Svalbard / Berlin (dpa) - After the personnel change in Svalbard, the Bremerhaven research ship "Polarstern" set out again on Monday in the central Arctic.
The scientific investigations of the one-year "Mosaic" expedition will continue there, as project manager Markus Rex said. Because of the corona pandemic, the "Polarstern" had to interrupt its ice drift in order to be able to take the new 100-man team on board and to let the old one go ashore. Originally scheduled flights had to be canceled due to corona restrictions.
The interruption of the expedition resulted in missing data for a month, Rex said. However, this should be borne in view of the fact that research expeditions worldwide had to be ended prematurely due to corona. "We will continue," he emphasized. "Mosaic was also threatened with demolition," emphasized Research Minister Anja Karliczek (CDU). Only with the "unconditional will" of all actors was it possible to find a solution.
Now the ice melt in the Arctic is starting a new phase of research. "The ice is getting thinner," said Rex. This posed a challenge for the new set-up of the measuring devices. The return of the "Polarstern" to Bremerhaven is expected as planned for October. The scientists hope that the data obtained will provide new insights into global climate change.