News That Matters

Tag: Arctic

MOSAiC expedition selects ice floe for drift through Arctic Ocean

MOSAiC expedition selects ice floe for drift through Arctic Ocean

Science
Oct. 4 (UPI) -- Researchers with the MOSAiC expedition have found an ice floe to anchor the German research icebreaker Polarstern to for a year-long. Late last month, a team of researchers with the Alfred Wegener Institute's Helmholtz Center for Polar and Marine Research set sail from Norway and entered the Laptev Sea, a marginal sea of the Arctic Ocean. Their journey into the center of the Arctic was aided by the icebreaker Akademik Fedorov, operated by Russia's Arctic and Antarctic Research Institute. After several days of searching for a suitable ice floe, using both helicopter surveys and satellite images, scientists convened and agreed to attach a floe located at 85 degrees north and 137 degrees east. The floe measures approximately 1.5 by 2 miles. Having settled on a suitable floe,...
Climate change: Polarstern icebreaker begins year-long Arctic drift

Climate change: Polarstern icebreaker begins year-long Arctic drift

Science
German Research Vessel Polarstern has found a location to begin its year-long drift in Arctic sea-ice.The ship, which will head the North Pole's biggest scientific expedition, will settle next to a thick ice floe on the Siberian side of the ocean basin.The precise location is 85 degrees north and 137 degrees east.Hundreds of investigators will use it as a base from which to probe the impacts of climate change at the top of the world."After a brief but intensive search, we've found our home for the months to come," said expedition leader Prof Markus Rex, from the Alfred Wegener Institute (AWI)."It may not be the perfect floe but it's the best one in this part of the Arctic and offers better working conditions than we could have ex...
Climate change: Arctic expedition to drift in sea-ice for a year

Climate change: Arctic expedition to drift in sea-ice for a year

Science
Media playback is unsupported on your device It's being described as the biggest Arctic science expedition of all time. The German Research Vessel Polarstern is about to head for the far north where it intends to drift in the sea-ice for an entire year. Hundreds of scientists will visit the ship in that time to use it as a base from which to study the climate.The MOSAiC (Multidisciplinary drifting Observatory for the Study of Arctic Climate) project is expected to cost about €130m (£120m/$ 150m).Its scale means it must be an international effort. RV Polarstern will be supported by icebreakers from Russia, Sweden and China.In deep winter, when these vessels can't pierce the floes to reach the German ship, aeroplanes and long-range helicopters w
Arctic sea ice coverage drops below 1.5M square miles for second time since 1979

Arctic sea ice coverage drops below 1.5M square miles for second time since 1979

Science
Sept. 13 (UPI) -- For just the second time since scientists started tracking Arctic sea ice coverage in 1979, the sea ice extent has dropped below 1.5 million square miles, or 4 million square kilometers. Every autumn, the Arctic sea ice coverage reaches its minimum extent, before expanding as temperatures rise. Though the sea ice is still shrinking, the minimum extent still days away, coverage is already approaching record lows. "Our satellite data show that between March and April 2019, there was an unusually large decrease in the ice extent, from which the Arctic sea ice was unable to recover," Christian Haas, a geophysicist at the Alfred Wegener Institute, said in a news release. The Arctic's rapid springtime melting suggested sea ice coverage was destined for an all-time low, but fl...
Snow, sea ice littered with microplastics in the Arctic

Snow, sea ice littered with microplastics in the Arctic

Science
Aug. 16 (UPI) -- Scientists have found surprisingly large amounts of microplastics in snow and sea ice samples collected in the Arctic and Alps. The research offers another reminder that tiny bits of plastic pollution can be transported long distances. Scientists estimate that snow washes microplastics out of the atmosphere, carrying them back to Earth's surface where they can accumulate in places like the Arctic. Researchers found microplastic concentrations as high as 14,400 particles per liter in Arctic snow samples. In one snow sample collected by the side of a rural road in the Bavarian Alps, researchers measured 154,000 particles per liter. The samples collected by scientists with the Alfred Wegener Institute and the Swiss WSL Institute for Snow and Avalanche Research SLF featured ...