The Multidisciplinary drifting Observatory for the Study of Arctic Climate (MOSAiC) will be the first year-round expedition into the central Arctic exploring the Arctic climate system. The project with a total budget exceeding € 60 Million has been designed by an international consortium of leading polar research institutions, under the umbrella of the International Arctic Science Committee (IASC) and led by the Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research (AWI), Arctic and Antarctic Research Institute (AARI) and the University of Colorado, Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES).
The backbone of MOSAiC will be the year round operation of research icebreaker RV Polarstern, drifting with the sea ice across the central Arctic over the winter 2019-2020. In addition, a distributed regional network of observational sites will be set up on the sea ice in an area of up to ~50km distance from RV Polarstern. The ship and the surrounding network will drift with the natural ice drift across the polar cap towards the Atlantic, while the sea ice thickens during winter.
The results of MOSAiC will contribute to enhance understanding of the regional and global consequences of Arctic climate change and sea-ice loss and improve weather and climate predictions. The dramatic changes in the Arctic climate system and the fast retreat of Arctic sea ice are strongly affecting global climate and the inability of modern climate models to reproduce Arctic climate change is one of the most pressing problems in understanding and predicting global climate change. As a result, the urgency of year-round observations of key climate processes in the central Arctic has been highlighted by all major research initiatives including the IPCC.