR system); 2) research on data processing and analysis techniques, and 3) coordinating a global satellite observation network for the Arctic.
Principal InvestigatorHong, Jong Kuk This project aims to: 1) Study on the neotectonic activities and volcanism around Balleny islands and Adare Trough; 2)characteristics in Australian-Antarctic Ridges and Pacific-Antarctic Fracture Zone, Antarctica; and 3) Understanding the tectonic evolution of the West Antarctic Rift System (WARS) Located between East and West Antarctica, the West Antarctic Rift System (WARS) is the most noticeable tectonic feature in the Antarctica, and the largest continental rift system in the world. Despite its tectonic importance, studying WARS is difficult due to the overlain thick ice and sea ice. The region around the Balleny Islands and the Adare Trough is considered to be the extension of WARS from the Ross Sea. Therefore, the scientific results in this area can provide implications regarding the tectonic history and mechanics of WARS. The Australian-Antarctic Ridge (AAR) located at the extension of WARS has continued spreading after the cessation of the Adare Trough expansion, and its mantle characteristics are closely correlated to those around the Balleny Islands and the Adare Trough.
Principal InvestigatorJin, Young Keun With warming of the Arctic, while opportunities for the development of enormous resources in the submarine environment becomes possible, there also is a growing concern on the release of methane from the subsea permafrost, which will accelerate global warming. Funded by the Ministry of Ocean and Fishery, the research project "'Investigation of submarine resource environment and seabed methane release in the Arctic(2016-2021)" was launched in 2016 to acquire foundational scientific evidence for the assessment of the potential of submarine resources and investigate the emission of methane, a powerful greenhouse gas from the Arctic shelf.
Principal InvestigatorPark, Yongcheol In 2017, with the beginning of phase II of the project, we carried out various geophysical studies focusing on the Terror Rift, where tectonic earthquake events are highly active. Employing teleseismic data from Jang Bogo Station, we computed a three-dimensional P-wave seismic velocity model beneath the Terror Rift and Jang Bogo Station and found two low velocity anomalies beneath the Terror Rift and Mt. Melbourne area. As a result, we discovered a low velocity layer to be evident in the lower parts of the Terror Rift and confirmed that the rift activity oriented in the East-West direction was caused by hot mantle material from its buoyancy moving into the cold lithosphere and spreading in the East- West direction, To compute a model with higher resolution and measure tectonic activities at the Terror Rift, 5 ocean bottom seismographs will be deployed during the 2017-18 summer Antarctic field season, and yearround data will be retrieved during the 2018-19 summer Antarctic field season.
Principal InvestigatorLee, Jong Ik Recently, a number of international, large-scale, multidisciplinary research have been carried out on Antarctic inland in order to solve the global issues of climate and environmental changes. In 2014, Korea Polar Research Institute(KOPRI) built the Antarctic Jang Bogo station, the second Korean Antarctic research station on Victoria land, East Antarctica. This was a landmark in Korean Antarctic research and field work. From 2017, KOPRI launched a new project for Antarctic inland research. This project includes: 1) expedition of traverse route into Antarctic inland, 2) development of Polar research facilities and technologies for inland research activities and 3) sampling of deep ice core and subglacial lake water and sediments.
Principal InvestigatorLee; Yookyung This project aims to: 1) understand the changes in the atmosphere, pedosphere, and biosphere along a glacial chronosequence and microtopography in the glacier foreland; and 2) conduct paleoenvironmental and geological, mineralogical, and geochemical research in Spitsbergen, Norway.
Principal InvestigatorHong; Soon Gyu The purpose of this study is to understand ecosystem changes of King George Island according to the climate change. The Barton Peninsula of King George Island, where the King Sejong Station is located, is a place composed of various geomorphological features including mountains and canyons, high-altitude steep areas and low-altitude flat areas. Areas of steep, high-altitude land are generally covered with stones, while flat, low-altitude areas are generally covered in soil. Snow remain patterns, water flow, soil water contents, sunlight exposure are affected by geomorphological features, which leads to highly diverse environmental conditions despite the small size of the Barton Peninsula. Each species of mosses and lichens exhibit different preference for light and water, and the terrestrial ecosystems of the Barton Peninsula are composed of diverse species of moss and lichen. Accurate information for geo-topology is a prerequisite to understand environmental conditions to which each species of moss and lichen are adapted, and to predict the potential results of climate change in the future.
