Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Zeppelin Expedition Will Survey Sea Ice In The Arctic

Date:
April 12, 2007
Source:
Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research
Summary:
In 2008, scientists will, for the very first time, create a continual profile of ice thickness in the Arctic, extending from the Canadian coast across the North Pole to Siberia. At the core of the project lies the crossing of the North Pole by zeppelin.

Photo composition of the airship "Dirigeable," carrying the EM-Bird. The zeppelin is currently built in Moscow.
Credit: Credit: Total

In 2008, scientists will, for the very first time, create a continual profile of ice thickness in the Arctic, extending from the Canadian coast across the North Pole to Siberia. At the core of the project lies the crossing of the North Pole by zeppelin. The airship will be equipped with an electromagnetic sensor developed at the Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research, one of the 15 research centres within the Helmholtz Association. The sensational project of French physician Jean-Louis Etienne is financed by the French oil company Total and will be presented in Berlin on April 5.

Background

The extent of sea ice cover in the Arctic Ocean is declining strongly. This reduction in the North represents a stark contrast to sea ice cover in the Antarctic where even a slight increase is detectable. "There is almost no information about regional distribution of ice thickness in the Arctic and Antarctic", explains Dr Christian Haas, geophysicist at the Alfred Wegener Institute. "This lack of knowledge is a consequence of major methodological problems associated with measuring ice floes of only several metres thickness, and of the logistical difficulties of venturing into the central Arctic." The development of ice cover in the polar oceans represents one of the key questions in climate research, and hence is among the core research topics during the International Polar Year 2007 / 2008.

An electromagnetic bird above the Arctic

The Alfred Wegener Institute is the only research institute worldwide to have been conducting sporadic measurements of sea ice thickness in the High Arctic, i.e. between Spitsbergen, the North Pole and the Canadian coast. Facilitated by the privately organised, French PoleAirship project, this research can now be significantly advanced. The physician and explorer Jean-Louis Etienne, financially supported by French oil company Total, is providing the unique opportunity to cross the Arctic by airship.

During the crossing, the so-called EM-Bird, an instrument specifically developed at the Alfred Wegener Institute to measure ice thickness, will be able to collect ice thickness data for the first time continually and across extensive regions of the whole Arctic. In April of 2008, the airship will fly from Spitsbergen to the Canadian coast via the North Pole, and then on to Alaska, whilst surveying the main sea ice regions in the Arctic. The resulting data set will permit comparisons with previous measurements and can serve as a reference for future campaigns.

A continual ice thickness profile, extending from the Canadian coast across the North Pole to the Siberian Arctic, will be the unparalleled first-time product of the expedition. The PoleAirship mission should also be viewed within the context of the large-scale EU project DAMOCLES (Developing Arctic Modelling and Observing Capabilities for Long-term Environmental Studies), ongoing since 2005 and uniting 44 scientific institutions from 10 European countries in their extensive investigations of ocean atmosphere and sea ice.

In April 2007, the PoleAirship project will first venture towards the North Pole without the airship, in order to collect an initial set of reference data by helicopter, as well as to test the accuracy of the measuring technique. For this purpose, scuba divers and a remotely operated vehicle will be used to compare the actual with the electromagnetically determined thickness of press ice backs up to 50 metres thick. The research team will stay in tents on the ice, and will be supplied from aircraft.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research. "Zeppelin Expedition Will Survey Sea Ice In The Arctic." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 12 April 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/04/070412093800.htm>.
Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research. (2007, April 12). Zeppelin Expedition Will Survey Sea Ice In The Arctic. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/04/070412093800.htm
Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research. "Zeppelin Expedition Will Survey Sea Ice In The Arctic." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/04/070412093800.htm (accessed April 20, 2014).

Share This



More Earth & Climate News

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Drought Concerns May Hurt Lake Tourism

Drought Concerns May Hurt Lake Tourism

AP (Apr. 18, 2014) Operators of recreational businesses on western reservoirs worry that ongoing drought concerns will keep boaters and other visitors from flocking to the popular summer attractions. (April 18) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Man Claims He Found Loch Ness Monster With... Apple Maps?

Man Claims He Found Loch Ness Monster With... Apple Maps?

Newsy (Apr. 18, 2014) Andy Dixon showed the Daily Mail a screenshot of what he believes to be the mythical beast swimming just below the lake's surface. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
First Ever 'Female Penis' Discovered In Animal Kingdom

First Ever 'Female Penis' Discovered In Animal Kingdom

Newsy (Apr. 18, 2014) Not only are these newly discovered bugs' sex organs reversed, but they also mate for up to 70 hours. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ark. Man Finds 6-Carat Diamond At State Park

Ark. Man Finds 6-Carat Diamond At State Park

Newsy (Apr. 18, 2014) An Arkansas man has found a nearly 6.2-carat diamond, which he dubbed "The Limitless Diamond," at the Crater of Diamonds State Park. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins