Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research
Royal Netherlands
Institute for Sea Research
Phone number
+31 (0)113 57 7476
Senior Scientist
  • Biogeochemistry
  • Glacier-Ocean interaction
  • Ecosystem modelling

Dr. Lorenz Meire

Senior Scientist

The importance of melting land ice for coastal seas

Biogeochemist Lorenz Meire investigates the influence of melting land ice on the coastal seas around Greenland. ‘On Greenland, an incredible amount of ice melts in the summer. About one thousand gigatonnes of freshwater flows into the sea, or in other words, a quantity equal to one-third of the global consumption of freshwater. This quantity will certainly substantially increase in the future.’

Turbid river or strong upwelling

‘Meltwater can enter the sea in two ways. For glaciers that end on the land, meltwater enters the sea as a turbid river loaded with sediment. This results in turbid, low-light surface layers in these Greenland fjords with lower productivity, meaning that little sea life develops. At the marine-terminating glaciers, where the glaciers reach the sea, a large portion of the meltwater enters the sea at subsurface depths. As fresh meltwater is lighter than seawater, we observe strong upwelling at these glacier termini, bringing up many nutrients. At those locations, an extremely rich sea life arises.’

Arctic focal point

‘The Arctic region is a focal point in the research into climate change. The climate is warming faster than elsewhere on earth. With my research into the nutrient dynamics in Greenland fjords and coastal seas, I hope to increase our understanding of the productivity of the Arctic coastal areas and how it is impacted by the melting glaciers.’

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Marine terminating glacier in Greenland (Lorenz Meire)

Research interests

My main research interest is the melting of the Greenland Ice Sheet and its impact on global biogeochemical cycling and local ecosystems. By combining physical, chemical and biological oceanography, the goal of my research is to understand how ocean-glacier interaction drives the melting of the Greenland Ice Sheet and what the impact is on the physical oceanography and carbon cycling of Greenland fjord systems. I address these topics by oceanographic field work in Greenland’s fjord combined with mathematical modelling.

Short CV

I hold a master degree in Environmental Engineering (2009), a master in Master in Marine and Lacustrine sciences (2011) and a PhD in Marine science (2016). A list of my scientific output/achievements can be found here.

Linked news

Thursday 23 September 2021
New, innovative equipment for national marine research
Under the leadership of the Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research (NIOZ), a large consortium of national marine research and education institutes has been focusing, over the past few years, on the now necessary replacement of the national…
Tuesday 25 May 2021
Southwestern Greenland is a hotspot of mercury release
The southwestern margin of the Greenland Ice Sheet is a large source of mercury, according to a study published in Nature Geoscience on Monday 24 May. The source, which has not been accounted for in global mercury budgets, may have significant impact…
Monday 12 April 2021
Thick sea-ice warms Greenland fjords
Greenland is famous for its ice sheet. This massive ice volume ‘drains’ into Greenland’s fjords as slow-moving rivers of ice - glaciers. Understanding the factors that control how fast glaciers move, break-up and deposit chunks of ice (icebergs) into…
Thursday 21 November 2019
Icebergs as a source of nutrients
Will climate change lead to more iron fertilization in the ocean? The importance of icebergs as an important source of nutrients in the polar regions has long been discussed. Iron is scarce in large parts of the polar oceans, so that an increase in…
Monday 16 July 2018
2 Veni-financieringen voor NIOZ-onderzoekers | 2 Veni grants for NIOZ researchers
[Scroll down for English version] De Nederlandse Organisatie voor Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek (NWO) heeft twee veelbelovende NIOZ wetenschappers een Veni-financiering van 250.000 euro toegekend. Hiermee kunnen zij gedurende drie jaar hun eigen…

