16 March 2020 (N78°15', E15°29')
MOSAiC aerial survey campaigns temporarily suspended. Polarstern crew continues to be unaffected by the corona pandemic
Due to drastic travel restrictions and due to the highly dynamic development of the corona pandemic, on Friday 13 March the MOSAiC project management decided to temporarily suspend the aerial survey campaigns planned for this spring and based in the Svalbard archipelago, which is under Norwegian administration. There are currently three icebreakers underway in the Central Arctic for the MOSAiC expedition.
For more information see the press release of the AWI > https://www.awi.de/en/about-us/service/press/press-release/mosaic-aerial-survey-campaigns-for-the-atmosphere-and-sea-ice-temporarily-suspended.html and in German at the Leipzig University > https://www.uni-leipzig.de/newsdetail/artikel/vorerst-keine-flugkampagnen-zur-vermessung-von-atmosphaere-und-meereis-2020-03-16/
14 March 2020 (N84°48', E42°35')
Icebreaker help on the way home
"Captain Dranitsyn left the MOSAiC ice floe with the team of cruise port 2 on March 4 and met Admiral Makarov on Saturday, March 14. This further icebreaker from Russia had left to provide fuel for the captain Dranitsyn after her long voyage through the Arctic ice ...", the MOSAiC team writes in the blog > https://follow.mosaic-expedition.org/blog/mosaic_16-03-20/?lang=en
We wish everyone a good, fast and safe journey home!
12 March 2020 (N87°27', E20°20')
The sun is back!
Goodbye polar night! Since 11:09 AM the sun is back on the ice floe of MOSAiC. It is still hiding on the horizon in the snow drift of a low pressure system, but the dark time is over for the MOSAIC expedition in the Arctic ...
03 March 2020 (N78°15', E15°29')
Leipzig Meteorologists to Join Survey Team With Research Aircraft
The time has come for a change of shifts on the MOSAiC expedition, a project for which the German icebreaker Polarstern is spending 14 months frozen in sea ice. The third phase of the expedition will also include scientific missions with the research aircraft Polar 5 and Polar 6, which will be overseen by meteorologist Professor Manfred Wendisch from Leipzig University.
Read more in the press release of the Leipzig University: https://www.uni-leipzig.de/en/newsdetail/artikel/leipzig-meteorologists-to-join-survey-team-with-research-aircraft-2020-03-03/
The Alfred Wegener Institute’s Polar 5 research aircraft on Svalbard. Photo: Tobias Donth, Leipzig University
01 March 2020 (N88°16', E31°45')
Further north than any other ship
slowly my time here on Polarstern and on the MOSAiC floe is coming to an end. Since Friday afternoon the Dranitsyn is located in some distance next to Polarstern and yesterday Martin was here for the first time. Today we want to calibrate the HATPRO and possibly do a telecover test. Last week I changed the flashbulbs on our lidar "Arielle" after 160 million shots. That worked out well. And since a few days now it has finally cloudless high pressure conditions again.
The rest of the instruments continue to work well. I tried the Cimel-photometer again and tried to adjust the switches, which should regulate the engine revolutions, better. Unfortunately this is a very tedious story ... I think we will keep it to measure now this moon phase (since two days you can see the moon again here) as it is and then Martin unfortunately has to deal with it. He has a few new switches with him, I don't know if it would be worthwhile to replace them.
... In a few days we will go about 110 nautical miles away from the North Pole on a ship that cannot reach the next port under its own power. Of course I assume that with the Makarov, a Russian icebreaker chartered to meet us and provide us with fuel, everything will go well and we will arrive in Tromsø relaxed at some point. But how long we need for the way back and when we will be back home is still unclear. Our cruise leader is more relaxed: he asked the captain of the Dranitsyn if we could make a detour over the North Pole on our way back :-).
The next few days are scheduled for cargo operations to reload the cargo. They may take some time because of the extremely cold temperature (currently -38°C) ... then we'll head for the mainland (it's easy to forget when you're walking on ice, but we're still on an ocean).
By the way, we also received an award from the Scott Polar Institute: As far north at this time of year as we are (24.02.: 88°36'N) there was no other ship (officially at least :-) ).
