MOSAiC station in Finland, Sammaltunturi

Professor Welker with his colleagues contributes to MOSAiC expedition

Jeff Welker, UArctic Research Chair and Professor of the University of Oulu and the University of Alaska Anchorage, and colleagues from across the Arctic will be contributing to MOSAiC, the largest Arctic scientific expedition, with their studies of the Arctic Water Isotope Cycle.

Prof. Welker´s 7-nation, network of water vapor and precipitation isotope monitoring and measuring stations in Alaska (Barrow and Toolik), Greenland (Thule & Nord), Sweden (Krycklan), Finland (Pallas), Svalbard-Norway (NyAlesund) and aboard the in German Polarstern Icebreaker will operate simultaneously 12+ months.  This first of it’s kind network, will track in real time water vapor and precipitation sources and transport within, out of and into the Arctic beginning this summer and throughout the Polar Night of winter 2019–2020 and through the spring and summer of 2020.

This MOSAiC Arctic Water Cycle study is funded by the US NSF Arctic Observing Network, Academy of Finland, and Arctic 5 collaboration between University of Oulu and University of Tromsø, and in-kind support by Germany, Denmark, Sweden and Norway.

Participating team members from the University of Oulu are Professor Björn Klöve and Doctors Kaisa-Riikka Mustonen, Hannu Marttila and Pertti Ala-aho.

MOSAiC has been 5 years in the planning and is being lead by the Alfred Wegener Institute (AWI) and will be centered in large part on the AWI Polarstern Icebreaker that will be frozen into the Eurasian Arctic in October and drift across the North Pole and down through the Fram Straight and into the Barents Sea next summer (See Map).  The Polarstern will house up to 100 scientists at a time, supporting ice camps, coordinating underwater UAV’s, sea ice camps and marine ecosystem process studies.

The primary goal of MOSAiC is to develop a better understanding of the coupling of atmospheric processes, sea ice properties, Arctic Ocean biogeochemistry, and marine processes.  Understanding these interactions in the eastern Arctic Basin will be used to resolve how sea ice changes are altering the function and structure of the Arctic region.  This transformational understanding will allow regional and global-scale models to more accurately predict global climates and weather of the future and completely alter the ability to predict sea-ice changes and it’s consequences in the future.

MOSAiC – The largest Central Arctic expedition ever


Map of the MOSAiC Arctic Water Vapor Isotope Network and the Polarstern ice-locked drift pattern from the Eastern Arctic, across the North Pole and through the Frame Straight into the Barents Sea region.


Main photo: MOSAiC station in the Arctic Finland, Sammaltunturi at Pallas National Park.



Last updated: 7.6.2019