On October 12th, the German research vessel Polarstern returned to its home port of Bremerhaven, Germany after a successful completion of the year-long Multidisciplinary drifting Observatory for the Study of Arctic Climate (MOSAiC) Expedition. This interdisciplinary expedition was a concerted effort by scientists from around the globe to better understand connections between the ocean, ice, and atmospheric systems in the Arctic. This approach - and the unprecedented year-long dataset - will help clarify how key climatic and ecological processes might function in a changing Arctic and eventually inform and improve global climate models.
Returning with Polarstern was Scripps PhD student Emelia Chamberlain, who joined the expedition for a five-month stint starting in June. Along with her research advisor Jeff Bowman, who participated in the expedition during the winter, Emelia is studying the role of marine microorganisms in the Arctic carbon cycle. Their research, a unique piece of the MOSAiC puzzle, focuses on how microbial community structure and ecophysiology control fluxes of oxygen (as a proxy for carbon) and methane in the central Arctic Ocean. You can read more about their research at the Polar Ecosystems website. The following photo series outlines what it was like to live and work on the Arctic sea ice for months at a time. Such a large expedition requires an incredible amount of logistical forethought and precise execution. Please enjoy this look into polar life!
About Scripps Oceanography
Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California San Diego is one of the world’s most important centers for global earth science research and education. In its second century of discovery, Scripps scientists work to understand and protect the planet, and investigate our oceans, Earth, and atmosphere to find solutions to our greatest environmental challenges. Scripps offers unparalleled education and training for the next generation of scientific and environmental leaders through its undergraduate, master’s and doctoral programs. The institution also operates a fleet of four oceanographic research vessels, and is home to Birch Aquarium at Scripps, the public exploration center that welcomes 500,000 visitors each year.