01 March 2020 (N88°16', E31°45')
"Together with the new team, the twilight has arrived. For two weeks now there has been so-called "nautical twilight" and since today's Sunday we have been experiencing "civic twilight", during which the sun is only six degrees below the horizon. The definition of the latter is that you can read outside, and we can see the surface of snow and ice ...", Folke Mehrtens writes in the MOSAiC blog. https://follow.mosaic-expedition.org/blog/mosaic_01-03-20/?lang=en
28 February 2020 (N88°21', E34°13')
'They're arrived!'- Kapitan Dranitsyn reaches Polarstern
"They are here! We have had visual contact for two days, and now the time has come: The supply icebreaker Kapitan Dranitsyn arrived today in the immediate vicinity of Polarstern after a delay due to a difficult sea ice situation. The exchange of the two teams of cruise sections 2 and 3 is thus imminent. The task now is to replace a total of 83 scientists and crew members...", writes the MOSAiC team from the ice floe in the blog: https://follow.mosaic-expedition.org/blog/mosaic_28-02-20/?lang=en
And on board the Dranitsyn, Stefanie Arndt, sea ice physicist at AWI, writes on Twitter: “We did it! It is incredible but we finally arrived at #RVPolarstern @MOSAiCArctic - only 100 nm away from the North Pole - in the middle of #Arctic winter. At 14:17 ships time, we reached our final parking position - with an euphoric applause on the bridge #KapitanDranitsyn.” > https://twitter.com/arndt_st/status/1233368544819269632
We keep our fingers crossed for all of them for the exhausting days of the move! And of course especially our lidar colleagues Hannes (leg2, still on the Polarstern) & Martin (leg3, still on the Kapitan Dranitsyn)!
20 February 2020 (N88°35', E55°55')
MOSAiC Mondays – Weekly Updates from the Arctic (The Atmosphere: Part 1+2)
The MOSAiC expedition has not only set itself scientifically ambitious goals, it also wants to contribute to the younger generations learning more about the Arctic and the serious climate change there. For this purpose there is the Education Module. The Education Team takes care to prepare interesting and easily understandable information so that teachers can use it in their lessons. Colleagues from the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES) in Boulder (Colorado, USA) report every week in English in their "MOSAiC Mondays - Weekly Updates from the Arctic":
The issues of 24 February and 2 March 2020 are dedicated to the atmosphere and thus also to the TROPOS research area, the troposphere:
“MOSAiC Monday - February 24, 2020
This week: The atmosphere is an important component of Earth's climate system and a key science focus area of the MOSAiC expedition. Learn more about this thin veneer of gases and other things that is crucial to our survival. ”
“MOSAiC Monday - March 2, 2020
This week: The atmosphere, part 2 - What is air pressure, and what does it have to do with weather? Also, MOSAiC team members answer your questions about wifi on the ship and why a buoy is called a buoy.”
A clear recommendation for all who understand some English! So from about grade 5...
20 February 2020 (N51°21', E12°22')
POLARZEIT: EXPEDITION EXTREM - Conversation & Performance in the Museum of Natural History (in German)
The Leipzig researcher Ronny Engelmann reported on the largest North Pole expedition to date.
After the audience had experienced a live transmission to the research vessel "Polarstern" in December, the Leipzig researcher, who was part of the largest expedition to the North Pole so far, was now a guest on 20th February. Dr. Ronny Engelmann from the Leipzig Leibniz Institute for Tropospheric Research gave a vivid account of the research, polar bears and the extreme conditions of the mission in a conversation with museum director Dr. Ronny Maik Leder. The audience participated in the discussion with many questions.
17 February 2020 (N88°21', E78°40')
Ice crystals - the art of the tiny
"We are obviously surrounded by ice and snow, since the Polarstern is frozen in ice. But did you know that ice crystals are also present in the air? They have different shapes depending on the temperature: massive plates or prisms, columns, star-shaped plates, needles or dendrites. Their size and shape also depend on the humidity of the air. In order to be able to examine these tiny crystals, they must be preserved in a plastic material after collection in order to produce an imprint that can then be photographed under a microscope, because otherwise they would melt away. A sewing needle is shown for size comparison. We are interested in its shape, for example in order to be able to better interpret our active remote sensing measurements of the atmosphere, because the different ice crystals influence the scattering of light and radiation differently," Folke Mertens reports in the MOSAiC blog. And our colleague Hannes Griesche adds: "I took the photos of the ice crystals with the IcePIC (Ice Particle Imaging Camera) from CIRES (Cooperative Institute for Research In Environmental Sciences in Boulder, CO, USA). This is a microscope on which a camera is mounted directly." https://follow.mosaic-expedition.org/blog/mosaic_17-2-20/?lang=en
14 February 2020 (N88°2', E80°7')
Leg 2 draws to a close
„Tradionally every expedition has a goup photo of all scientific participiants. We decided to have ours in front of our frozen home Polarstern: She is our shelter during the frosty polar night and we want to thank the crew for caring excellently fort he vessel and the MOSAiC familiy!“ writes the team in their blog: https://follow.mosaic-expedition.org/blog/mosaic_14-02-20/?lang=en
12 February 2020 (N87°54', E86°56')
A glimmer of light on the horizon!
