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.’
‘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.’
‘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.’Read more +
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.
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.