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Largest ever polar expedition will soon be frozen in drifting sea ice

Sep 16, 2019   |   New Scientist

"The biggest scientific project ever to take place in the Arctic is about to kick off," writes New Scientist. "Within days, a ship is set to begin drifting in the sea ice off Siberia, from where it will eventually become locked in the ice for months of the Arctic winter.

"The Polarstern icebreaker is set to depart from Norway on 20 September – around the same time that researchers are expected to confirm the area of Arctic sea ice has reached the second lowest level on record. The ship is part of an epic endeavour called MOSAIC, which will involve some 600 scientists studying climate change, Arctic wildlife and more over the course of a year. ...

... "Donald Perovich at Dartmouth, who will be aboard the Polarstern, says the mission should also tell us more about Arctic snow – where it is, how it builds up in winter and melts in summer, and how it is blown around. The team should also find out more about how the bottom of sea ice melts.

"'It’s the biggest sea ice experiment ever, by a large margin,' says Perovich. 'The number of countries, the number of scientists, the number of icebreakers: it’s a once in a lifetime opportunity.'"

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