The publication by Tobias Vonnahme et al. investigated the biological response of sea ice algae and phytoplankton biomass and productivity to subglacial discharge coming from a Svalbard tidewater glacier compared to a marine reference site. We show clear evidence of subglacial outflow during the ice-covered period in early spring. The outflow leads to lower sea ice algae biomass, but enhanced phytoplankton productivity driven by upwelling of nutrient rich deep water, a stratified surface layer, and increased light. A climate change driven reduction of tidewater glaciers could thus lead to increased importance of sea ice systems, if sea ice persists in these areas also in the future. The study was conducted through cooperation between ArcticSIZE members and scientists from the Institute for Marine Research/UNIS and three institutions from the Czech Republic (Charles University Prague, University of South Bohemia, Institute of Botany ASCR).
This publication has been part of the PhD thesis of Tobias Vonnahme who recently graduated and will now start a postdoctoral position in Greenland further investigating the role of glaciers on marine systems.