Arctic expeditions with the icebreaker Oden are usually carried out from July to September when the sea ice is easiest to get through. But in 2023, the researchers leave in May to get to the Arctic Ocean at the beginning of the melting season. The researchers within ARTofMELT (Atmospheric rivers and the onset of sea ice melt) want to find out, among other things, when the ice starts to melt and what processes are important for the melting process.
One theory is that powerful flows of warm and moist air penetrate from the south and set in motion the melting of the Arctic Ocean. But so far, there are few studies that describe how this happens. However, there is research that suggests that these warm air flows become more frequent, stronger, and longer-lasting in a warmer climate. To assess the future climate more reliably – in the Arctic and globally – computer models are needed where both these air currents and the processes they set in motion are correctly described. To achieve this requires an understanding that can only be based on observations.
Once Oden is in the North Atlantic part of the Arctic Ocean, the goal is to get to the areas where warm air pushes up from the south. Using specialized weather forecasts, the icebreaker Oden will navigate in advance to positions where warm air is expected to arrive. The researchers can then make detailed observations focusing on understanding important processes.
News about the expedition
20 Mar 2023 Expedition controlled by the weather
During this year's Arctic expedition with the icebreaker Oden, the researchers want to document the transition between winter and summer. This goal requires flexible planning and, based on weather forecasts, being able to move Oden to places where warm air enters the Arctic.
13 Feb 2023 "In my art, I build my own worlds and realities where I can investigate the unknown"
The artist Ida Rödén will participate in this year's research expedition with the icebreaker Oden. Along for the ride is Jonas Falck, a fictional scientist who considered himself one of Carl von Linné's apostles ‒ but was never accepted by Linné. Ida Rödén has explored the world with Jonas Falck since 2014. She has sometimes thought that the work with the scientist is over. But every time she has set a point and shifted focus, something new has begun to loom. The exploration continues, and this time, the two companions will visit the Arctic Ocean.
09 Feb 2023 Early expedition to study the onset of melting season in the Arctic Ocean
Every summer, part of the Arctic sea ice melts away, and the melting season is becoming longer. Since the end of the last century, the area covered by ice at the end of summer has gradually decreased, and today, the area is less than half of what it was at the end of the 1970s. To study the arrival of spring in the Arctic – when it comes and how it happens – this year's research expedition with the icebreaker Oden is being carried out earlier than usual.
7 May – 15 June 2023
Area: Arctic Ocean
Ship: Icebreaker Oden
Chief Scientist: Michael Tjernström
Co-Chief Scientist: Paul Zieger
Work packages: TBD
Expedition coordinator: Åsa Lindgren
The icebreaker Oden will conduct the expedition in the Arctic Ocean with the aim of understanding the interaction between the latitudes and the Arctic and what happens when the annual surface melt of sea ice begins, which is a central issue for many Arctic scientific disciplines. Within the current theme, the following areas will be of interest to study.
- Atmospheric sciences: meteorology, aerosols, aerosol-cloud interaction, cloud physics, atmospheric chemistry and transport of airborne pollutants
- Physics and chemistry of snow, as melt starts
- Sea-ice physics; ice response to a changing surface energy budget
- Upper-ocean mixing and heat transfer, from the ice and downward
- Marine chemistry, biology and biogeochemistry
- Coupled vertical fluxes of energy, momentum, gases and matter between all of the above