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  • Thursday 31 July

    Yesterday we completed the first leg of ASCOS - the flight to Longyearbyen on Svalbard. This morning the icebreaker Oden arrived and we have spent the day getting equipment ready. We're leaving the dock tonight but will remain in the fjord tomorrow, completing preparations for the first observations stations that will occur in a few days, in the open water south of the ice edge and in the marginal ice zone. The weather has been fine, with a breeze but sunny a decent temperatures. I would be telling a lie if I said we are not a bit stressed right now.


    Oden in Longyearbyen harborOden in Longyearbyen harbor

  • ASCOS test cruise crew

    The transit of Oden from Sweden to Svalbard in June was utilized by a small crew for getting their instruments in order and to test or complete some of the installations for ASCOS. The picture below shows a group picture of the brave few that took this extra journey before the real ASCOS starts in August, taken on Odens helipad with the Svalbard coast in the background.

    Test cruise crewTest cruise crew

  • Continued installations on Oden

    In June Oden transitted from Sweden to Svalbard, and during this a small ASCOS crew contiuned working on the installation. The picture below shows two of them working on installing the sampling manifold for aerosols and gases on the 4th deck main lab roof.

    Test cruiseTest cruise

  • Loading of labs on Oden

    Mobilization week continued through the first week of June and into the weekend. A high point of the loading after Oden got out of the dry dock was the lifting on board of the new main aerosol lab that was built for ASCOS to go on the 4th deck of Oden. Main aerosol lab being loadedMain aerosol lab being loaded

    Containers on the main deck lab-roof was also loaded and as was lots of equipment to the 7th top deck, on the bridge roof, making use of the reach of the large cranes in the shipyard.449 MHz wind profiler449 MHz wind profiler

  • ASCOS preparation continues

    Last week mobilization of the icebreaker Oden for ASCOS started in Landskrona shipyard. Oden had been in dry dock for various repairs and maintenance and the mobilization started by equipping containers on the dockside.

    The moment of getting her out was a little too exciting as it turned out Oden was stuck on the bottom of the dock due to an unusually low water level. At 8 pm last Wednesday she however slipped out with just a centimeter or two to spare, aided by high tide, which on the Swedish west coast does not amount to a whole lot.

    Oden stuck in dry dock?Oden stuck in dry dock?

  • Pre-ASCOS test deployment of oceanographic instrumentation

    Most of the instrumentation going along on the ASCOS cruise was successfully deployed during second part of April around 88N. This deployment gave us a very valuable test before the ASCOS work, highlighting all those small details that has to be ready before August.  

    The picture shows the tent close to Ice Camp Barneo from which the microstructure profiler and the boundary layer turbulence instruments were deployed.The picture shows the tent close to Ice Camp Barneo from which the microstructure profiler and the boundary layer turbulence instruments were deployed.


  • ASCOS pre-expedition workshop

    The final ASCOS pre-expedition planning workshop was held at hotel Öresund and on the icebreaker Oden in Landskrona, in southern Sweden, on 8 - 10 April, 2008. Some 35 scientists - 14 nationalities representing institutes from 10 different nations(!) - met for three days to discuss science and logistics. And to see Oden first hand and meet its crew and the Polar Secretariat staff.

    Oden in port in Landskrona, Sweden.Oden in port in Landskrona, Sweden.

  • Fieldtests in Chibolton

    Fieldtests and training prior to ASCOS is now ongoing in Chibolton, UK. The two masts and the tethered balloon is being deployed by the time of writing. Below is an image of the small 15-metre tower.

    15-metre tower to be deployed in ASCOS15-metre tower to be deployed in ASCOS

  • Arctic warming with altitude

    This week ASCOS scientists from Stockholm University published results on the recent Arctic warming in Nature. The Nature editors summary was:

    'Some of the most pronounced signs of climate change have been seen in the Arctic, for example, near-surface warming there has been almost twice the global average over the past few decades. The underlying causes of this 'Arctic amplification' remain uncertain, but examination of a temperature data set based on modelling and observations in the region during this period provides some clues. The key finding is evidence for atmospheric temperature amplification well above the surface. This is unlikely to be a due to reduced snow and ice cover during the greater part of the year, suggesting that factors such as changes in atmospheric heat transport may be involved in the recent Arctic warming.'

    The story hit both national and international news and has already caused some debate in the blogosphere.

  • New ASCOS website announced

    In order to promote the ASCOS project to the public and create an common meeting-space for the participants we have created this new website. We hope the site will be valuable in creating collaboration between the participants. Webmaster.

    Photo: Stefan SöderbergPhoto: Stefan Söderberg