"Yesterday there was a real change in lighting conditions. We have now so-called nautical twilight. The sun rises between 6° and 12° below the horizon ... . Accordingly, a lot of people came to the bridge yesterday to enjoy the colourful sky. We are very much looking forward to seeing the sun itself, which we did not see when we left Tromsø at the end of November for our MOSAiC adventure...", the team writes: https://follow.mosaic-expedition.org/blog/mosaic_12-2-20/?lang=en
02 February 2020 (N48°45', E08°14')
MOSAiC in television, radio and print (in German)
The ARD exclusively shows video recordings of the 1st MOSAiC leg at "W wie Wissen" in Das Erste (the first German Television Channel): https://www.daserste.de/information/wissen-kultur/w-wie-wissen/arktis-156.html & https://www.daserste.de/information/wissen-kultur/w-wie-wissen/videos/arktis-video-102.html
Photographer Esther Horvath talks on NDR television about how she worked with her camera in the cold & dark and what drives her at work: https://www.ardmediathek.de/ndr/player/Y3JpZDovL25kci5kZS9mMGExMjI2Ni1kMGE0LTRjODItYjU2NS0xMGFjYzZjNDNlMDQ/fotografin-begleitet-polarstern-expedition
The Polarstern ice floe reaches 88 degrees latitude. Karsten Schwanke reports on this expedition for ARD-alpha: https://www.br.de/mediathek/sendung/expedition-am-nordpol-av:5dd276f4ebea9c001ad8f003
"The ice isn't eternal" - Tilmann Bünz, ARD correspondent in Stockholm, reports on MOSAiC for the Tagesthemen in Das Erste (in the first German Television Channel): https://www.tagesschau.de/ausland/polarstern-arktis-101.html
"150 days in the polar night" - expedition leader Markus Rex from AWI talks for one hour about MOSAiC at NDR-Kultur: https://www.ndr.de/ndrkultur/Markus-Rex-war-150-Tage-in-der-Polarnacht,audio636202.html
"Trapped in ice: Aboard the Polarstern. Twelve months of drifting ice floes. An exclusive report from the largest Arctic expedition of all times" - The GEO-Magazine dedicates the cover story of its March issue to MOSAiC: https://www.geo.de/magazine/geo-magazin/39095-geo-nr-03-2020-gefangen-im-eis
„Diese Frau macht die Flieger fit für die größte Arktis-Expedition aller Zeiten“ - der Stern berichtet übe die „Polar 5“ & „Polar 6“, die im Zentrum der Flugzeugkampagne „MOSAiC Airborne 2020“ stehen, mit denen sich die Universität Leipzig an MOSAiC beteiligt: https://www.stern.de/reise/follow-me/arktis-expedition--diese-frau-macht-die-flieger-fit-fuers-ewige-eis-9125612.html
Forscher berichtet von AWI-Expedition im ewigen Eis bei ‚buten un binnen‘ von Radio Bremen: https://www.butenunbinnen.de/videos/mosaic-expedition-polar-forschung-100.html
Arktis-Expedition der Polarstern. ARD-Morgenmagazin im Ersten: https://www.ardmediathek.de/daserste/player/Y3JpZDovL2Rhc2Vyc3RlLmRlL21vcmdlbm1hZ2F6aW4vYmExZGMzYzQtODhlMy00MWM5LWFiNDAtNTU5ODg5NTQyMmUw/arktis-expedition-der-polarstern & Interview mit Expeditionsleiter Prof. Markus Rex https://www.daserste.de/information/politik-weltgeschehen/morgenmagazin/videos/markus-rex-polarforscher-100.html
31 January 2020 (N87°26, E96°28)
Arctic heat wave: +25K within a few hours
Researchers expect that climate change will lead to more frequent and stronger weather conditions in the future, which will transport heat from the south to the central Arctic. What will then happen there locally? How does this change the clouds and aerosols in the atmosphere? How do these heat waves accelerate the melting of sea ice? These are many questions for atmospheric research. Accordingly, the MOSAiC team Atmos was curious to see whether they would be able to experience and measure such events on site.
Then, at the end of January, what the researchers had been waiting for happened: a heat wave with drastic temperature fluctuations in an extremely short time - in the middle of the polar winter: "In the early morning of January 28th, we experienced the coldest temperature ever recorded, -35.1°C. Then, within the following 24 hours, the values rose to our 'normal', approximately -25°C. But instead of staying like this, it became warmer and warmer up to our maximum temperature on MOSAiC section 2: Quasi tropical -10.8°C on the morning of January 30th. But then the thermometer immediately dropped back to -35°C within only 17 hours. Imagine a temperature drop from 25°C to 0°C in this time span! The warming was accompanied by strong winds, partly clouds and snowfall. We assume that a low-pressure system passing above us has brought warm air from Svalbard to us and that the clouds with their reflection effect have additionally contributed to the warming. Team Atmo is already analysing the data from the lidar and radar measurements of the clouds in order to be able to say more about their composition", writes Folke Mehrtens in the MOSAiC blog.
The current weather with air and water temperature, wind speed as well as air pressure is available hourly from the DWD weather station on Polarstern:
The graph shows how the air temperatures on Polarstern rose very rapidly from noon on 28. January until the morning of 31. January and then decreased again very quickly. From the morning of 31 January until the evening, the "mercury" fell from -10.8°C to -35°C. That is about -25K in just 18 hours! Graphic: MOSAiC Expedition
26 January 2020 (N69°39′, E18°57′)
A nice bath in the harbour
I have arrived at Tromsø well (even with my luggage on time).
