Researchers at the North Pole

Researchers at the North Pole

The North Pole in the Summer of 2022

After a long hiatus courtesy of the demise of the annual Barneo ice camp and the Covid-19 pandemic we are pleased to be able to report that an ice mass balance buoy has once again been installed on a floe in the vicinity of the North Pole. Here’s the evidence:

The ship in the background is not a traditional research icebreaker. It is Ponant Cruises’ Le Commandant Charcot, one of a number of new ice hardened cruise ships voyaging across the Arctic Ocean and adjacent seas. Le Commandant Charcot reached 90N on July 13th:

However he was beaten to the polar punch by the Russian nuclear powered icebreaker 50 Let Pobedy. This picture is dated July 12th, when snow looks to have been falling at the top of the world:

We are eagerly awaiting data from the newly installed buoy, but it seems we will have to wait a little longer:

However a snow buoy was also installed by the Alfred Wegener Institute at the same time as the SIMB3:

Data from that one is already available for download from the AWI web site. Whilst we await some thickness numbers, sea ice concentration around the Pole is currently remarkably low for the time of year. Here is a recent “false colour” MODIS image of the far north:

“False colour” image of the Central Arctic on July 22nd from the MODIS instrument on the Terra satellite

Here too is the latest AMSR2 sea ice concentration map of the Arctic Ocean:

[Edit – July 26th]There’s a clearer view of the fractured sea ice near the North Pole from on high this morning:

“False colour” image of the Central Arctic on July 22nd from the MODIS instrument on the Aqua satellite

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