top-stories sweden

Arctic expedition: Arrival of an atmospheric river

When the sun breaks through, bog bows have become more common; a cousin to the more elaborate rainbow. Photo: Michael Tjernström

Scientists participating in the ARTofMELT2023 expedition in the High Arctic have been eagerly anticipating the arrival of an atmospheric river (AR), a warm and moist air mass that triggers sea ice melt and signifies the transition to summer. The expedition aims to study the effects of atmospheric rivers on the ice surface, providing insights for predicting future climate changes in the Arctic and globally. Despite a late arrival, the AR finally arrived, causing rapid changes to the ice surface, including the formation of azure-blue melt ponds. Initially, the expedition faced challenges due to low visibility caused by fog and visits from polar bears, but this provided an opportunity for aerosol scientists to collect data on aerosol particles within the fog, contributing to their understanding of fog and cloud formation and their role in energy transport and sea ice melt onset.

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