by Matthew Shupe, CIRES/NOAA scientist and co-coordinator of MOSAiC

Lianna Nixon is onboard here, representing our Colorado/CIRES team. She’s working on a Master’s Degree in education and was selected to participate on our communications team. She takes truly fantastic photographs, of people, of wildlife. Capturing so many moments. For a project, she has asked us to write Letters to the Arctic, so here goes:

Dear Arctic,

For over 20 years we’ve known each other, in some way or another. First, a cold and frosty encounter; you, dark and mysterious, me, young and naïve. You piqued my curiosity, you compelled me with unknowns and questions. In time you drew my full attention and my admiration. Then a dance for many years, you’ve revealed so many sides to me: your complexity, your delicate balances, your transformations across seasons and decades. Even now you continue to remake yourself in a new image each year, as we both age and evolve. As I sit here exhausted after many intense months together, you continue to surprise me. I’m constantly in wonder at your power, yet vulnerability. At the depth of your blues, and the diverse angularity of your ice; at the bold independence of your fauna. I cannot help but think that our relationship continues, that you will tell me more of your story. And so, I will return to you, with more questions, seeking more answers. I will happily continue this journey with you to an unknown future.

Matthew

An aerial view of the Arctic landscape. Photo: Michael Gutsche/Alfred Wegener Institute

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