Last two days were occupied with briefing(s), clothing and safety instructions.
Weather is quite nice (-15C, bit of wind) and we had a nice bath in the harbor. We were promised immersion suits, but turned out to be flotation suits, so we got fully wet.
However, everybody managed to get back on the simulated (ice) flow and now we are ready to leave.
Hannes has guessed correctly, the Russians icebraker had to do face the strong winds and waves abow (7BFT+ and ~5-6m) and took a slight detour.
New plan is, that we will board tomorrow and leave on Tuesday, weather and customs permitting.
(28 Jan 20) The participant of the 3rd leg of MOSAiC has had some intensive days with last training courses and various briefings in Tromsø. Now they are waiting for the departure of the Kapitan Dranitsyn. The Russian icebreaker will also bring the next MOSAiC team to Polarstern, thus enabling the exchange of researchers, logistics and ship crew. Have a good trip!
Photo: Michael Gutsche, MOSAiC (https://follow.mosaic-expedition.org/blog/mosaic_28-01-20/?lang=en)
26 January 2020 (N87°25; E94°17)
Camping in the Artic winter? On the ice? Why not?!
This time in English, so the non-German speaking receiver can also enjoy the news from...well I was about to write the north pole. But that's no quite right. But almost! (155nm...no 155NM to go!).
I'm sorry for the long silence from my side. But don't be afraid, I'm not frozen in the arctic ice. Though, we went on a camping trip last night!
But let's start earlier. We had a quite exiting week the past 7 days. Exactly one week ago we noticed that there was a polarbear visit during the night. Nobody saw him, but there's an automatic camera at the remote sensing site on the ice. And during a regular check of these pictures they noticed that one instrument had a different position as the day before. So they checked all pictures until they finally saw the bear. But this bear is quite sience friendly! He only touched the instrument that was broken anyway. Maybe he thought a soft hit would help. Also he checked the remote sensing site out.
Here's what they wrote about his visit: "One great photo shows the bear tracks approaching the ARM "Swing Set" which supports radiometers that look down at the surface and measure up welling shortwave and long wave radiation and surface temperature. Operators during their daily inspections are instructed to keep the surface under the swing set as undisturbed as possible. Apparently the bear go the message. This great photo by Eric Brossier taken when Team LOGISTICS was searching the CO on the morning after show that the bear approached the swing set and then stopped. He then went around to the other side, stood up on his back legs to examine the radiometers, and backed away without making a single mark under the sensors. While it might have been interesting to look at the IR signature from a bear paw print, it appears that this this bear might be qualified for a job with ARM as his examination of the radiation sensors showed perfect procedure."
Next Dean (another Atmos Team member, whom I was bear guarding) and me experienced some polar light a few days ago. They were quite weak, but we were anyway quite excited to see some up here (though I haven't thought about, that the magnetic north pole is actually on the other side of the geographic north pole from our point of view.
The adventures continued on Friday, when a lead was discovered close to the ship. This opportunity was used to start an event (which apparently should happen twice per leg or so) and lots of people went out. Since I wasn't involved at all in this matter here what their report: "This was the long-awaited “event”: the chance to measure energy and gas fluxes between the water and air, through the newly formed and older ice. It also allowed to study the initial population of the newly forming ice by ice-inhabiting biota. After a short meeting after lunch, we mobilized very quickly to go out to measure and sample the open water, ice and snow, and air. This was strongly supported by the logistics team providing transportation and bear guarding. Additionally, we carried out a special high-resolution survey of the lead with the helicopter borne laser scanner. This was a great interdisciplinary effort to unravel the secrets of the Central Arctic in winter."
And then last night we made the camping trip. 20 people (including me), most of them scientist but also some of the Polarstern crew, went out to spent one night in tents, roughly one kilometre from the ship. This was a very nice experience. My favourite part was actually the bear watch I did from 1-2am. Being out there, alone and experience the arctic night almost undisturbed (there was still light from the ship but finally no noise anymore!). But it was also quite cold! We had really good sleeping bags but the problem were the mattresses. Some took two but I had only one and that unfortunately was not enough (so if I wrote some funny stuff in here, its due to the fact that I almost didn't sleep last night ;)). But maybe we go again next weekend, then I will take two mattresses! And the coffee in the morning was delicious (with fresh grinded coffee bones!).
