MOSAiC expedition flushed out of Arctic

Courtesy of MOSAiC
(It’s a strange expedition map this – the North Pole is not marked on it – so I had to add it)

It seems to me that although the MOSAiC expedition may end up being a huge success as far as a collaborative scientific mission goes, it missed the most important aspect (to me at least) of reaching and crossing the North Pole, and now the Polar Stern seems to me to be getting unceremoniously flushed quickly south by the currents in the Arctic Sea as spring arrives. They obviously did put a lot of thought into picking just the right position to start their drift using the best expert computer models of the surface currents. Obviously these models don’t reflect the reality of what it’s really like up there, and looking back with hindsight they really should have continued quite a distance more before shutting down their engines. At the rate the Polar Stern is drifting at the moment I reckon they will have to abandon the mission early, at least on ice that is, because of broken sea ice possibly well before the start of May.

Courtesy of MOSAiC

No major incursions of very mild air across the North Pole this year like happened last. Temperatures have been very cold as you would imagine, generally in the range -24°C to -32°C, but not exceptionally so. If there had been any quieter more anticyclonic spells allowing winds to fall light things might have got a lot colder. I think if there’s one thing I’ve learnt from this expedition, apart from the fragility of sea ice, is how windy it is up there.

Hourly surface temperatures

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