Principal InvestigatorKim; Sanghee The purpose of this study is 1) Evaluation of environmental impacts and ecosystem changes caused by operation of Antarctic research stations; and 2) The obtaining of fundamental environmental data at the Antarctic Research stations and database construction. The study title and principle investigator in 2015 is " 'Comprehensive Environmental monitoring and construction of long-term environmental database in the Antarctic Research Stations/Kim, Jihee."
Principal InvestigatorLee, Hyoungseok King George Island is one of the best places to study the effects of environmental changes of the ecosystem as it harbors diverse organisms and is strongly affected by global warming. Changes in temperature, water fall, wind speed, and wind direction from global warming may result in corresponding changes in microclimate such as light intensity by snow cover, air temperature, ground temperature, relative humidity, and soil water content. The Barton Peninsular of King George Island covers only a small area but the diversity in its geological features, such as in altitude and slope, result in various microclimates and simultaneously a diverse vegetation composition. Moreover, the Barton Peninsula, home to 2 flowering plants, 33 genera of mosses, and more than 35 genera of lichen, is an ecosystem with one of the most diverse vegetation in Antarctica. Understanding the physiological response of vegetation and adaptation mechanisms to the changing environment can provide insight when predicting vegetation change from global warming. In this project, we aimed to develop a biological response model by studying the distribution of vegetation according to the microclimate and their preferred niche, and the biological responses of the representative vegetation to the changing environmental factors.
Principal InvestigatorChoi, Han-Gu We have investigated the impact of environmental change on Antarctic organisms and their resilience through construction and operation of a joint observing platform with Italy and New Zealand and continuing ecological monitoring around Jang Bogo Antarctic Station, Terra Nova Bay, Ross Sea, Antarctica.
Principal InvestigatorYim; Joung Han The Antarctic and Arctic, located in opposite poles, are the coldest oceans of the earth as they are covered with iceberg all-year round. Geographically, the Arctic is surrounded by continents, whereas the Antarctic is connected to grand oceans. As such, unique but isolated marine ecosystems have evolved for more than 20 million years mainly due to the loop-like ocean current covering the gigantic Antarctic Continent. Thus, various species now inhabit the Antarctic. It is considered that the genetic engineering industry will be the dominant field in the 21st century. With the development of the materials industry, the K-POD business is expected to provide new in-demand materials for national genetic engineering projects. Particularly in-demand is metabolome, which displays a unique bio-function acquired through the survival of organisms under extreme environments such as the polar oceans.
Principal InvestigatorPark; Hyun Polar organisms have undergone a unique adaptive evolutionary process to adapt to extreme habitat environments. Exploring the inherent life phenomena of polar organisms provides key clues to understanding the origins of life's evolution and securing new life resources. This study obtained genomic information of polar representative organisms, which was used as the basis for the selection of genes that determine environmental adaptation and evolution in polar organisms. Proteome analysis was used to conduct the systematic interpretation of environmental adaptation of polar organisms.
Principal InvestigatorYim; Joung Han The purpose of this study is Activation of polar biological researches by obtaining metabolites, defining living mechanisms, and commercialization of novel biomaterials from polar cold-adapted organisms.
Principal InvestigatorKim, Sanghee Microalgae such as Chlorella and Spirulina have been used in various fields such as basic science and climate change research, alternative energy, food and medicines, and health supplement foods, and have become a feedstock for future biotechnology industry. Started in 2017, this project is the first to apply Polar microalgae. Through this project, we aim to expand the scope of application to the development of new medicine, starting with the development of "cosmeceutical" that combines cosmetics and pharmaceuticals, and lay the foundation for the practical application of "Polar bio-material."
