IASC ASSW 2022 hosted the kick-off meeting for the newly founded Arctic Light Network (ALN). The ALN was developed as a cross-cutting initiative to engage researchers from across IASC Working Groups (terrestrial, marine, cryosphere) and to facilitate new, interdisciplinary collaborations. Prior to the meeting, we hosted a short symposium, where 14 invited members of the ALN presented their research in a short format. In the main meeting (30-31st March, during ASSW), a group of around 20 met online for two afternoons.
Our conversations focused on the physical properties and biological significance of light in marine, terrestrial, and cryospheric systems in the Arctic. Key points came up in each of these focus groups: i) light in the Arctic is very difficult to measure, particularly at the low levels present during polar night which sensitive species respond to; ii) there are huge parallels in the role of light for both marine and terrestrial species; iii) the role of artificial light and understanding the role of light in human behaviour is important for a full view.
The key output from the workshop will be a review paper, co-authored by participants of the ALN, and focusing on the topics we covered during the meeting. In addition, we will host special sessions at conferences (similar to the one we organised at ASSW 2021) on Arctic Light.
- Light is a defining characteristic of the Arctic, with continuous light and dark at different parts of the year and a rapid transition among daylengths.
- Huge parallels in the role of light occur for both marine and terrestrial species.
- Human behaviour is important for a full view of the role of light and the impact of increasing artificial light in the Arctic