Conclusions from the ICE-cruise with RV Lance
After 3 weeks of intensive work in icy waters off northern Svalbard, this year's ICE-cruise ended on May 16 in Longyearbyen. During this period, we documented the spring ocean and ice conditions as well as the timing and composition of the ice algal and phytoplankton bloom. We also studied spring snow–ice–ocean–atmosphere interactions, which are of great importance for improving the performance of climate models.
We worked at a total of 51 stations where we took the pulse of the ocean with the CTD 96 times, drilled, dug and measured snow and ice thickness at 7 ice stations, flew more than 1200 km with the EM-bird (electro-magnetic device to measure ice thickness from the air) as part of an international campaign to calibrate the CryoSat-2 satellite, and took 108 water samples for studying phytoplankton, nutrients, and bacteria.
The ship never sleeps and work was performed around the clock – still the biologists asked for one more net sample, divers for one more dive and the ice physicists pestered the cruise leader for permission to jump over to the next ice floe. All signs of highly motivated scientists and technicians! Despite the fact that we worked on the ice, from the boat with water samples and flew the helicopter all at the same time – necessities of interdisciplinary research – most operations went smoothly and efficiently thanks to the willingness and consideration of the cruise participants and the excellence of RV Lance's crew. Special thanks are extended to the three group leaders: Haakon Hop, Arild Sundfjord and Mats Granskog for the excellent work they did with the planning of the cruise work and their teams during the cruise.
Even though we have successfully completed the cruise, the work does not end here. It only starts, with analyses of all the samples and data that were collected.