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Science & Technology

Ship set to be deliberately trapped in ice

February 20, 2017 | Comment icon 4 comments

The RV Polarstern. Image Credit: CC BY-SA 2.5 Hannes Grobe
Scientists are planning to sail a research vessel to the Arctic so it can get stuck in the ice on purpose.
For early Arctic explorers, becoming trapped in the ice was a nightmare come true - a situation that, if not resolved quickly, could ultimately end both their expedition and their lives.

Now though, climate researchers have taken inspiration from these early Arctic voyages by putting together a plan that will deliberately entrap a research vessel - the RV Polarstern - in the ice.

"The plan is to travel in summer when sea ice is thin and sea extent is much smaller," said project co-leader Professor Markus Rex. "We can travel along the Siberian coast and then make our way with our ice-breaker to the Siberian sector of the Arctic."
"Then we just stop the engines and drift with the sea ice."

Known as Mosaic (Multidisciplinary drifting Observatory for the Study of Arctic Climate), the $53 million endeavour will ultimately help to provide more accurate climate and weather forecasts.

"In winter the ice is too thick to travel through the ice, we can't break it," said Professor Rex. "It would be way too dangerous to go on snowmobiles, and we have many many containers of big instruments for studying the climate systems which we could never bring in snowmobiles."

"There are many, many, really small scale processes which affect the climate on a regional and global scale in the Arctic which we can't observe from a satellite."

Source: Sky News | Comments (4)

Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by Manfred von Dreidecker 5 years ago
Oh no, what a sad fate for Boaty McBoatface.  
Comment icon #2 Posted by paperdyer 5 years ago
And if they don't get trapped global warming will be blamed for sure!
Comment icon #3 Posted by Nnicolette 5 years ago
Brave sailors!
Comment icon #4 Posted by Silent Trinity 5 years ago
I'm fairly sure this will be the first time their insurance underwriters will have heard this....

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