View Full Version : Multidisciplinary drifting Observatory for the Study of Arctic Climate (MOSAiC)

06-13-2019, 08:28 AM
Something to look forward to.


Behind a large ice ridge, the group shelters from the subzero cold and 25 mph gusts to set up their experiment. They are learning to map an area’s topography by shooting lasers across the ice and snow. But even their machines seem disoriented by the whiteout conditions: The lasers bounce off whirling snowflakes before striking their targets.

It’s yet another problem they must solve before the fall, when these scientists and several hundred others will launch the largest Arctic research expedition in history: a 12-month, $134 million, 17-nation effort to document climate change in the fastest-warming part of the globe.

Home base will be a massive German icebreaker, though the ship will spend only a few weeks under its own power. After reaching a remote part of the Siberian Arctic, the crew will cut the engine and wait for water to freeze around the vessel, entrapping it.
The ship will spend the next 12 months following that single floe through the central Arctic and across the North Pole — a 387-foot drifting research station inhabited by a rotating cast of some 300 meteorologists, biologists, oceanographers and ice experts.
Nearly every northern nation is in on the project. Germany’s Alfred Wegener Institute, a polar research center, is providing the Polarstern and leading the expedition. Russia, China and Sweden have all contributed resupply vessels. Japanese experts have built flux chambers to measure carbon that moves from the sea ice to the atmosphere, and a Swiss team has developed an apparatus for sampling snow. The National Science Foundation and other U.S. agencies are contributing more than $25 million in grants, equipment and logistical support, making this one of the most expensive Arctic expeditions the NSF has ever funded.

06-13-2019, 08:41 AM

06-13-2019, 08:42 AM
Quite a few of the instruments that are headed for that exercise are ones built by the company that I work for. Two of them are being built as I type this and a third one is in-house for some upgrade work.

Flying Orca
06-13-2019, 11:25 AM
I've mentioned this before, but my parents were on an earlier version of this, the SHEBA/JOIS (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Surface_Heat_Budget_of_the_Arctic_Ocean) expedition, and they have friends and colleagues on this one.