Fostering multidisciplinary research on interactions between chemistry, biology, and physics within the coupled cryosphere-atmosphere systemDownload
The cryosphere, which comprises a large portion of Earth’s surface, is rapidly changing as a consequence of global climate change. Ice, snow, and frozen ground in the polar and alpine regions of the planet are known to directly impact atmospheric composition, which for example is observed in the large influence of ice and snow on polar boundary layer chemistry. Atmospheric inputs to the cryosphere, including aerosols, nutrients, and contaminants, are also changing in the anthropocene thus driving cryosphere-atmosphere feedbacks whose understanding is crucial for understanding future climate. Here, we present the Cryosphere and ATmospheric Chemistry initiative (CATCH) which is focused on developing new multidisciplinary research approaches studying interactions of chemistry, biology, and physics within the coupled cryosphere – atmosphere system and their sensitivity to environmental change. We identify four key science areas: (1) micro-scale processes in snow and ice, (2) the coupled cryosphere-atmosphere system, (3) cryospheric change and feedbacks, and (4) improved decisions and stakeholder engagement. To pursue these goals CATCH will foster an international, multidisciplinary research community, shed light on new research needs, support the acquisition of new knowledge, train the next generation of leading scientists, and establish interactions between the science community and society.