by Matthew Shupe, CIRES/NOAA scientist and co-coordinator of MOSAiC
After a few days of great progress, making more than 100 miles into the ice, the ship is now stopped. The ice has pressure, which makes for difficult movement. And so instead we must wait. Only about 30 miles to go until our MOSAiC ice floe, but still could be a long time. On the way out of the ice, Polarstern took a long time getting through this area of ice as well. It’s just somewhat thicker and under pressure. The thickness makes sense as this ice was further north than we were at the beginning of the drift back last October. It’s been drifting somewhat ahead of the MOSAiC floe the whole way. The time recently has been pretty nice out, occasionally sunny. This plays very nicely with the few melt ponds that are around, making them a deep blue set among the otherwise still very white ice and snow. We had an opportunity to go on the ice today. Some groups take samples and measure the ice. This is an opportunity to actually make some measurements that are somewhat representative of our MOSAiC area, but also to practice all of the many details of what it takes to work on the ice… The safety, and communication protocols, the preparation, sampling methods, and much more.This will help to get people into the headspace for hitting the ground running when we arrive at our destination.