MOSAiC - Multidisciplinary drifting Observatory for the Study of Arctic Climate

Further map and data products around sea ice during the MOSAiC expedition can be found here.

Data products and information around sea ice during the MOSAiC expedition.

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.


Current sea ice maps for Arctic and Antarctic

more maps are availble here...


Latest Articles

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DriftStories from the 2019/2020 MOSAiC expedition through the Central Arctic

With the DriftStories, once a month we’ll introduce a member of the ICE Team and share insights into the background of their research area. Together with the weekly Sea Ice Ticker, these stories will present the sea-ice-related work being done on site in more detail, and help readers understand the role of sea-ice research within the context of the MOSAiC expedition as a whole. We hope you enjoy reading them!

Read here DriftStories – 05: One hot strip of ice

Sea Ice Ticker

Dear sea ice fans!

Now that 2020 has begun, the will be resuming its regular Sea Ice Ticker reports from the MOSAiC expedition, and we would like to begin by wishing all our readers a very happy new year! The Sea Ice Ticker will continue to chiefly focus on sea-ice-related activities, but will also address other topics when there are exciting events or findings to report from the MOSAiC drift experiment. The Ticker will be released on a weekly basis. We hope you enjoy reading the new posts and the exclusive updates on the expedition’s progress!

Your team

Read here about the Sea Ice Ticker No. 43, 03 July 2020: Visual observation – an important task during sea-ice navigation

The Arctic melting season has begun!

23 June 2020
In the Arctic, the melting season is now well underway. The sea-ice extent is currently below two standard deviations from the long-term average and below the trend in 2019. The air temperature at 925 hPa was unusually high over nearly all of the Arctic Ocean, with variations of up to 7 °C over the central Arctic Ocean and western Russia. In some parts of Siberia, the temperatures were 10 °C above the long-term average. In the Antarctic, the trend reversal seen in the past few months continues. After unusually low sea-ice extents in May 2017, 2018 and 2019, this year a more average ice concentration in comparison to the long-term average has established itself. Read more here…


Four-and-a-half months braving the Arctic ice – a leg of the expedition full of major challenges!

17 June 2020
Professor Torsten Kanzow, an oceanographer at the Alfred Wegener Institute in Bremerhaven, departed from Tromsø, Norway, on board the Kapitan Dranitsyn, on 27 January, to assume his duties as leader for the third leg of the MOSAiC expedition. Despite a storm and the adverse ice conditions, he and his team reached the MOSAiC almost as planned. They left the floe on 16 May and reached the sea-ice edge on Tuesday, 2 June. Now Torsten Kanzow is on board the research vessel Maria S. Merian, heading back to Bremerhaven from Svalbard. Read more here...


Breaking through the Arctic pack-ice belt: a difficult and, even in the present day, unpredictable undertaking

10 June 2020
The RV Polarstern is now making her way back to the MOSAiC floe. Just how long this will take depends on more than just how thick the ice is. In the following interview with, Captain Thomas Wunderlich and Cargo Officer Felix Kentges talk about their experiences with icebreaking and explain why open leads in the ice, as well as the snow on the floes, are important aspects. Read more here…