ARTofMELT 2023

ArtofMELT (Atmospheric rivers and the onset of sea ice melt) aims to study the effects of episodic transport of hot and humid air from mid-latitudes to the Arctic.

Expedition period

May–June 2023

Geographical area and strategy

The expedition will not have a predetermined route but instead targets the North-Atlantic sector of the ice-covered Arctic Ocean, relatively far north of the ice edge. The purpose is to get to the areas where hot air from the south penetrates into the Arctic and affects the melting period. With the help of specialized weather forecasts, I/B Oden will navigate in advance to positions where atmospheric rivers are expected to occur and detailed observations can be made when the hot air arrives (Figure 1). Since the conditions differ from year to year, the planning must be flexible, but it is estimated that Oden will move a handful of times, in order for the remaining time to lie still and allow longer measurement series and observations which then serve as a baseline.

When Oden is stationary in the ice, the ship will be facing the wind direction with limited activity on the foredeck. Most of the observations must be performed from on board the ship during the expedition, but measurements and sampling on the ice will be possible both when Oden is stationary and by helicopter during transits. Installations on the ice are limited to those that can be retrieved on board within one day.

Figure 1. Map of the Northern North-Atlantic Arctic with the perceived operations area outlined and possible pathways for atmospheric rivers indicated (red arrows).

Research areas

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
  • Any other science of opportunity that can benefit from the operation strategy or can operate under the principle of operations outlined above without interfering with the core observations.

Prerequisites for projects on board I/B Oden

All basic infrastructure on board the I/B Oden is provided and handled by the crew and by the staff of the Swedish Polar Research Secretariat, such as winches, cranes, etc. Some sampling equipment can also be provided, such as CTD, laboratories, water intake, gas, etc. Specific measuring instruments and research equipment are the responsibility of the research projects and the handling on board is done in close collaboration with the Swedish Polar Research Secretariat. You can find a technical description of I/B Oden here.


  • 9-10 November 2021
    Digital workshop, initial presentation of themes and interested projects.
  • 22 November 2021
    Interest questionnaire for participation in ARTofMELT
  • 16-17 March 2022
    Digital workshop with initial expedition planning
  • April 2022
  • Oktober 2022
    Workshop, Scope of Work (SOW)
  • December 2022
    Call for an artist on board I/B Oden
  • January 2023
    Call for an Early Career Program on board på I/B Oden

ARTofMELT 2023

May–June 2023

Arctic Ocean

Icebreaker Oden


For more information about ARToFMELT, please contact:

Cecilia Lund
Senior Research Officer,
Swedish Polar Research Secretariat

+46 73 644 58 08