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The Voyage to the End of Ice

Quanta Magazine

January 16, 2020

Professors Donald Perovich and Christopher Polashenski '07 Th'07 Th'11, as well as Ian Raphael '18 Th'21, are quoted about the Multidisciplinary Drifting Observatory for the Study of Arctic Climate (MOSAiC) expedition.

"Arctic ice is disappearing — the question is how fast," writes Quanta Magazine. "Summer sea ice could endure 100 more years, or it could vanish later this decade, with disastrous consequences for the rest of the planet. To nail down the answer, an expedition to the top of the world has to untangle the knotty physics of ice.

"'It isn’t just an intellectual exercise,' said Perovich, who pointed to the huge disruptions happening right now in Inuit communities. 'We’re trying to understand things that are having consequences on people today.' ...

"...The distribution of the snow is 'like folding up your blanket four times thick over your shoulders, and then leaving the rest of you uncovered completely,' said Christopher Polashenski, a geophysicist at Dartmouth. 'You would probably get kind of cold from that.' ...

"...'It’s as though we’ve got the most complicated puzzle you can think of,' said Perovich, 'and everybody has some of the pieces.' ...

"...'This is what sea ice science is,' said [Raphael]. 'It’s why it’s so challenging and hopefully, in the end, rewarding.'"

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