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

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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 – 06: Snow, the great unknown

Sea Ice Ticker

Dear sea ice fans!

Since beginning of 2020 the reports in its regular Sea Ice Ticker from the MOSAiC expedition. 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 Nr. 48, 7 August 2020: Back to the MOSAiC floe! Interview with Dr Marcel Nicolaus, sea-ice physicist at the AWI

Sea-ice extent in the Arctic at a historical low

27 July 2020

In June, warmer temperatures also intensified sea-ice retreat in the Laptev Sea, a phenomenon that spread to the East Siberian Sea in early July. By mid-July the ice cover had retreated to such an extent that, for the first time, the Northeast Passage was completely open. If we take a closer look at the sea-ice extent in the sector from 30° to 180° East, i.e., the Russian Arctic, we can see a historically low level for this region and time of year. “In this sector of the Arctic we’re currently seeing 1 million km² less ice than the average for the past seven years. If you bear in mind that the summertime minimum sea-ice extent can drop below 4 million km², then a quarter of that area is already gone. But of course this alone isn’t enough to make a prediction for the September minimum,” explains Dr Gunnar Spreen from the Institute of Environmental Physics at the University of Bremen. Read more here...


Sea-ice prediction for the September minimum and the MOSAiC expedition

17 July 2020
Every June, the international Sea Ice Prediction Network (SIPN) begins accepting predictions for the summertime Arctic sea-ice minimum extent in September. In the months of June, July and August, predictions can be submitted on the September sea-ice extent for the Arctic as a whole, or for specific regions. The AWI has taken part for the past several years; based on numerical modelling, its forecast calls for a sea-ice extent of 4.27 ± 0.38 million km² in September 2020, similar to the actually observed extent in the years 2007 and 2019. Furthermore, this prediction system also offers the possibility to develop a special forecast for the region of the MOSAiC expedition regarding ice thickness and ice concentration. Read more here ...