Henry Páll Wulff
Expedition Guide, Naturalist
Photographer, Author, Podcaster, Traveler, Educator
The largest research expedition to the Arctic of all times and one of humanity’s greatest efforts to understand how melting at the pole will affect the rest of the planet has been 5 years in the planning and is being lead by the Alfred Wegener Institute (AWI). The Multidisciplinary drifting Observatory for the Study of Arctic Climate (MOSAiC) aims at a breakthrough in understanding the Arctic climate system and in its representation in global climate models. In order to achieve this, the research icebreaker Polarstern will be frozen into the Arctic sea ice and starts drifting with the transpolar drift through the North Pole to the Fram Strait between Greenland and Svalbard. The Polarstern serves as the basis for more than 300 scientists. The sheer scale of this expedition is enormous: 600 experts, 390 days, 60 research institutions, 19 nations, 5 icebreakers, € 140 million estimated overall costs. Expedition head Markus Rex calls the Arctic “the epicenter of global warming.” Nowhere on Earth is changing as fast as there, where temperatures are an estimated 7°C higher than they were 150 years ago. We met Project manager Anja Sommerfeld at the 2019 Arctic Circle Assembly, where she gave us a closer look at the mission. You can find a recording of the satellite telephone call with expedition leader Markus Rex here. For German speakers there is episode 160 of Resonator podcast out there with an interview with Expedition Leader Markus Rex.