Curtain falls of history’s biggest Arctic science expedition

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The Polarstern research vessel returned to Bremerhaven, Germany, on 12 October after a yearlong drift across the Arctic.

David Hecker/Getty Images

By Chelsea Harvey, E&E NewsOct. 13, 2020 , 10:50 AM

Originally published by E&E News

The largest Arctic science expedition in history came to a close yesterday, as the German research vessel Polarstern sailed into the port at Bremerhaven, Germany.

The Polarstern spent the past year drifting across the Arctic Ocean, frozen into the sea ice at the top of the world. As it floated across the central Arctic, scientists on board collected myriad data on the Arctic climate system — its clouds, atmosphere, ocean physics, and biology, to name a few.

Spearheaded by the Alfred Wegener Institute in Germany and known as the MOSAiC Expedition—short for Multidisciplinary Drifting Observatory for the Study of Arctic Climate—the mission involved collaborations from hundreds of scientists at research institutions around the world.

The mission sought to provide an unprecedented opportunity to study the rapidly melting Arctic, currently one of the fastest warming parts of the globe, for a full year from the inside out.

“I can honestly say it has been a historic milestone for Arctic research,” Markus Rex, a scientist at the …

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