Association of Polar Early Career Scientists


September 29, 2019

Drift models are computer programs used to predict the movement of sea ice and ice bergs. During his lecture, Thomas Rackow discussed using drift models to predict the drift pattern of Polarstern. This is what led the expedition to the Arctic Ocean over northern Russia; models predicted this area would result in a drift pattern that would carry Polarstern across the Arctic Ocean and emerge somewhere in the Fram Strait the following year. The expedition follows in the footsteps of Fridtjof Nansen’s expedition aboard the Fram from 1893 to 1896.

Information about the expedition can be found at

It is also possible to back-track the origin of the ice floe ultimately selected to moor the Polarstern to for the expedition. A project was started amongst some students, Thomas and Michel Tsamados to try to determine the origin of the floe selected for the MOSAiC expedition, using a drift model and satellite images. They were able to track the floe back to August but were missing data from July to mid-August. This is where their efforts stopped. However, efforts to find the origin of the floe continued and resulted in a publication:

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