Mosaic Expedition & Sea Ice Logistics (Chris Polashenski)

Video Shot in: 2023

Chris Polashenski discusses the Mosaic expedition, an extensive Arctic research campaign that he was set to join but was unable due to the pandemic. Instead, he supported his graduate students who continued the work in his absence. Polashenski highlights the logistical challenges and the success of the expedition in gathering a comprehensive data set across an entire year. He points out a significant finding: the expedition’s ship drifted from one side of the Arctic to the other in less than a year, a journey that previously took three years, illustrating the rapid changes in Arctic sea ice. The ice’s increased thinness and dynamism were so pronounced that traditional measurement methods, like ice mass balance stakes, were rendered ineffective—none survived the entire year. This drastic change in ice behavior not only underscores the accelerated pace of Arctic transformation but also challenges scientists to develop new methods for studying and understanding these rapid environmental shifts.