Principal InvestigatorPark, Hyun Since the advent of continental glaciation and the cooling of the Southern Ocean ~38 million years ago (Mya), the Southern Ocean became thermally isolated and attained its present frigid temperatures(-2 to +2°C) by the mid-Miocene(14- 10 Mya). Given this long unique evolutionary history and current environmental setting, the Antarctic biota provides many opportunities to address fundamental biological problems, in particular the links from genome to survival of organisms.
Principal InvestigatorKang, Sung-Ho The bi-polar oceans (the Arctic and the Antarctic) are globally linked, not only through the exchange of water and atmosphere but also by the fluxes and dispersal of flora and fauna between the two polar regions. Both regions are experiencing profound changes under the present warming conditions and are predicted to be even more highly impacted in future global changes. To understand how climate variability and change will affect these bipolar ocean systems, it is essential to understand the role as well as the mechanisms that link the biogeochemical, geological, and physical structure and transport processes between the Arctic and Antarctic Oceans. The Korean bipolar ocean program using R/V ARAON (K-PORT), funded by the Korean Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries, has been developed to detect the changes of the structure and processes in the water column and subsurface in the Arctic (Bering, Chukchi, East Siberian and Beaufort Seas) and the Antarctic (Ross Sea) regions.
Principal InvestigatorLee; Sang H. The Amundsen Sea is at the center of the world's most rapidly warming area, where many believe the collapse of ice shelves and glaciers is simply a matter of time. The upwelling of warm deep-water into the continental shelf plays a significant role in this regard by melting the base of floating ice shelves, but the overall loss is a combined result of ocean-ice-atmosphere interaction. The objectives of KOPRI's Amundsen project are to assess the rapid changes in the ocean processes caused by the warming effect, by implementing an Earth observation system from space down to the deep sea. During phase one (2010-2016), this project investigated ocean circulation patterns and heat flux to the Antarctic coast, ecosystem structures and diversities, and biogeochemical cycles in the study area. In phase two (2017-2019), the project will focus on the ice shelf melting and retreat, the effect of meltwater discharge to the oceanic physical and chemical processes, and the subsequent changes in the biogeochemical processes and food web structure.
Principal InvestigatorKang, Sung-Ho Funded by the Korean Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries, KOPRI has been carrying out a 5 year research project by the name, "Korea-Arctic Ocean Observing System, K-AOOS", launched in 2016 to last until 2020. This project assesses the most rapidly changing regions in the Pacific Central Arctic Ocean(CAO) near Chukchi and East Siberian Seas, aiming to examine the changes in the atmospheric, physical-biogeochemical marine environment that occur with changes in sea ice, as well as analyze the causes of the environmental change of the Arctic Ocean to make prediction of future changes.
Principal InvestigatorLee, SangHoon The Amundsen Sea is at the center of the world's most rapidly warming area, where many believe the collapse of ice shelves and glacier is just a matter of time. Upwelling of deep warm water into the continental shelf plays a significant role in this regard by melting the base of the floating ice shelves, but the overall loss is a combined result of ocean-ice-atmosphere interaction. The objectives of the KOPRI Amundsen project are to assess the changes of the ocean processes due to the Western Antarctic warming and glacial melt-water dispersion via multi-national operation of the Earth observing network. During phase one(2010-2016), this project investigated ocean circulation patterns and heat flux to the Antarctic coast, ecosystem structures and diversities, and biogeochemical cycles in the study area. In the phase two(2017-2019), the project is focused on the ice shelf melting and retreat, the effect of meltwater discharge to the oceanic physical and chemical processes, and the subsequent changes in the biogeochemical processes and food web structure. The project produced high-impact scientific findings from the major areas of the research(illustrated in the figures) in 2017, and carries out its 5th field expedition to the study area from 2017 December to 2018 February.
Principal InvestigatorAhn, In-Young The CHAMP2050 is the first station-based interdisciplinary coastal marine project started in 2017. It aims to assess the climate impacts on the Antarctic coastal marine environment and to elucidate driving forces and or underlying mechanisms for ecosystem responses, particularly in the context of ice sheet shrinking in the Peninsula region, seeking to generate future scenarios.