MOSAiC - The key to the Arctic puzzle

The MOSAiC expedition will help us gain a better understanding of the evolving Arctic system. Over the course of the entire year-long expedition, including winter and spring, an international team of experts, with a vast array of large and small scientific instruments, will closely observe all the pieces of the Arctic climate puzzle - the atmosphere, sea ice, ocean, ecosystem, biogeochemical processes, and more - and put these together to develop a more complete understanding of how they interact and respond to change.

This new data will allow us to more accurately represent key processes using Earth system models, and as a result, provide urgently needed and more reliable prognoses regarding climate developments, for the Arctic and beyond.

The MOSAiC expedition’s findings will also enable researchers to gain deeper insights into the feedbacks between the Arctic climate and the lower latitudes around the globe where most people live. More accurate Earth system models lead to better weather and sea-ice forecasts, which are essential for day-to-day planning, management of resources, transportation, and many other societally-relevant activities in the Arctic and at home.

MOSAiC’s contribution to Arctic protection

Improved climate forecasts are also extremely important for the Arctic itself, since the overall warming and the loss of sea ice are changing the face of the Arctic region. Clear research findings, like those provided by MOSAiC, can offer a sound scientific basis for future political decisions regarding environmental protection, sustainable economic development, and global cooperation around the Arctic. For example, retreating ice extent is modifying habitat for many species; understanding the impact of these changes will enable a better understanding, and management, of these systems with implications on ecosystems, food supplies, and more.

Furthermore, the thawing ice is making the Arctic increasingly interesting from an economic perspective. New shipping routes are opening up. Raw materials, like natural gas, crude oil and metals, which were previously buried under the ice, are becoming exposed, and new fishing grounds will become accessible. This means that clear framework conditions are needed to ensure the Arctic is developed sustainably. Setting these conditions requires a solid understanding of the Arctic climate and environmental systems. Only then will it be possible to have a well-founded political and public discussion on the basis of scientific findings. MOSAiC will help to provide that basis.