The icy landscape of the Arctic as we imagine it will no longer exist in just a few decades, researchers returning from a major expedition to the frozen north have warned.
“This world is threatened. We really saw how the ice is disappearing,” said Markus Rex, leader of the largest-ever Arctic expedition, at a press conference Monday.
Researchers involved in the expedition called MOSAiC — Multidisciplinary drifting Observatory for the Study of Arctic Climate — returned on the German vessel, the Polarstern, which spent more than a year at sea.
For much of the mission, the Polarstern was carried by the natural ice drift, pushed on by the wind, while researchers from 20 countries collected data about the environment and climate change. No other expedition to date has been able to collect similar evidence from the center of the Arctic, with the vessel spending weeks within 125 miles of the
In the spring of 1905, eight researchers from the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco set sail on a mission to complete a major comprehensive survey of the Galapagos Islands, something that no other institution had yet to accomplish. For 17 months, well-trained specialists in the fields of botany, geology, paleontology, entomology, malacology (the study of mollusks), ornithology and herpetology went on a collecting spree. They gathered multiple specimens of plants, birds, mammals, insects and reptiles. While they suspected that the collected specimens would help solidify Darwin’s theory of evolution and inform the world about Galapagos wildlife, they couldn’t have imagined that when they returned home, their city would be recovering from a catastrophic earthquake and conflagration that nearly destroyed their own institution.
“The Galapagos expedition was kind of a way to prove themselves. In the vein of, ‘We’re this scrappy little West Coast institution and we want to