Exploring Arctic Transpolar Drift During Dramatic Sea Ice Retreat | Tara, a schooner for the planet

Exploring Arctic Transpolar Drift During Dramatic Sea Ice Retreat

© G.Redvers/Tara Expeditions

Tara Arctic

J.-C. GASCARD, J. FESTY, H. LE GOFF, M. WEBER,B. BRUEMMER, M. OFFERMANN, M. DOBLE, P. WADHAMS,R. FORSBERG, S. HANSON, H. SKOURUP, S. GERLAND,M. NICOLAUS, J.-P. METAXIAN, J. GRANGEON,J. HAAPALA, E. RINNE, C. HAAS, G. HEYGSTER,E. JAKOBSON, T. PALO, J. WILKINSON, L. KALESCHKE,K. CLAFFEY, B. ELDER, AND J. BOTTENHEIM

Eos, Vol. 89, No. 3, January 2008.

Abstract

The Arctic is undergoing significant environmentalchanges due to climate warming.The most evident signal of this warming isthe shrinking and thinning of the ice coverof the Arctic Ocean. If the warming continues,as global climate models predict, theArctic Ocean will change from a perenniallyice-covered to a seasonally ice-freeocean. Estimates as to when this will occurvary from the 2030s to the end of this century.One reason for this huge uncertainty isthe lack of systematic observations describingthe state, variability, and changes in theArctic Ocean.The Damocles project (Developing ArcticModelling and Observing Capabilities forLong-Term Environmental Studies) is helpingto fill the need for long-term observationsof the lower atmosphere, the sea ice,and the upper Arctic Ocean in order to betterpredict extreme climate events such asthe disappearance of sea ice in summer.