ARICE invited for a webinar dedicated to pre-cruise planning and preparing for ship-based research activities organized by APECS and IOPAN on 19 February 2019 . Dr Agnieszka Beszczynska-Möller, physical oceanographer at Institute of Oceanology Polish Academy of Sciences (IOPAN) with extensive experience as a cruise leader of multiple Arctic scientific expeditions, talked about planning ship-based and long-term oceanographic field studies and pre-cruise logistics. Dr Allison Fong, biological oceanographer and microbial ecologist at the Alfred Wegener Institute (AWI), is a coordinator of the ecosystem team in MOSAiC and talked about planning large-scale sea ice and oceanographic research, and the challenges of combining multiple interests of different scientific teams during expeditions. Dr Monika Kędra, biological oceanographer and ecologist from IOPAN, shared her practical experience on planning and preparing Arctic multidisciplinary research with a main focus on marine ecology and biological oceanography. The webinar recording provides advice and shares good practices with early career researchers who are planning their field research and cruise sampling.
The recent changes of the Arctic and the resulting increased economic activity in the region have triggered a societal demand for accuratesea-ice and weather predictions, information on the status of the Arctic Ocean and its marine life, and complex predictions of future scenarios. To address these issues and to develop policy recommendations for a sustainable usage of the Arctic Ocean and its resources, the international Arctic science community must have access to world-class research icebreakers to access the ice-covered Arctic Ocean.
Even if European Arctic research has contributed critical knowledge to identifying the processes behind these rapid changes, datasets from the Arctic Ocean are still insufficient to fully understand and more effectively predict the effects of climate change. The largest gaps in our knowledge and understanding of the Arctic system processes are outside the summer season, when the Arctic Ocean is logistically and technologically extremely difficult to reach.
Currently, the lack of available research icebreakers from Europe and beyond that can operate yearlong in the ice covered Arctic Ocean, and a weakly coordinated polar research fleet impedes Europe’s capacity to investigate the changing Arctic. There is thus an urgent need for providing polar scientists with better research icebreaker capacities for the Arctic, to address the knowledge gaps and to develop policy recommendations for a sustainable usage of the Arctic Ocean and its resources.
This need has now been taken up by the EU funded Arctic Research Icebreaker Consortium (ARICE).
APECS is leading Work Package 3 „Educating a new generation of polar researchers and professionals“. By creating educational material and perform training activities, we are supporting early career polar scientists and professionals in planning and conducting ship-based research in ice-covered waters. Training activities will range from online training (webinars) to on-site and training courses, among them the MOSAiC School in Sept-Oct 2019.