NIOZ publications

  • 2022
    van Genuchten, C.M.; Hopwood, M.J.; Liu, T.; Krause, J.; Achterberg, E.P.; Rosing, M.T.; Meire, L. (2022). Solid-phase Mn speciation in suspended particles along meltwater-influenced fjords of West Greenland. Geochim. Cosmochim. Acta 326: 180-198.
  • 2021
    Allan, E.; de Vernal, A.; Seidenkrantz, M.-S.; Briner, J.P.; Hillaire-Marcel, C.; Pearce, C.; Meire, L.; Røy, H.; Mathiasen, A.M.; Nielsen, M.T.; Plesner, J.L.; Perner, K. (2021). Insolation vs. meltwater control of productivity and sea surface conditions off SW Greenland during the Holocene. Boreas 50(3): 631-651.
    Bendtsen, J.; Rysgaard, S.; Carlson, D.F.; Meire, L.; Sejr, M.K. (2021). Vertical mixing in stratified fjords near tidewater outlet glaciers along Northwest Greenland. JGR: Oceans 126(8): e2020JC016898.
    Hawkings, J.R.; Linhoff, B.S.; Wadham, J.L.; Stibal, M.; Lamborg, C.H.; Carling, G.T.; Lamarche-Gagnon, G.; Kohler, T.J.; Ward, R.; Hendry, K.R.; Falteisek, L.; Kellerman, A.M.; Cameron, K.A.; Hatton, J.E.; Tingey, S.; Holt, A.D.; Vinšová, P.; Hofer, S.; Bulínová, M.; Větrovský, T.; Meire, L.; Spencer, R.G.M. (2021). Large subglacial source of mercury from the southwestern margin of the Greenland Ice Sheet. Nature Geoscience 14(7): 496–502.
    Hendry, K.R.; Briggs, N.; Henson, S.; Opher, J.; Brearley, J.A.; Meredith, M.P.; Leng, M.J.; Meire, L. (2021). Tracing glacial meltwater from the Greenland ice sheet to the ocean using gliders. JGR: Oceans 126(8): e2021JC017274.
    Krause, J.; Hopwood, M.J.; Höfer, J.; Krisch, S.; Achterberg, E.P.; Alarcón, E.; Carroll, D.; González, H.E.; Juul-Pedersen, T.; Liu, T.; Lodeiro, P.; Meire, L.; Rosing, M.T. (2021). Trace element (Fe, Co, Ni and Cu) dynamics across the salinity gradient in Arctic and Antarctic glacier fjords. Front. Earth Sci. 9: 725279.
    Stranne, C.; Nilsson, J.; Ulfsbo, A.; O'Regan, M.; Coxall, H.K.; Meire, L.; Muchowski, J.; Mayer, L.A.; Brüchert, V.; Fredriksson, J.; Thornton, B.F.; Chawarski, J.; West, G.; Weidner, E.; Jakobsson, M. (2021). The climate sensitivity of northern Greenland fjords is amplified through sea-ice damming. Commun. Earth Environ. 2: 70.
    Stuart-Lee, A.E.; Mortensen, J.; van der Kaaden, A.-S.; Meire, L. (2021). Seasonal hydrography of Ameralik: a southwest Greenland fjord impacted by a land‐terminating glacier. JGR: Oceans 126(12): e2021JC017552.
    van Genuchten, C.M.; Rosing, M.T.; Hopwood, M.J.; Liu, T.; Krause, J.; Meire, L. (2021). Decoupling of particles and dissolved iron downstream of Greenlandic glacier outflows. Earth Planet. Sci. Lett. 576: 117234.
  • 2020
    Hopwood, M.J.; Carroll, D.; Dunse, T.; Hodson, A.; Holding, J.M.; Iriarte, J.L.; Ribeiro, S.; Achterberg, E.P.; Cantoni, C.; Carlson, D.F.; Chierici, M.; Clarke, J.S.; Cozzi, S.; Fransson, A.; Juul-Pedersen, T.; Winding, M.H.S.; Meire, L. (2020). Review article: How does glacier discharge affect marine biogeochemistry and primary production in the Arctic? Cryosphere 14(4): 1347-1383.
    Luostarinen, T.; Ribeiro, S.; Weckström, K.; Sejr, M.K.; Meire, L.; Tallberg, P.; Heikkila, M. (2020). An annual cycle of diatom succession in two contrasting Greenlandic fjords: from simple sea-ice indicators to varied seasonal strategists. Mar. Micropaleontol. 158: 101873.
    Mortensen, J.; Rysgaard, S.; Bendtsen, J.; Lennert, K.; Kanzow, T.; Lund, H.; Meire, L. (2020). Subglacial discharge and its down‐fjord transformation in West Greenland fjords with an ice mélange. JGR: Oceans 125(9): e2020JC016301.
