14th NABOS expedition embarks to assess the state of the eastern Arctic Ocean

us coast guard icebreaker healy in ice

A University of Alaska Fairbanks-led expedition embarks this week for a 38-day scientific cruise to assess the state of the eastern Arctic Ocean. The expedition, which is part of the Nansen and Amundsen Basins Observational System, is headed by Project Leader Igor Polyakov and NABOS Chief Scientist Andrey Pnyushkov, both with the International Arctic Research Center in Fairbanks.

This marks the 14th NABOS expedition to the Arctic Ocean since 2002, and it happens during a time of extraordinary changes in the Arctic. The exceptional magnitude of recent high-latitude changes in the ocean, ice and atmosphere strongly suggests that these changes signify a shift to a new Arctic climate state. This expedition will provide key information about the historical transitions occurring in the Arctic Ocean, and will provide participants a unique opportunity to witness these transitions first-hand.

Embarking from Kodiak, AK, traveling through the Arctic Ocean and ending at Tromsø, Norway, scientists aboard the United States Coast Guard Cutter Healy will recover scientific sensors deployed during a 2021 cruise. They will set out new equipment to continuously record temperature, salinity and currents at different ocean depths. The team will also conduct extensive ship-based surveys, gathering water and ice samples for future chemical analysis.

The data collected will strengthen scientific understanding of Arctic currents, ocean circulation and interactions between the Arctic and Atlantic oceans.

NABOS’ repeated oceanographic surveys and the long-term maintenance of ocean sensors has been made possible through effective international collaboration between scientists from a wide range of institutions and scientific disciplines.

This research is funded by the U.S. National Science Foundation.