Marcel du Plessis works as a postdoc in Physical Oceanography at the University of Gothenburg. In December, he and three colleagues will travel with the South African icebreaker S.A. Agulhas II to the Weddell Sea which is part of the Antarctic Ocean.
Yesterday, 16 August at 20:46 UTC, the Swedish icebreaker Oden arrived at the North Pole for the tenth time. The first visit was made in 1991 when Oden was the first non-nuclear-powered ship to reach the North Pole together with the German research icebreaker Polarstern. Since then, Oden has been to the North Pole in 1996, 2001, 2004, 2005, 2009, 2012, 2016 and 2018.
Today, Chief Investigator Tobias Krantz submitted his final report on Swedish research infrastructure to Matilda Ernkrans, Minister of Higher Education and Research. Tobias Krantz has investigated how Swedish polar researchers' access to a polar-classified icebreaker can be secured in the future.
The research expedition Synoptic Arctic Survey, originally planned for 2020, had to be postponed due to the pandemic. Now, this year's expedition starts off by 38 researchers being quarantined at a hotel in Malmö on 16 July. Ten days later, the icebreaker Oden leaves Sweden to carry out measurements in one of the world's most difficult to access marine areas between Greenland and the North Pole.
Bacteria, and other small organisms without a cell nucleus, create conditions for life on our planet and assume art-like forms. This is something that fascinates Johan Wikner, professor of ecology at Umeå University, who is now preparing for the research expedition Synoptic Arctic Survey with the icebreaker Oden.