    Nielsen, J.; Rosing-Asvid, A.; Meire, L.; Nygaard, R. (2020). Widespread occurrence of pink salmon (Oncorhynchus gorbuscha) throughout Greenland coastal waters ) throughout Greenland coastal waters. J. Fish Biol. 96(6): 1505-1507.
    Rysgaard, S.; Boone, W.; Carlson; Sejr, M.K.; Bendtsen, J.; Juul-Pedersen, T.; Lund; Meire, L.; Mortensen, J. (2020). An updated view on water masses on the pan‐west Greenland continental shelf and their link to proglacial fjords. JGR: Oceans 125(2): e2019JC015564.
  • 2019
    Carlson, D.F.; Pasma; Jacobsen; Hansen; Thomsen; Lillethorup; Tirsgaard; Flytkjær; Melvad; Laufer; Lund-Hansen, L.C.; Meire, L.; Rysgaard, S. (2019). Retrieval of ice samples using the ice drone. Front. Earth Sci. 7.
    Grønkjaer, P.; Nielsen, K.V.; Zoccarato, G.; Meire, L.; Rysgaard, S.; Hedeholm, R.B. (2019). Feeding ecology of capelin (Mallotus villosus) in a fjord impacted by glacial meltwater (Godthåbsfjord, Greenland). Polar Biol. 42(1): 81-98.
    Holding, J.; Markager, S.; Juul-Pedersen, T.; Paulsen, M.L.; Møller, E.F.; Meire, L.; Sejr, M.K. (2019). Seasonal and spatial patterns of primary production in a high-latitude fjord affected by Greenland Ice Sheet run-off. Biogeosciences 16(19): 3777-3792.
    Hopwood, M.J.; Carroll, D.; Höfer, J.; Achterberg, E.P.; Meire, L.; Le Moigne, F.A.C.; Bach, L.T.; Eich, C.; Sutherland, D.A.; González, H.E. (2019). Highly variable iron content modulates iceberg-ocean fertilisation and potential carbon export. Nature Comm. 10(1): 10 pp.
    Straneo, F.; Sutherland, D.A.; Stearns, L.; Catania, G.; Heimbach, P.; Moon, T.; Cape, M.R.; Laidre, K.L.; Barber, D.; Rysgaard, S.; Mottram, R.; Olsen, S.; Hopwood, M.J.; Meire, L. (2019). The case for a sustained Greenland Ice Sheet-Ocean Observing System (GrIOOS). Front. Mar. Sci. 6: 138.
    Søgaard, D. H. ; Deming, J.W.; Meire, L.; Rysgaard, S. (2019). Effects of microbial processes and CaCO3 dynamics on inorganic carbon cycling in snow-covered Arctic winter sea ice. Mar. Ecol. Prog. Ser. 611: 31-44.
    Vergeynst, L.; Christensen, J.H.; Kjeldsen, K.U.; Meire, L.; Boone, W.; Malmquist, L.M.V.; Rysgaard, S. (2019). In situ biodegradation, photooxidation and dissolution of petroleum compounds in Arctic seawater and sea ice. Wat. Res. 148: 459-468.
    Vergeynst, L.; Greer, C.W.; Mosbech, A.; Gustavson, K.; Meire, L.; Poulsen, K.G.; Christensen, J.H. (2019). Biodegradation, photo-oxidation, and dissolution of petroleum compounds in an Arctic fjord during summer. Environ. Sci. Technol. 53(21): 12197-12206.
  • 2018
    Boone, W.; Rysgaard, S.; Carlson, D.F.; Meire, L.; Kirillov, S.; Mortensen, J.; Dmitrenko, I.; Vergeynst, L.; Sejr, M.K. (2018). Coastal freshening prevents fjord bottom water renewal in Northeast Greenland: A mooring study from 2003 to 2015. Geophys. Res. Lett. 45(6): 2726-2733.
    Hopwood, M.J.; Carroll, D.; Browning, T. J.; Meire, L.; Mortensen, J.; Krisch, S.; Achterberg, E.P. (2018). Non-linear response of summertime marine productivity to increased meltwater discharge around Greenland. Nature Comm. 9(1): 3256.
    Krawczyk, D.W.; Meire, L.; Lopes, C.; Juul-Pedersen, T.; Mortensen, J.; Li, C.L.; Krogh, T. (2018). Seasonal succession, distribution, and diversity of planktonic protists in relation to hydrography of the Godthåbsfjord system (SW Greenland). Polar Biol. 41: 2033-2052.
    Mortensen, J.; Rysgaard, S.; Arendt, K.E.; Søgaard, D. H. ; Bendtsen, J.; Meire, L. (2018). Local coastal water masses control heat levels in a west Greenland tidewater outlet glacier fjord. Journal of Geophysical Research-Oceans 123(11): 8068-8083.
