Multidisciplinary drifting Observatory for the Study of Arctic Climate (MOSAiC) expedition refers to the one-year long expedition - between 2019-2020 - into the Central Arctic region to understand its climatic system. On September 2019, the German research icebreaker RV Polarstern set sail from Tromso, Norway, to spend a year drifting through the Arctic Ocean, trapped in ice. The goal of the MOSAiC expedition was to take the closest look ever at the Arctic as the epicentre of global warming and to gain fundamental insights that are key to understanding global climate change. The expedition followed in the lead set by Fridtjof Nansen's ground-breaking expedition with his wooden sailing ship Fram in 1893-1896, to bring a modern research icebreaker close to the North Pole for a full year including for the first time in polar winter. MOSAiC expedition came to an end recently, on October 12, 2020.
The salient features of the MOSAiC expedition include:
·More than 442 researchers from some 80 different institutions in 20 different countries, including Canada, worked on the Polarstern at some point during the expedition.
·The final cost of the expedition was 150 million euros, of which Germany supplied roughly two-thirds of the budget.
·Officials from the expedition state that throughout their long months in the Arctic ice, the experts retrieved a unique wealth of data, which generations to come will profit from: gathered at the epicentre of climate change, it will help to fill critical gaps in our understanding of the region, allowing us to re-assess and more accurately evaluate our current climate models.
·The research is crucial as changes in the Arctic climate system and melting of sea ice is affecting global climatic conditions.
·The thawing has opened up new shipping routes
·Raw materials, new fishing grounds, etc. are now exposed due to the melting
·The ice is disappearing and if in a few decades we have an ice-free Arctic - this will have a major impact on the climate around the world.
India has been an observer at the Arctic Council and in 2015, it even set-up an underground observatory, ‘IndARC’ at Kongsfjorden fjord, located between Morway and North Pole. HIMADRI – India’s first research station is located at Interbational Arctic Research Base, Norway.