Bear scientist gives a helping hand. (Marcus Huntemann)

The image above was sent to us from Rasmus Tonboe who is from the Danish Meteorological Institute and one of the scientists taking part in the MOSAiC expedition. Spearheaded by the Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research (AWI), the expedition involves the Polarstern German research icebreaker spending a year trapped and drifting in the sea ice so that scientists from around the world can study the Arctic as the epicentre of global warming and gain fundamental insights that are key to better understand global climate change.

This extraordinary expedition is set to make a step change in climate science – and ESA is contributing with a range of experiments mainly funded through the Agency’s SMOS and CryoSat missions and Science for Society initiative.

The experiments Rasmus is working on are related to studying how the snow and ice changes through the seasons. This involves setting up a range of different instruments out on the ice including radiometers called EMIRAD and ELBARA.

While helping hands are much appreciated and, indeed, scientists from many different institutes are working together, the helping hands of a polar bear are probably less welcome. Here, we see a polar bear interfering with one of the instruments and actually changing its position. However, from the point of view of the polar bear – this is his home and these scientific instruments are mere toys to play with in an otherwise barren landscape!

We wish Rasmus and fellow scientists much luck with their ongoing efforts.

Post from: Tânia Casal (ESA)