Oceanetwise everything runs smoothly apart from the Cimel. But I finally managed to do the repair the guys from Lille told me to do. Unfortunately getting the robot down and put it up again and again and again wasn't good for the cables and one broke. Luckily we have some handy electricians on board who helped me to solder the wires! …
So far the report from MOSAiC, I think I have to go to bed now. …
A polar bear visited the Remote Sensing Station on the ice at night and inspected the instruments. This was shown by the surveillance camera footage the next day. Fortunately, the polar bear approached very carefully and only tore off one cover without breaking any other installations. Photo: Marcus Huntemann, AWI ( https://follow.mosaic-expedition.org/blog/mosaic_20-1-20/?lang=en )
As soon as research teams are working on the ice, a bear guard is on the bridge. Supported by a scientist, also with binoculars and looking out with an infrared camera, the logistics team members have an eye on the surroundings. They are in radio contact with all groups working on the MOSAiC floe. Photo: Lukas Piotrowski, MOSAiC
22 January 2020 (N87°26, E93°52)
Northern lights at MOSAiC
'You won't see any northern lights on the MOSAiC expedition, you are too far north for that', they said before. Normally this phenomenon occurs mainly in a narrow band around the magnetic poles. Aurora Borealis occurs when electrically charged particles of the solar wind meet oxygen and nitrogen atoms in the upper layers of the Earth's atmosphere and ionize them. This produces the striking green light.
Our colleague Hannes Grische and Dean Howard from the University of Colorado Boulder have now taken a special snapshot. When they were on the ice floe to measure trace gases, they noticed faint structures in the dark sky that moved at a speed untypical of clouds. "Fortunately we had a camera and tripod with us and were able to take some long time exposure shots", reports Hannes. The photos clearly show that there are northern lights at 87° 28' North!
The almost vertical line in the upper part of the picture is the tracer of a polar orbiting satellite. These can be seen particularly clearly during the polar night, as they are illuminated by the sun while the ground is dark. By the way, for the photo they had to stand still for 25 seconds - at -27°C ...
08 January 2020 (N51°21'9", E12°26'5")
Lidar data now online
The lidar data of the TROPOS PollyArielle in the OCEANET container from the 1st leg of MOSAiC are now online in the TROPOS database: http://polly.tropos.de/?p=lidarzeit&Ort=35
More about PollyNet, which is part of ACTRIS, at: https://www.tropos.de/en/research/projects-infrastructures-technology/coordinated-observations-and-networks/pollynet
05 January 2020 (N87°4; E115°19)
Minus temperatures and darkness
...can't shock Hannes Griesche. The "Morgenpost am Sonntag" reports about the MOSAiC expedition (in German).
01 January 2020 (N86°44; E117°36)
New Year & northernmost New Year's Eve party in the world
Happy New Year!
We have almost felt -50°C here on the ground today (with actual -31 and with about 10m/s wind). In the atmosphere above us it is even colder: -78°C is measured by the radiosonde at 18km altitude.
The next station point is the North Pole and therefore the distance to it is always displayed. Currently it says: 197.45 NM - that is nautical miles. That's 365km - compared to the 4361km only a stone's throw ;-)
Our time is Moscow time by the way. So we were 2 hours ahead of Germany in 2020 and we have indeed a bright starry sky again.
PS. By the way, New Year on RV Polarstern sounds like this: https://www.awi.de/fileadmin/user_upload/AWI/Expedition/Schiffe/Downloads/Polarstern-Horn2.mp3
29 December 2019 (N86°38; E115°52)
Still 202.22 NM to the North Pole
here's a little inter-year-old e-mail. But not much has happened here in the last few days. We had two visits from an arctic fox (enclosed a photo). But even though they were always around polar bears, we have not seen them yet.
Our lidar "Arielle" got a small Christmas cleaning from me on 23.12. And right in the evening the computer restarted itself. But since then everything is running as usual again. Only interesting traps are left out. In the last days we had more and more low clouds again, so that there are rarely signals from above 2km. And if there are, I keep my eyes open for Polar Stratospheric Clouds (PSCs). But so far I have seen nothing like that in the data. The rest of the instruments are measuring diligently and the Cimel photometer is eagerly waiting for the moon to rise again.
Christmas Eve we had a nice Christmas party (which we defined as the northernmost in the world), with speeches from the captain and cruise director, a visit from Santa Claus and gnome presents for everyone.
On Christmas Day we had excursions on foot or, whoever had some, by ski (I was able to borrow a pair and was in the ski group). On New Year's Eve the next official celebration was already on the agenda, with a greeting of the New Year on the bridge.
I wish everyone a happy new year!
Many greetings from the ice,
24 Dezember 2019 (N86°38; E113°46)
The MOSAiC expedition team is enjoying a cheerful Christmas eve aboard Polarstern. Santa did pay us a visit!
21 Dezember 2019 (N86°41;E112°24)
From now on the days will be longer!
Hello to Leipzig,
here comes an update from the floe. In the container I was able to look in regularly and my predecessor Ronny arranged everything very nicely for me. I only had to restart a software to copy all the data to the central data center here, but everything else runs fine and measures.
Yesterday evening the deep clouds finally disappeared and our Lidar Polly-Arielle could measure aerosol layers again. And there were two of them the whole evening below 2km and one at 5km. And I'm not sure, but above 11km could be the stratospheric aerosol that we have seen here so often lately. The tropopause is now again at 11km altitude.
