MOSAiC Monday - October 28, 2019

One Planet, a Changing Climate


What Happens at the Poles Doesn't Stay at the Poles

The effects of global warming due to increased greenhouse gas emissions are more intense at the poles than other regions of the globe. In fact, temperatures in the Arctic are warming faster than any other place on Earth.

But what happens at the poles doesn't stay at the poles. The Arctic is changing, and this has an impact on other parts of the planet. Improving our understanding of the Arctic system through expeditions like MOSAiC can help us further refine global climate models.

Learn more:

Climate change in 60 seconds

Long distance relationships: the Arctic and North Atlantic

The mission of MOSAiC: Arctic climate and global climate models

NGSS icon*New* MOSAiC Monday and the NGSS

Good news for educators in the U.S. teaching with the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) or similar! We will now be tagging MOSAiC Monday engagements with the NGSS Disciplinary Core Idea subject(s), Science and Engineering Practice(s), and Crosscutting Concept(s) that they most closely connect to. Look for these symbols listed below each engagement: 

Disciplinary Core Idea Subjects
Science and Engineering Practices (adopted from the San Diego County Office of Education Science Resource Center)
Crosscutting Concepts (adopted from the San Diego County Office of Education Science Resource Center)


Climate Change Teaching Resources

Looking for NGSS-aligned resources for teaching about climate and climate change? Check out CLEAN (Climate Literacy & Energy Awareness Network) for free educational resources and to connect with a professional network of climate educators. 

CLEAN Network homepage

10-minute clock icon Quick Bite: You're Getting Warmer...

Looking at how global temperatures have changed over time can give us valuable insight into our planet's health. Show your students this animation of global temperature anomalies between 1880-2017. Make sure students know that this is not showing absolute temperatures, but rather how temperatures around the globe at different times in the past compare to the average temperature between 1951-1980 (warmer colors = hotter than average; cooler colors = cooler than average). Discuss as a class: What do you see? What do you notice? What is going on in the Arctic specifically?

Animation of global temperature anomalies between 1880-2017

Learn more about changing global temperatures

What is Arctic Amplification? 

NGSS icon: ESS NGSS icon - Analyzing data NGSS icon - Stability and Change NGSS icon - Patterns

15-min clock icon (Re)Defining the Arctic

Two weeks ago we addressed the question of how we define the Arctic region and discovered that there are several ways to do this depending on what parameter you use (ecosystem boundaries, Arctic treeline, temperature, etc.) Take a look back at the Definitions of the Arctic map, which shows six different ways to define the Arctic region. In small groups, have your students choose one of the definitions of the Arctic and discuss if and how this definition might change if the Arctic continues to warm as a result of climate change. Students can redraw the Arctic boundaries on a copy of the map if they like. Come back together as a class and ask students to talk about what conclusions they drew and why.

Download the Definitions of the Arctic map

How is the Arctic changing?

Climate change threats to Arctic indigenous peoples

NGSS icon _ESS NGSS icon - Engaging in Argument NGSS icon - Stability and Change

10-minute clock icon MOSAiC Weekly Tracking

Plot the Polarstern

Each week we will provide you with the latitude and longitude coordinates of the Polarstern so that your students can track its journey across the Arctic in your classroom.

Download the map to plot coordinates

Download a larger map of the Arctic for a bigger picture view of the expedition area

Location of the Polarstern
 Date  Latitude  Longitude
 September 16, 2019  69.68 N  18.99 E
 September 23, 2019  72.31 N  26.93 E
 September 30, 2019  85.12 N  138.05 E
 October 4, 2019**  85.08 N  134.43 E
 October 7, 2019  85.10 N  133.82 E
 October 14, 2019  84.85 N  135.03 E
 October 21, 2019  84.97 N  132.73 E
 October 28, 2019  85.47 N  127.07 E

 **Day when MOSAiC reached the ice floe that the Polarstern will become frozen in and drift with for the next year.

Log MOSAiC Data 

What happens in the Arctic as the seasons change? Find out firsthand with real-time Arctic data, provided for you here each week. 

Download a MOSAiC Data Logbook to keep track of Arctic conditions over the course of the expedition

Arctic Data*
 Date  Length of day (hrs)  Air temperature (deg C) at location of Polarstern  Arctic Sea Ice Extent (million km2)
 September 16, 2019  13.25  High: 10   Low: 4.4  3.9
 September 23, 2019  12.35  High: 6     Low: -1  4.1
 September 30, 2019  9.1  -4.7  4.4
 October 4, 2019**  6.27  -13.0  4.5
 October 7, 2019  3.05  -8.2  4.6
 October 14, 2019  0  -14.7  4.8
 October 21, 2019  0  -12.8  5.4
 October 28, 2019  0  -18.3  6.8

*Note: We expect data to fall within the following ranges: Length of day, 0-24 hours; Temperature, -40 to 14 degrees C; Sea ice extent, 3-15 million km2

**Day when MOSAiC reached the ice floe that the Polarstern will become frozen in and drift with for the next year.

Question icon#askmosaic: Send us your questions!

Have a question about MOSAiC? Send us a video or submit your question here!

Ship icon Follow the Journey

PolarTREC educator Katie Gavenus will be keeping a journal during her time aboard the Russian icebreaker Federov on the first leg of the MOSAiC expedition. Check out her Education Extensions at the end of each journal entry for more Arctic-related classroom activities. 

Read Katie's journals
Peruse other expedition blogs
Browse all Arctic and polar-related educational resources
Check out the MOSAiC Monday Archives

Is there something you'd like to see in MOSAiC Monday?  Let us know!
Send us your feedback

Next Week
  • Where are they now? MOSAiC update
  • Check in with the Polarstern