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ACME scientific goals

Fig. 2: Fresh water and sediment input to the Arctic Ocean are expected to increase with climate change. Image credit: Jesse Allen for NASA Earth Observatory.
Fig. 2: Fresh water and sediment input to the Arctic Ocean are expected to increase with climate change. Image credit: Jesse Allen for NASA Earth Observatory.

ACME is envisioned to run over two three-year phases.

Phase 2 (2023–2026)

A particular focus of Phase I was on the techniques and the quality of data, and on the introduction of new protocols to enable projections of the future of Arctic coastal ecosystems with greater confidence.

The overarching goal for Phase II will be to provide a reconstruction of Arctic coastal ecosystem status under a warmer climate (Holocene thermal maximum, ca. 1–2 K higher than 20th century) using the “good data” criteria refined in ACME Phase I.

The proxy-specific criteria for data and metadata quality and statistical treatment were established in ACME Workshops I (Tvärminne, 2021) and II (Copenhagen, 2022). They encompass common microfossil, biogeochemical and molecular proxies for sea ice, primary productivity, freshwater and terrestrial influence, and ecosystem status (ACME Phase I publication #2, in preparation).

The product will have an Arctic-wide coverage, but will probe system-specific responses, covering coastal systems with glacier influence, shelf systems with permafrost influence, coastal systems with landfast vs. drift ice influence.

Phase 1 (2019–2023)

ACME Phase I seeks to critically assess and refine current available marine proxies for reconstructing Arctic cryosphere changes and their impacts in the coastal and fjord environments of the circumpolar North.

The main goals are:

1. To build a database that contains a network of proxies commonly used for sea ice, primary production, and meltwater runoff reconstructions in Arctic coastal and fjord environments, alongside with site-specific environmental data. Each database entry will follow the criteria defined by ACME, to ensure easy data quality assessment by the data users.

2. To facilitate knowledge transfer and collaborations between proxy specialists and the integration of the field and satellite monitoring community.

3. To further critical methodological understanding and data handling skills of the next-generation of Arctic paleoceanographers and paleoenvironmental researchers.

Planned activities

2019: Collection of community ideas and perspectives.

Jan 2020: Steering group meeting.

May 2020: First ACME workshop at EGU General Assembly 3–8 May 2020, Vienna, Austria (postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic)

October 2021: First ACME workshop on criteria for the ACME database, Helsinki, Finland

2022-2023: Development of proxy-specific criteria and their application for data entry 

April 2022: Submission of “Predicting the future of coastal marine ecosystems in the rapidly changing Arctic: The potential of palaeoenvironmental records” to Anthropocene as an invited review. Published in December 2022.

May 2022: ACME Special Session “Cryosphere change impacts on arctic coastal environments and ecosystems during the Holocene” at the PAGES OSM Meeting

October 2022: ACME/C-SIDE PAGES Magazine Special issue

November 2022: 2nd ACME workshop on numerical data treatment and analysis targeted particularly at early-career researchers in Copenhagen

Dec 2022: Publication of community-refined criteria for proxy data, planned submission to Earth Science Reviews (postponed to 2023)

July 2023: Third ACME workshop at INQUA23 in Rome, Italy – The main goal of this workshop is to disseminate and discuss the relevant results and deliverables from ACME WG Phase I, to gather feedback and to plan future steps with the wider community for Phase II. 

Phase 2

Phase 2 is envisioned to develop concrete tools that integrate the ACME Phase 1 database with field monitoring data and satellite products, and apply these into past reconstructions from the coastal zone.

The plan for Phase 2 will be elaborated during the course of Phase 1.