Icebreaker Oden in the Arctic in 2008. Photo: Thorsten Mauritsen
Icebreaker Oden in the Arctic in 2008. Photo: Thorsten Mauritsen

The expedition will occur in summer 2014. It will run almost 100 days, embarking from Tromsø, Norway on 6 July and proceeding along the Russian polar sea to Barrow, Alaska. Researchers and crew will be changed around 20 August in Barrow, when the second leg of the expedition will begin. The route back to Scandinavia will cross the Lomonosov Ridge, an underwater mountain chain near the North Pole, with the expedition expected to return to Tromsø on 4 October.

The main scientific questions will concern the linkages between climate, cryosphere, and carbon – hence the name “C3”. The researchers will study emissions of methane stored in the permafrost on the seabed as well as carbon transport routes in the sea and ice.

The research leader of the first leg, which has the theme “From permafrost thawing to the venting of greenhouse gases”, is Örjan Gustafsson, while the second leg, with the theme “From warming seawater and shrinking sea ice to the venting of greenhouse gases”, will be led by Martin Jakobsson. Both research leaders work at Stockholm University.

The researchers onboard the icebreaker Oden will be drawn from various institutions, including Stockholm University, the University of Gothenburg, the Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS), the International Arctic Research Center (IARC), and Rice University.

The icebreaker Oden is a unique research platform which, together with logistical and operational support from the Swedish Polar Research Secretariat, enables a unique opportunity for advanced research in remote areas that are difficult to access. The research is supported by a grant from the Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation.