Saturday 22 August 2020

From the Polarstern in 2011

 This is from 2011 when they reported their scientific findings instead of just "celebrating" reaching the North Pole in record time because there is so little ice.

The German research icebreaker “Polarstern” returned from its 26th Arctic expedition and is undergoing routine maintenance in its homeport of Bremerhaven. During its 21,000 km journey the vessel conducted research on the rate of ice melt around the north pole. Using a four-meter-long probe called “EM Bird” aerial measurements on ice thickness were conducted along a line of over 2,500 km. The researchers concluded that very little multi-year ice remains around the North Pole and average ice thickness only reached 90 centimeters....

...Researchers on the Polarstern also conducted research on the distribution of sunlight under the ice sheet using a remotely operated vehicle at depth of up to 100 meters. Their measurements showed that multi-year ice is more impervious to light than single-year ice. As the composition of Arctic ice changes in favor of single-year ice, the amount of light absorbed by the Arctic Ocean will increase. This may result in a warming of water near the surface. According to Prof. Ursula Schauer, director of the expedition, water temperatures at a depth of 10 meters were three degrees centigrade, too warm for new ice to form.The Polarstern is undergoing routine maintenance before departing on a voyage to Antarctica on October 28th.

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