MOSAiC expedition comes to an abrupt end

The MOSAiC expedition has come to rather an abrupt end as they steamed south out of the pack ice towards Svalbard. They seem to be putting a good spin on things, but overall I think it was a bit of a disaster if the truth were told. I’m sure they’ll say that they found out a lot of things through their experiments and observations that we never realised before about the Arctic Ocean, but for me the expedition was doomed when they miscalculated the drift and missed the North Pole by 90 nautical miles(?) or so. In fact it was the fragility of the ice and the speed of the drift, plus a bit of COVID-19 towards the end that finished off the expedition so quickly. Meteorologically I learnt from the Polar Stern observations that the Arctic Ocean is a windy old place, and never really got as cold as I expected it to (~-38°C). They are moving onto ‘leg 4’ of the expedition whatever that is, but the charm of their endeavour now seems to have been lost, especially when most of the world they are returning to has gone through its own kind of lockdown isolation in the last few months.

Here is a thermograph that I plotted from the 417,843 SYNOP observations made by the expedition since last September.

Polarstern Thermograph
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