Dates / Project duration
March 2016 - March 2017 / 13 months
Study on climate change and its effects
The main objective of the project is to investigate and show the coastal landscape and biodiversity changes caused by glacial recession.
Global warming is rapidly changing the Sørkapp Land peninsula into an island due to declining of the glacial isthmus between Sørkapp Land and the rest of Spitsbergen (the isthmus is being narrowed by 270m per year on average). Two isthmus' glaciers are already melting and will have disappeared, given the current thermic conditions, by 2030-2035 or earlier. Disappearance of such a huge ice mass will transform the landscape and ecosystem dramatically. Hence, it is necessary to carry out the following field investigations there:
-topographical-landscape mapping (1:25.000) of the study area spatial diversity and changes in its environment and landscape,
-identification of plant and animal species, and their spatial distribution,
-analysis of the isthmus' dynamics on the basis of the fields results, maps, satellite images, GPS measurements, etc.
The studies carried out allow to analyse the environmental consequences induced by this transformation.