About Nuuk Basic


Nuuk Basic is a climate change effects monitoring programme with its  study area in low arctic West Greenland near Nuuk, the Capital of Greenland. The programme studies the effect of climate variability and change on marine and terrestrial ecosystems. In terms of scientific concept, Nuuk Basic copies the investigations carried through by its older counterpart monitoring programme, Zackenberg Basic, at Zackenberg Research Station in Northeast Greenland.

Zackenberg Basic in high arctic Northeast Greenland was established in 1995, and has since been the most comprehensive, cross-disciplinary ecosystem monitoring programme in the polar regions (Arctic and Antarctic). Based on the success of Zackenberg, the partners involved decided to establish a corresponding programme in Kobbefjord near Nuuk in low arctic Southwest Greenland under the name Nuuk Basic. The programme was established in 2007 and fully implemented in 2008.

The Nuuk Basic monitoring programme focuses on providing long time series of data on the dynamics of a low arctic ecosystem. Focus is on climate change effects and feedbacks in both the marine and the terrestrial compartments of the ecosystem.

It is the ambition that Nuuk Basic shall comprise the same components as Zackenberg and as such allow for comparative studies of ecosystem dynamics in relation to climate variability and change in respectively a high arctic and low arctic setting.

The new Nuuk Basic monitoring programme comprises systematic studies of the low arctic climate and ecosystem processes in parallel to the studies at Zackenberg. The inclusion of a low arctic programme makes it possible to study and document climate impacts and their effects in the arctic on a broader basis. The scientific concept for Nuuk Basic is in accordance with the recommendations of AMAP’s Climate Change Effects Monitoring Programme and designed as a follow up on the recommendations given in Arctic Climate Impact Assessment.

Nuuk Basic consists of four sub-programmes, involving several research institutions:

ClimateBasis, which studies the climate and hydrology in the study area. The sub-programme is operated by Asiaq - Greenland Survey.

GeoBasis, which studies the physical landscape processes including a number of feed-backs to climate change in the study area. The sub-programme is operated by Department of Bioscience, Aarhus University in cooperation with Department of Geosciences and Natural Resource Management, University of Copenhagen and Asiaq - Greenland Survey.

, which studies the biological processes in the study area. The sub-programme is operated by Department of Bioscience, Aarhus Aarhus in cooperation with Department of Biology, University of Copenhagen.

MarineBasis, which studies the biotic and abiotic processes in the marine compartment of the study area. The sub-programme is operated by Greenland Institute of Natural Resources, Nuuk.

Logistics is maintained by Greenland Institute of Natural Resources who arranges accommodation of Nuuk Basic staff and visiting scientists in Nuuk (at Greenland Institute of Natural Resources), arranges transportation between Nuuk and the study area in Kobbefjord and maintains the local logistics in the Kobbefjord study area (see Access).

Coordination: The scientific components of the programme are coordinated by the Nuuk Basic secretariat at Department of Bioscience at Aarhus University, which also coordinates the monitoring and research at Zackenberg Research Station.

Funding: The run of Nuuk Basic is funded by the Danish Energy Agency. The establishment of the programme has been generously supported by Aage V. Jensen Charity Foundation.