Blog from the RV Polarstern: MOSAiC trace gas fluxes update 5.4

Blog from the RV Polarstern: MOSAiC trace gas fluxes update 5.4

By Byron Blomquist


Leg 5 group photo by Lianna Nixon

Today (Sunday, Sept. 20th) marks exactly one year since our departure from Tromsø for Leg 1. It is also our last day at the Leg 5 ice floe. Yesterday we completed the removal of most equipment from the ice, including the ROV and Met huts, and this morning we will bring in the flux sleds. There will be a few on-ice events this afternoon to celebrate the completion of MOSAiC. We depart for Svalbard and Germany at 6 PM.

Our current position at 89°9' N is about 50 miles from the North Pole and 260 miles from the ice edge. We have 10 days to reach Svalbard, and if travel through the ice goes smoothly we will pause for some final ice station work near the marginal ice zone. Kevin and Helene will take out the flux chamber again if possible. Otherwise, our shipboard measurements from the bow tower will continue until the fjord in Svalbard where we will do the final tear-down of inlets and instruments and begin packing for the transit home.

In one sense it seems like only yesterday we were in Tromsø preparing the ship for departure, and in another sense it seems like a very long time ago indeed. We have more than 0.5 Tb of data on the workstation from our project alone, so despite all the setbacks it has been a very productive field program. I look forward to sharing some of the results once we have some internet bandwidth. Reaching this point is a huge accomplishment for us all and I want to acknowledge the hard work and sacrifice by Dean, Ludo, Hans-Werner, Kevin, Helene, Steve and our supporting colleagues back home for successfully completing the most challenging field project I've ever personally been involved in.

See you in a few weeks!


Photo: Leg 5 team members; Photo credit: Lianna Nixon, CIRES/CU Boulder