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Abstract

A two-year-long data set of air temperature from four different altitudes above Petuniabukta, central Spitsbergen, was analysed in order to assess the near-surface temperature lapse rates and the relative frequency of air temperature inversion occurrence. From August 2013 to July 2015, air temperatures at adjacent altitudes in Petuniabukta were strongly correlated. The near-surface lapse rates in all three layers differed significantly both from the average lapse rate in the international standard atmosphere (0.65°C 100 m-1) and the lapse rate calculated by linear regression. A pronounced annual cycle was detected in the lowermost air layer (from 23 to 136 m a.s.l.) with a variable near-surface lapse rate in the winter months, while an annual cycle was not apparent in the air layers above 136 m a.s.l. The lowermost layer was also characterized by a notable daily cycle in near-surface lapse rate in spring and autumn. Air temperature inversions occurred in up to 80% of the study period in the air layer below 136 m a.s.l., with the relative frequency being much lower in the other two air layers. The air temperature inversions lasted as long as 139 hours. A case study revealed that one of the strongest air temperature inversions was connected to an area of lower pressure gradients at the 850-hPa pressure level.
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Abstract

This paper presents a unique case study and methodology for measurements of the bedload transport in the two, newly created troughs at the forefield of the Baranowski Glacier: Fosa and Siodło creeks. The weather conditions and the granulometric analysis are presented and discussed briefly. Rating curves for the Fosa and Siodło creeks are presented for the first time for this region. Changes of the bedload transport as well as water discharge and water velocity at both creeks are investigated. The hysteresis for the relationships between rate of bedload transport and water discharges were identified showing that for both creeks for the higher water levels a figure of eight loop may be easily recognized. Moreover, a new method for the calculation of bedload transport rate, based on the weighted arithmetic mean instead of the arithmetic mean, is proposed.
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Abstract

This article presents the results of observations of selected fluxes of the radiation balance in north-western Spitsbergen in the years from 2010 to 2014. Measurements were taken in Ny-Ålesund and in the area of Kaffiøyra, on different surface types occurring in the Polar zone: moraine, tundra, snow and ice. Substantial differences in the radiation balance among the various types of surface were observed. The observations carried out in the summer seasons of 2010-2014 in the area of Kaffiøyra demonstrated that the considerable reflection of solar radiation on the Waldemar Glacier (albedo 55%) resulted in a smaller solar energy net income. During the polar day, a diurnal course of the components of the radiation balance was apparently related to the solar elevation angle. When the sun was low over the horizon, the radiation balance became negative, especially on the glacier. Diurnal, annual and multi-annual variations in the radiation balance have a significant influence on the functioning of the environment in polar conditions.
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Abstract

The embryology of three polar flowering plants of the family Caryophyllaceae was studied using the methods and techniques of the light, normal and fluorescence microscopes, and the electron microscopes, scanning and transmission. The analyzed species were Colobanthus quitensis of West Antarctic (King George Island, South Shetlands Islands) as well as Cerastium alpinum and Silene involucrata of the Arctic (Spitsbergen, Svalbard). In all evaluated species, flowering responses were adapted to the short Arctic and Australian summer, and adaptations to autogamy and anemogamy were also observed. The microsporangia of the analyzed plants produced small numbers of microspore mother cells that were differentiated into a dozen or dozens of trinucleate pollen grains. The majority of mature pollen grains remained inside microsporangia and germinated in the thecae. The monosporous Polygonum type (the most common type in angiosperms) of embryo sac development was observed in the studied species. The egg apparatus had an egg cell and two synergids with typical polarization. A well-developed filiform apparatus was differentiated in the micropylar end of the synergids. In mature diaspores of the analyzed plants of the family Caryophyllaceae, a large and peripherally located embryo was, in most part, adjacent to perisperm cells filled with reserve substances, whereas the radicle was surrounded by micropylar endosperm composed of a single layer of cells with thick, intensely stained cytoplasm, organelles and reserve substances. The testae of the analyzed plants were characterized by species-specific primary and secondary sculpture, and they contained large amounts of osmophilic material with varied density. Seeds of C. quitensis, C. alpinum and S. involucrata are very small, light and compact shaped.
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