Saturday, October 25, 2014

NABOS 2013

Last year, I was aboard the "NABOS 2013" scientific cruise which sailed in the Arctic Ocean. The purpose of the expedition was to take measurements of ocean temperature and salinity, install instruments that survey the thickness of sea ice, observe cloud patterns, determine the amount of methane and carbon dioxide in the air, and take as many other measurements as possible.

We spent over five weeks aboard the Russian Research Vessel Akademik Fedorov. The ship was 144m (472ft) long and could break through sea ice thicker than 1.5m (5ft). August to September is the melt season; the coldest air temperature during the trip was only -9C (16F), but the wind always felt bitterly chilly.

During the cruise we were lucky enough to see some wildlife such as polar bears, walrus, seals and birds. Maybe I'll see some penguins in Antarctica this year?

R/V Akademik Fedorov docked at Kirkenes, Norway

Path of the NABOS 2013 Scientific Cruise in the Arctic Ocean.  The blue dot is the North Pole.

R/V Akademik Fedorov makes its way through sea ice in the Arctic
Polar bears on sea ice in the Arctic Ocean
A fat and happy walrus
Installing an ice tethered profiler instrument which measures ocean temperature each day, down to a depth of 700m. The Arctic Ocean is over 4000m deep in some places.
Launching a weather balloon. Kensuke (on the left) is holding the white foam box that contains instruments for measuring temperature and humidity

John (on the left) and I drill through the sea ice in preparation for installing an Ice Mass Balance buoy (Photo: M. Tsukernik)
Deploying a deep sea mooring, which will measure ocean temperature and salinity. The mooring will stay in place for several years.