On 20th September, Polarstern, a German Icebreaker, will take part in the year-long MOSAiC expedition led by the Alfred Wegener Institute.

The expedition will see the ship spend an entire year frozen in Central Arctic ice. An international fleet comprising of four icebreakers, helicopters and other aircraft will accompany Polarstern in the mission.

The aim of the MOSAiC expedition is to record the climate processes of the Central Arctic Region and how it impacts the weather conditions on a global scale.

“The Arctic is the epicentre of global warming and has already undergone dramatic changes”, Markus Rex, Head of MOSAiC said. “Extreme weather conditions like outbreaks of cold Arctic air here in winter, or heat waves in summer are linked to the changes in the Arctic.”

Rex further explains that at the same time, uncertainties in the current climate models means that the year long study could potentially provide a reliable prognoses of the Arctic’s impact on our weather.

The Arctic ice is currently at its lowest annual extent which is the reason why the Polarstern is embarking on the exhibition now after more than a decade of planning and preparation.

This will allow the ship to gather year-round data that’s important in order to understand the extent of climate change as well as the interactions between atmosphere, sea ice, ocean, biodiversity and ecosystems.

The budget for the expedition is roughly €140m. During the year, approximately 300 researchers from 17 countries including Great Britain will be on-board taking part in the research.

You can keep up-to-date with the latest on the study with their social media channels on Twitter (@MOSAiCArctic) and Instagram (@mosaic_expedition).

Photo by Davide Cantelli on Unsplash

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