Iceland Greenland seas Project (IGP) members are ready to begin the journey of Leg 2; the ultimate exploration of the mysterious north. Or more precisely, the mysteries in the Greenland and Icelandic basin. What facts and treasures are hiding in the ocean and atmosphere? We are on a mission to reveal the truth.
Few scientists have tried to solve these mysterious before, as their previously focus have been in the Fram Strait, Bering Strait and the Denmark Strait. The lack of data is therefore a significant reason for us to be at seas and do observations. We want to determine the ocean convection, water properties and ocean-atmosphere interaction in the western Icelandic and Greenland basin, during cold air outbreaks. The fact we have especially little wintertime data in this region means we will most likely get some revealing results and a grasp on what is happening here.
The retreat and effects of the sea ice along the east Greenland coast is also of important manner to discuss – what affect will this have on the overflow water in the Denmark Strait? And how will these parameters influence the global overturning circulation? Some believe that the Atlantic water from the North Pole, carried by the East Greenland Current (EGC), is ventilated west in the Greenland and Iceland basin. This means that the southward Atlantic deep-water is in touch with the atmosphere again, cooling the water even more so that it loses buoyancy and sinks. Phenomena like this will change the properties of the water reaching the Denmark Strait, but how this will further affect the global overturning circulation is yet to be examined.
However, we are not only trapped in horrible, freezing, wet, sea sickness inducing weather. There are also some magnificent views to catch along the way: the beautiful green-ish water dancing under the horizon of a sunset. A bit breath taking if you ask me. Another breath taking thing is pasta. Even though pasta is tremendous delicious, eating it every lunch and dinner for four weeks, well, either you learn to love it, or arrive late to only get the second “surprising dish”.
Elsewise, we have fired loads of xCTDs and xBTs, deployed many weather balloons, taken water samples and have gotten the wild-glider back on track (after a little trip underneath the ice).