In September 2019 the German research ice-breaker Polarstern will host 600 experts and researchers coming from 17 nations to make observations about the atmosphere-ice-ocean system that impacts the sea-ice mass and energy budget in the Arctic Ocean. The ship will be moored to a large ice floe and allowed to freeze-in for an entire year. The scientists will establish an ice camp around the ship to deploy sensors and collect samples throughout the next 12 months.
This extraordinary expedition is run by Mosaic International Arctic Drift Expedition organization.
The purpose of the observations and data collection are related to understanding, explaining, and predicting changes in the Arctic climate system.
Dr. William M. Landing, an oceanography professor at Florida State University, who at the department of Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Science, will take part in the project. The National Science Foundation is contributing the funding to make the project real for the Florida team.
His team includes two other experts, Dr. David C. Kadko associate director and professor at Florida International University (FIU) and Dr. Clifton Buck assistant professor at Skidaway Institute of Oceanography (SIO).
The expedition will last an entire year and the Mosaic Observatory will be deployed in and drift with the Arctic sea-ice pack starting this coming September.
“By drifting with the ice in a “sea-ice Lagrangian” sense, MOSAiC will observe the atmospheric and oceanic processes that affect the sea-ice as it evolves from new first year ice to multi-year ice and eventually towards the decay stage as the ice approaches the North Atlantic sector. As such, MOSAiC will observe the full annual cycle of the sea ice.” The Expedition, https://www.mosaic-expedition.org/about-mosaic/the-expedition.html
Dr. Landing is in charge of the atmospheric sampling equipment for his team and other experts that might use it for the observations. He is conducting meticulous preparation of the sampling gear, making sure it works and accounting for spare equipment. He is also preparing tutorial videos and instructional guides that experts will be able to use on board. Dr. Landing is organizing the shipping to Norway as well.
Dr. Kadko will be boarding the Polarstern for one 2-month leg as will his research assistant, Dr. Mark Stephens. Dr. Buck will send his postdoc Chris Marsay on another leg.
This unprecedented event will be a milestone for the Experts and Researcher’s world community.
It will be an extreme challenge due to unexpected natural events such as weather conditions that could postpone observations or data collection as well as the daily grind of living in the harsh Artic conditions.
Even threats from Polar Bears could be an issue. If they decide they want to join the team and take a role in the great expedition …it will be the responsibility of the “polar bear watch” to make sure the researchers remain safe.
Hold your breath and stay the course, the Mosaic Arctic adventure is about to start!
We’ll keep you updated in a regular basis in EOAS’s Newsletter.
MOSAIC website: https://www.mosaic-expedition.org/