Yesterday we had the shortest of our non existing days and celebrated it properly. We had mulled wine with it and it is recommended to enjoy it in thermos cups. Otherwise it is said to be frozen faster than drunk. .-)
Merry Christmas holidays to all!
Measurement of the TROPOS lidar PollyArielle from 21 Dec 2019
"The many high clouds up to 11 km indicate (once again) that the Arctic is not a closed system. Again and again air masses from rather middle latitudes cross the pole. The stable air masses (and embedded aerosol layers) further down (below 5-6 km) are probably more typical for winter Arctic conditions", Albert Ansmann (head of the TROPOS Ground Based Remote Sensing working group) interprets the measurement of 21.12.2019. Graph: Hannes Griesche, TROPOS
19 December 2019 (N86°40; E112°52)
Change Leg 1 to 2 finished
The Russian supply icebreaker Kapitan Dranitsyn left the MOSAiC ice floe on December 18 2019 at 14:30 ship time (12:30 CET). Thereby the supply and exchange between leg 1 and leg 2 is completed. Photo: Alfred-Wegener-Institut / Folke Mehrtens (CC-BY 4.0)
18 December 2019 (Leipzig/Dresden)
Shift change at the North Pole in the media
The change between cruise section 1 and 2 at MOSAiC is reported by others in German:
+ Sächsische Zeitung am 19.12.19: "Schichtwechsel am Nordpol" > https://www.saechsische.de/plus/schichtwechsel-am-nordpol-arktis-expedition-mosaic-saechsische-wissenschaftler-tropos-leipzig-5152729.html
+ MDR-Sachsenspiegel am 17.12.19: "Wie Leipziger Forscher in der Arktis am Klima forschen" > https://www.mdr.de/video/mdr-videos/a/video-366150.html
+ MDR-Radio-Sachsen am 17.12.19: "Schichtwechsel auf der Polarstern - Leipziger Forscher im Interview" > https://www.mdr.de/sachsen/leipzig/leipziger-forscher-polarstern-expedition-100.html
17 Dezember 2019 (Leipzig)
Performance "POLARZEIT: Expedition extrem"
The performance at the Natural History Museum Leipzig was accompanied by a telephone conversation with researcher Ronny Engelmann (TROPOS) from Leipzig who, as part of the international MOSAiC expedition, is currently drifting through the Arctic on an ice floe with the research icebreaker Polarstern near the North Pole, to help for the first time to providing global climate researchers with coveted data from the polar night. Tuesday, 17.12.19, from 19:30
More information at http://www.schaubuehne.com/programm/polarzeit-expedition-extrem/
Around 40 people from Leipzig experienced the polar time performance of the Schaubühne Lindenfels at the Natural History Museum in Leipzig and listened intently to the telephone conversation with the Polarstern in the Arctic. (Photos: Tilo Arnhold, TROPO
17. Dezember 2019 (Potsdam)
UFA SHOW & FACTUAL zeigt erstes Material
"Kamerateams der UFA SHOW & FACTUAL begleiten die MOSAiC-Expedition ... exklusiv über den gesamten Zeitraum. ... Abschnitt für Abschnitt stellen UFA SHOW & FACTUAL und das Alfred-Wegener-Institut einige Minuten Material zur Verfügung"
Video bei Youtube:
16 Dezember 2019 (N86°37; E117°52)
Change of Shifts at the North Pole
As the second leg of the one-year-long MOSAiC expedition begins, participants review the mission so far
After exchanging research teams and crewmembers, the greatest expedition to the Central Arctic of all time is now entering the next phase, during which urgently needed research into the Arctic climate system will be conducted. In the following paragraphs, the team from the first leg of the journey, which was dominated by thin sea ice, review the mission so far: despite extremely challenging conditions, they maintained a steady flow of scientific data. The new team will now face the darkest and coldest research phase: the Arctic winter, which has never been researched before.
Around 100 people swap places between the research icebreaker Polarstern, which has been drifting with Arctic sea ice since October, and the Russian supply icebreaker Kapitan Dranitsyn.
Team BGC science hand over between Leg 1 and Leg 2. BGC Leg 1 team member Dorothea Bauch (l) and BGC Leg 1 team lead Katarina Abrahamsson do a scientific hand over for BGC Leg 2 team member Adela Dumitrascu (r) and Partic Simoes Pereira (standing) execute the scientific hand over at BGC coring site on MOSAiC oce floe. (Photo: Esther Horvath)
14 Dezember 2019 (N86°36 E118°31)
First film shoots on German television
"Arktis-Expedition: Erste Filmaufnahmen der "Polarstern"
ARD's Tagesschau and Tagesthemen show the first films from the ice on the occasion of the UN climate conference COP25. (Das Erste, 14.12.19, 20:00 & 23:30)
12 Dezember 2019 (Madrid)
UN Climate Conference COP25
At the invitation of the BMBF, the German Pavilion at the UN Climate Conference COP25 hosted a side event entitled "Aerosol-Cloud Interactions in a Changing Climate: Opportunity or Threat". Experts connected by live transmissions to measuring stations at key locations on different continents and to the research vessel "Polarstern" in the Arctic presented the influence of changing air pollution on local weather and global climate change. We were also able to talk to our colleague Ronny Engelmann via satellite telephone.
More in German unter
10 Dezember 2019 (N86°32 E120°59)
„So you could almost call it North Pole .-)“
Shortly before the end of the first leg of MOSAiC we were able to talk to our colleague Ronny Engelmann on the Polarstern via satellite telephone on Tuesday evening. The 5min telephone call was a test for the live connection to observatories worldwide during the UN climate conference COP25 in Madrid, where on Thursday a side event will inform about the international lidar network PollyNet, the EU research infrastructure ACTRIS and the importance of short-lived climate drivers such as aerosols, clouds and trace gases.
Read the full text in German here:
8 December 2019 (Leipzig/Tromsø/Arctic)
New equipment and replacement on the road
Sensors for the big TROPOS tethered balloon “BELUGA“ on their way to MOSAiC
For the upcoming operations of the TROPOS tethered balloon “BELUGA” on the MOSAiC expedition from April to June 2020, instruments for the study of the atmospheric boundary layer in the Arctic are now on their way into the ice. The first supply vessel “Kapitan Dranitsyn” will bring the sensors for the measurement of aerosols, turbulence and radiation to the icebound Polarstern. The result of intensive developments at TROPOS is also present: the two, new platforms “CAMP 1 & 2”. With highly sensible instruments, they are capable to measure even lowest concentration of Black Carbon and other aerosol properties. Christian Pilz, TROPOS
BELUGA equipment before transport. Photo: Tilo Arnhold, TROPOS
In November several boxes were sent from TROPOS in Leipzig to Tromsø (Norway). From there, a Russian icebreaker will take them to Polarstern so that the equipment can be used on the ice in spring 2020. Photos: Tilo Arnhold, TROPOS
An other colleague from our Lidar group started with the "Kapitan Dranitsyn" in Tromsø (Norway) at the end of November to replace the current caretaker of the OCEANET container. The icebreaker is expected at Polarstern for about 13 December.
7 December 2019 (N86°9; E122°9)
Winter storms and complete darkness
"Up to and including yesterday, there was a strong wind here for a few days with snow drift and low visibility. To make work on the ice easier and to illuminate the way home, the three Polarstern spotlights are used". https://follow.mosaic-expedition.org/
The Polarstern on Polar Night. In the meantime there is darkness around the clock. Until noon a hint of twilight can be guessed, it will take more than a month. But until the sun will show up on the horizon much longer. Temperatures fall below -30°C - in a snow storm with windchill effect far below -40°C. Photo: Esther Horvarth, AWI
6 November 2019 (N85°55; E116°43)
Work in polar night
"Our ship clocks are currently on UTC+8, which puts us seven hours ahead of Central European time. From now on we will reset the clocks every Saturday night until we reach UTC +3. This is Moscow time, after which the next supply ship, Dranitsyn, will be lived and worked on." https://follow.mosaic-expedition.org/
The Polarstern on Polar Night. The large on-board spotlights bring some light into the darkness. In front on the deck are various measuring containers, including the OCEANET container from TROPOS - recognizable by the green light of the laser reflected from the roof hatch of the container. The laser beam of the lidar itself is not visible because the air on the ground is very clean and the Polarstern's on-board headlights are much brighter. Photo: Esther Horvarth, AWI
25 October 2019 (N85°26 E127°50)
Polar Night & Weather
The polar night has arrived on the MOSAiC ice floe. Darkness characterizes the picture since the sun no longer comes over the horizon. Instead, there is very little residual light in the midday as in the homeland far after sunset at the end of twilight.
The floe is now drifting more and more northwest towards Spitsbergen: https://www.awi.de/fileadmin/user_upload/MET/PolarsternCoursePlot/psobse.pdf
What is the weather like on FS Polarstern in the Arctic right now?