    Vasquez Cardenas, D.; Meire, L.; Sørensen, H.L.; Glud, R.N.; Meysman, F.J.R.; Boschker, H.T.S. (2018). Bacterial chemoautotrophic reoxidation in sub-Arctic sediments: a seasonal study in Kobbefjord, Greenland. Mar. Ecol. Prog. Ser. 601: 33-39.
    Ørberg, S.B.; Krause-Jensen, D.; Meire, L.; Sejr, M.K. (2018). Subtidal benthic recruitment in a sub-arctic glacial fjord system: Temporal and spatial variability and potential drivers. Polar Biol. 41(12): 2627-2634.
  • 2017
    Burdorf, L.D.W.; Tramper, A.; Seitaj, D.; Meire, L.; Hidalgo-Martinez, S.; Zetsche, E.-M.; Boschker, H.T.S.; Meysman, F.J.R. (2017). Long-distance electron transport occurs globally in marine sediments. Biogeosciences 14(3): 683-701.
    Carlson, D.F.; Boone, W.; Meire, L.; Abermann, J.; Rysgaard, S. (2017). Bergy bit and melt water trajectories in Godthåbsfjord (SW Greenland) observed by the Expendable Ice Tracker. Front. Mar. Sci. 4: 276.
    Meire, L.; Mortensen, J.; Meire, P.; Juul-Pedersen, T.; Sejr, M.K.; Rysgaard, S.; Nygaard, R.; Huybrechts, P.; Meysman, F.J.R. (2017). Marine-terminating glaciers sustain high productivity in Greenland fjords. Glob. Chang. Biol. 23(12): 5344-5357.
  • 2016
    Meire, L. (2016). Biogeochemical cycling in a subarctic fjord adjacent to the Greenland Ice Sheet. PhD Thesis. Universiteit Gent/NIOZ: Gent. 199 pp.
    Meire, L.; Meire, P.; Struyf, E.; Krawczyk, D.W.; Arendt, K.E.; Yde, J.C.; Juul-Pedersen, T.; Hopwood, M.J.; Rysgaard, S.; Meysman, F.J.R. (2016). High export of dissolved silica from the Greenland Ice Sheet. Geophys. Res. Lett. 43(17): 9173-9182.
    Meire, L.; Mortensen, J.; Rysgaard, S.; Bendtsen, J.; Boone, W.; Meire, P.; Meysman, F.J.R. (2016). Spring bloom dynamics in a subarctic fjord influenced by tidewater outlet glaciers (Godthåbsfjord, SW Greenland). Journal of Geophysical Research-Atmospheres 121(6): 1581-1592.
  • 2015
    Burdorf, L.D.W.; Malkin, S.Y.; Seitaj, D.; Meire, L.; Cook, P.L.M.; Meysman, F.J.R. (2015). Long distance electron transport by cable bacteria in marine sediments: a global phenomenon, in: Mees, J. et al. (Ed.) Book of abstracts – VLIZ Young Scientists’ Day. Brugge, Belgium, 20 February 2015. VLIZ Special Publication, 71: pp. 28
    Krause-Jensen, D.; Duarte, C.M.; Hendriks, I.E.; Meire, L.; Blicher, M.E.; Marba, N.; Sejr, M.K. (2015). Macroalgae contribute to nested mosaics of pH variability in a subarctic fjord. Biogeosciences 12(16): 4895-4911.
    Meire, L.; Sogaard, D.H.; Mortensen, J.; Meysman, F.J.R.; Soetaert, K.; Arendt, K.E.; Juul-Pedersen, T.; Blicher, T.E.; Rysgaard, S. (2015). Glacial meltwater and primary production are drivers of strong CO2 uptake in fjord and coastal waters adjacent to the Greenland Ice Sheet. Biogeosciences 12(8): 2347-2363.
    Sørensen, H.L.; Meire, L.; Juul-Pedersen, T.; de Stigter, H.; Meysman, F.J.R.; Rysgaard, S.; Thamdrup, B.; Glud, R.N. (2015). Seasonal carbon cycling in a Greenlandic fjord: an integrated pelagic and benthic study. Mar. Ecol. Prog. Ser. 539: 1-17.
  • 2013
    Meire, L.; Soetaert, K.; Meysman, F.J.R. (2013). Impact of global change on coastal oxygen dynamics and risk of hypoxia. Biogeosciences 10(4): 2633-2653.

Linked projects

UUNIOZ_Greenland fjords as gateways between the ice sheet and the ocean
Lorenz Meire
Utrecht University
Project duration
1 Jan 2021 - 31 Dec 2025
UUNIOZ_Greenland fjords as gateways between the ice sheet and the ocean
Lorenz Meire
Utrecht University
Project duration
1 Jan 2021 - 31 Dec 2025