Nansen and Amundsen Basins Observational System


— at the Atlantic-Arctic frontier since 2002 —

NABOS 2021 Cruise: The Arctic Halocline

Filmed on location in the Arctic Ocean during the 2021 NABOS cruise, this film tells the story of the groundbreaking discoveries made by an international research program that has been monitoring the state of the Arctic Ocean continuously for the past 20 years.

In 2004, scientists observed the start of a decades-long warming trend in the eastern Arctic Ocean. A gradient of salty to fresh water known as the Arctic halocline blocks the heat carried by the Atlantic water layer from reaching the sea ice. The stability of the Arctic halocline is weakening. As it destablilizes, it releases the heat contained in the Atlantic layer to the bottom of the sea ice. This heat is enough to melt the Arctic sea ice cover several times over.

The Arctic Halocline was created by Amy Lauren, a filmmaker/artist working at the nexus between research, education and artistic practice.



We have been monitoring the interface between the Atlantic Ocean and the Arctic Ocean since 2002.



See cruise maps, data, reports, and more from 2002 to the present.



A wealth of scientific publications and other outreach materials have resulted from our research.


NABOS is part of the Arctic Observing Network. NABOS research is funded by the National Science foundation and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Since the early 2000s, the goal of NABOS has been to compile a cohesive picture of climatic changes in the Eurasian and Makarov basins of the Arctic Ocean. NABOS works to understand:

  • how boundary currents transport Atlantic Water
  • how Atlantic Water interacts with shelf waters, the deep basin interior, and the upper ocean
  • changes in upper ocean circulation within these basins

Partners with Arctic Observing Network funding

  • International Arctic Research Center, University of Alaska Fairbanks
  • Institute of Marine Science, University of Alaska Fairbanks
  • Applied Physics Laboratory, University of Washington

Other partners

  • Arctic and Antarctic Research Institute, Russia
  • Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences, USA
  • Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory, USA
  • Henriksen Shipping Company
  • Jet Propulsion Laboratory, USA
  • National Oceanography Center, Southampton, UK
  • Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, USA