The current data on temperature, precipitation and wind are now also available hourly from the Norwegian Weather Service - incl. forecast: https://www.yr.no/en/forecast/daily-table/0-82/Polarstern
Read more in the PolarPredictNews: https://www.polarprediction.net/news.html
These data come from the Polarstern on-board weather station, which is operated by the German Weather Service (DWD). The current weather data are also online
at the DWD https://www.dwd.de/DE/fachnutzer/schifffahrt/maritimberatung/mosaic/polarstern/polarstern_node.html
and AWI https://www.awi.de/nc/en/science/long-term-observations/atmosphere/polarstern.html
04 Oct 2019: MOSAiC expedition begins its ice drift on a floe at 85 degrees north and 137 degrees east
The MOSAiC team has now selected the floe that will serve as the base of operations for their one-year-long ice drift around the North Pole with the German research icebreaker Polarstern. This was preceded by an intensive search combining satellite imagery and helicopter flights over the target area in the Central Arctic, which were supported by the icebreaker Akademik Fedorov, operated by Russia’s Arctic and Antarctic Research Institute (AARI). The participating researchers closely examined 16 floes that, on the basis of satellite imagery, were potentially large enough to accommodate the ice camp. They subsequently met on board Polarstern to compare their findings, ultimately agreeing that the ice drift should be prepared for on a floe measuring roughly 2.5 by 3.5 kilometres, and located at 85 degrees north and 137 degrees east. The floe, which Polarstern will allow herself to become frozen to, is currently drifting in alternating directions, at up to 10 kilometres per day.
First group of scientists on ice floe (Photo: Esther Horvath, AWI)
22 Septemberg 2019: On the way to the pack ice
Polarstern is on its way to the northeastern Arctic. The preparations for the work on the ice floe are running at full speed during this transfer trip. At night, the Barents Sea offered spectacular views of northern lights, the Aurora Borealis:
"Anchors Aweigh for MOSAiC Leg 1" - first post in Polarstern blog by Marcel Nicolaus (AWI) from 22 Sep 2019: https://blogs.helmholtz.de/polarstern/en/2019/09/anchors-aweigh-for-mosaic-leg-1/
You can use the MOSAiC web app to follow Polarstern’s drift route live: https://follow.mosaic-expedition.org/
Foto: Alfred-Wegener-Institut / Stefan Hendricks
Farewell party for the departure of FS Polarstern in the harbour of Tromsø (Norway) on 20.09.2019
20 September 2019: Polarstern departure
News and media reports about the start:
Radio interview on detektor.fm with Prof. Dr. Andreas Macke, interview "Die größte Arktis-Expedition der Geschichte", 19-09-2019
Report in the Tagesspiegel, article "Eiskalte Forschung Warum Wissenschaftler den Winter in der Arktis verbringen", 18-09-2019
Report in the Sächsische Zeitung, article "Sachsen lassen sich am Nordpol einfrieren. Heute beginnt Mosaic, die größte Arktis-Expedition aller Zeiten. Sächsische Forscher sind dort mit dabei - und auch die SZ", 20.09.2019
The last containers are loaded in Tromsö. The white OCEANET container from TROPOS (centre right) is already standing on the deck. Photo: Esther Horvarth, AWI
Transport of container & equipment on 26 August 2019
Here we go! Our OCEANET container with PollyNet lidar & other devices left Leipzig today. Destination: Tromsö.
Photo: Tilo Arnhold, TROPOS
The Leibniz Institute for Tropospheric Research (TROPOS) will play a leading role in two central measurements of the MOSAiC campaign: Firstly, the OCEANET remote sensing container will continuously explore the vertical aerosol and cloud distribution for the entire ice drift using lidar, radar and microwave radiometers. On the other hand, a 90 cubic metre tethered balloon on sections 4 and 5 will bring several measuring devices up to 1500 m altitude in summer 2020 in order to measure the Arctic boundary layer as precisely as possible. TROPOS will also be integrated into the expedition leadership of section 5: The expedition leaders for this section will be Prof. Dr. Dieter Wolf-Gladrow from AWI and TROPOS Director Prof. Dr. Andreas Macke.
see press release from 27 June 2018
From mid-January to mid-February 2019, a field campaign was conducted at the TROPOS Melpitz station near Torgau to prepare for the MOSAiC expedition.
In winter, the Leipzig team tested in Melpitz the assembly and disassembly of the tethered balloon including the attached measuring technology. (Photo: Tilo Arnhold, TROPOS)
For one year frozen in the Arctic ocean
MOSAiC - Multidisciplinary drifting Observatory for the Study of Arctic Climate
It'll be the biggest Arctic expedition ever: Starting in autumn 2019, the German research icebreaker Polarstern will drift frozen through the Arctic Ocean. On the MOSAiC expedition, scientists from 19 nations will explore the Arctic over the course of the year. They spend the winter in a region that is almost inaccessible at polar night. The natural force of the ice drift alone gives this unique opportunity. A research camp will be set up on an ice floe and connected to a kilometre-wide network of measuring stations.
Hardly any other region has warmed as much in recent decades as the Arctic. Therefore the aim of the expedition is to better understand the influence of the Arctic on the global climate. This milestone for climate research and its data will be valuable for generations to come. The mission led by the Alfred Wegener Institute is associated with unprecedented challenges. An international fleet of icebreakers, helicopters and airplanes supplies the team on this extreme route. This expedition can only succeed with joint efforts.
Trailer MOSAiC expedition by Alfred Wegener Institute
Stock photo (Polarstern expedition ANT-XXIX/6 2013): Alfred Wegener Institute/Stefan Hendricks