The Most Extensive Climate Expedition To The Arctic Will Be Interrupted Due To A Pandemic
Researchers from 17 countries, including Germany, Russia, USA, Britain, France, and China went on an expedition to the Arctic to study climate change, had to interrupt it for three weeks, Associated Press reported on Friday.
According to the head of the expedition, German Markus Rex from the Alfred Wegener Institute for polar and marine research, there was a possibility that the expedition would be interrupted due to travel restrictions due to the pandemic, while the base needed to change the team and replenish supplies.
Earlier, two Twin Otter planes were able to pick up seven scientists who had completed their work and had to leave the Arctic urgently, but they were unable to deliver new researchers, food and other necessary items.
At the same time, due to the restrictions in place due to the pandemic, Rex noted, resupply and crew changes via Russia or Norway are not possible. However, the German research icebreaker Polarstern is expected to meet with two German vessels next week, which will deliver a new crew and supplies.
According to Rex, the new team of scientists will have to spend 14 days in quarantine in the German city of Bremerhaven to make sure that none of them is infected with the coronavirus. However, because of this maneuver, the researchers will have to suspend their work for three weeks.
He expressed hope that if everything goes according to plan, the icebreaker will continue its research and complete the expedition by October this year.
In September last year, it was reported that the German icebreaker Polarstern went on an expedition from Tromso, Norway, accompanied by a Russian vessel in search of a large ice floe suitable for placing a research base on it. Research is carried out by teams of about 100 people in turn: each of them is in the Arctic for two months. The group consists of about 600 researchers.
The unique feature of the expedition is that scientists conduct observations and collect data on the processes and ecosystem of the Arctic during all cycles of the seasons. Its cost is estimated at 140 million euros.