Hundreds of people have undergone intense preparation for an expedition in which they will encounter the harshest conditions on Earth. Complete darkness, heavy storms and temperatures as low as minus 50 degrees Fahrenheit.
The purpose of this expedition is to figure out what a warming Arctic means for all of us. Markus Rex is the leading scientist of this 600-person expedition, the largest ever.
How it will be carried out is by a ship that will leave from Tromsø, Norway, on September 20 and the ship will travel through the transpolar drift stream and float trapped in ice for a year, to northern Greenland. It’s named MOSAiC (Multidisciplinary drifting Observatory for the Study of Arctic Climate) and it will be the first major Arctic expedition in a region that climate change is warming faster than anywhere else on Earth.
It’s important for the Arctic to maintain it’s temperatures and not succumb to climate change because that region is where most of the weather is made. “Understanding the Arctic helps us understand extreme weather,” says Rex.
The Passengers boarding the Polarstern had to pass a rigorous training program where they were trained in firefighting, simulated evacuations and shooting rifles in case of polar bear attacks. Researching on the ice will be physically challenging. The ship also comes with a sauna, swimming pool, and a gym.
With climate change on the rise expeditions like these are vital so we can understand how to combat it and keep surviving as a species.