On the 7th ice station we tried to form TRANSSIZ. The "z" was kind of confused. Photo: Ilias Nasis

Leaving the Arctic Behind – Of Polar Cod and Going Home

Only few days are left; we are approaching the end of the cruise. Last Wednesday we already entered the open ocean and left the Arctic sea-ice edge behind. On our way south, we passed an area inhabited by quite a few seals, and some of us were lucky enough to see whales. On Tuesday we had our ... [Read more]
Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) under the ice. Photo: Christian Katlein

The Sea Ice Physics Team – From basic tools to advanced technology

For many people (including members of this blog team), remembering their physics lessons at school is not a very fond memory. Physics, often coupled with math, all too often seems very abstract. On a polar expedition, however, the physicists are a far cry from the stereotypical image of a ... [Read more]
A decapod squid caught by the Rectangular Midwater Trawl. Photo: HaukeFlores

TRANSSIZ Expedition - Facts and Figures of the different scientific programmes

We have now started our seventh ice station and thought it is about time to summarize the amount of samples that were collected within the past few weeks during our TRANSSIZ cruise. Because we are scientists, we approached this summary quantitatively. In order to study the sea-ice habitat, ... [Read more]
Sea ice algae below snow cover. Photo: Roland Sarda-Esteve

The Invisible Majority – How single cells make Earth habitable

  We are at our 6th ice station and the fog has rolled in. Standing out on the back deck, you feel almost like you are enclosed inside one of those tiny snow globes, the scenery blanketed in snow and the Polarstern wrapped in a foggy mist. Looking out over the rail of the Polarstern, ... [Read more]
…and sometimes we see beautiful contrasts in the sky and ice. Photo: Anna Nikolopoulos

A special balloon – Meteorological observations on board Polarstern

The strong winds of the last couple of days complicated the work on the ship and on the ice. Not only do you constantly have to keep an eye to prevent your stuff from flying away, it also makes it very cold. The people that go to work outside put on an extra layer of clothes and cover up as ... [Read more]
Successful scientists enjoying the sunshine after busy work on the ice while waiting to be transported back onboard by mummy cage, back row L-R: Sarah Zwicker, Mischa Ungermann, Ulrike Dietrich, Achim Randelhoff; front row: Christine Dybwad. Photo: C. Dybwad

Approaching mid-point of the expedition: Thoughts and experiences from the science team

We are approaching the mid-point of the TRANSSIZ cruise on the Polarstern and we wanted to hear some thoughts and experiences from members of the science team. We went around and asked cruise participants a few simple, rapid-fire questions, hoping to get responses off the top of their heads. Here ... [Read more]