MOSAiC - Multidisciplinary drifting Observatory for the Study of Arctic Climate


It could be the largest-scale Arctic research expedition of all time: in September 2019 the German research icebreaker Polarstern will depart from Tromsø, Norway and, once it has reached its destination, will spend the next year drifting through the Arctic Ocean, trapped in the ice. A total of 600 people from 19 countries, who will be supplied by other icebreakers and aircraft, will participate in the expedition – and several times that number of researchers will subsequently use the data gathered to take climate and ecosystem research to the next level. The mission will be spearheaded by the Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research (AWI). More information about the expedtion here. Further map and data products around sea ice come up it soon.

Current sea ice maps for Arctic and Antartic

more maps are availble here...


Aktuelle Beiträge

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Arctic sea-ice extent headed for the annual minimum – a retrospective on the summer

22 August 2019
We can say that the summer of 2019 has been characterised by unusual weather conditions in the Arctic, and that climate change is clearly progressing in the region. As Dr Lars Kaleschke, a sea-ice physicist at the AWI, explains: “Just how much sea ice is left after this remarkable melting season is something we won’t be able to precisely determine until autumn, with the help of satellite-based ice-thickness measurements. How far to the north the sea-ice margin has shifted will be an extremely important aspect for the launch of the MOSAiC drift experiment.” Read more here...

The Voyage of 2016P28 - A measuring buoy circumnavigates the Antarctic in the course of more than three years

16 August 2019
Following in the footsteps of the explorer James Cook, over the past three-and-a-half years an automatic measuring station has circumnavigated the Antarctic. The record-breaking journey began when Stefanie Arndt and Leonard Rossmann from the Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research (AWI) in Bremerhaven placed the buoy on the frozen surface of the Weddell Sea in the Antarctic. Since then 2016P28 has been in regular satellite contact, transmitting data that provides a wealth of information regarding the complex links between the ice, ocean currents, the weather and climate. Read more here...

New product: “Multiyear Ice in the Arctic” now online!

11 July 2019
The Arctic is home to several types of sea ice, which differ in their physical characteristics (e.g. ice thickness, salt content, malleability). Accordingly, being familiar with the different types of sea ice is important for a range of activities. Dr Christian Melsheimer, a physicist at the University of Bremen’s Institute of Environmental Physics, was involved in the development and implementation of an algorithm for determining ice types: “Since the 1980s the amount of multiyear ice in the Arctic has virtually been cut in half, and the majority of the loss took place in the past twelve years. It goes without saying that we need to keep a close eye on parameters that change rapidly, and to observe them at regular intervals.” Read more here...

Real time course plot R.V. Polarstern
Where is Polarstern?

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