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    The Largest Arctic Expedition Ever Is Freezing Itself in the Ice, Here’s Why
    Articles, Blog

    The Largest Arctic Expedition Ever Is Freezing Itself in the Ice, Here’s Why

    December 7, 2019

    Last month, hundreds of researchers from all
    over the world started the largest-ever Arctic expedition aboard a ship just over 500 kilometers
    from the North Pole. What makes this project even more unique is that the entire ship will
    be frozen, embedded in sea ice for an entire year. So it begs the question, why are they
    even doing this? For starters, it’s the most ambitious climate
    change expedition ever attempted of the Arctic. The Multidisciplinary Drifting Observatory
    for the Study of Arctic Climate, or MOSAiC, will be studying the effects of a warming
    climate on the central Arctic’s atmosphere, ice, ocean, and ecosystems. By drifting with
    the ice for a year, the team will be able to collect the necessary information to create
    better climate models to help inform what the Arctic will look like as it continues
    to warm. “For us, there are a number of knowns and
    unknowns. The knowns are that we are going out to the Arctic with all kinds of instrumentation,
    more than there’s ever been on a ship before out in the Arctic. We know we’re going to
    get a lot of first measurements of many types of data. It’s our first look at things like winter time aerosol properties, first look at like scanning cloud radar measurements. Then there’s a lot of unknowns, and those are really related to the conditions that we’re going to encounter there.
    So the sea ice, we’re really at the mercy of the sea ice.”
    When they arrived at their destination, the German icebreaker, called Polarstern, chose
    the perfect ice floe to attach itself to, a crucial part of this mission since the ice
    needs to withstand the weight of heavy instruments. This ice floe will serve as the so-called
    ‘ice camp’ for the expedition’s experiments and a landing strip for research planes. Once
    frozen in place, the scientists will have to set up camp quickly, as winter is coming
    for roughly 150 days, and come November, they’ll be operating in complete darkness.
    And that is when nature takes over. Drifting at about 7 km per day, the frozen ship hopes
    to follow the path taken by ice floes along a phenomenon called the transpolar drift.
    This path will allow the ship to drift from the pole and move south towards the Fram Strait,
    located east of Greenland, where the expedition will come to a close.
    The ship will have about 100 people aboard at a time. It will be frozen in place, in complete darkness, while research continues. And the Polarstern will be at the
    center of most of MOSAiC’s research, containing laboratories and technical equipment onboard
    to take measurements and observe the environment. At the base camp, experiments will be divided
    into different hubs like ROV City, which will use remotely operated vehicles to observe
    marine organisms and collect water samples from beneath the ice. Or MET city which will
    measure the composition of the atmosphere using tethered balloons, which will continuously
    float 2 km above the camp. On top of all the research, the Polarstern will have a distributed
    network of observational sites operating within a 50 km radius of the ship, which will be
    equipped with remote and autonomous sensors to collect additional oceanic, ice, and atmospheric
    data. “At the end of our year in the Arctic, we’re going to learn a lot about the new Arctic system. With thinner sea ice, with the interactions that are
    adapting themselves to the change, we’re going to learn a lot about how the Arctic is manifesting.”
    And in the spirit of collaboration, the researchers will upload their information to a database,
    making it accessible to their hundreds of MOSAiC colleagues worldwide. So we’ll just
    have to wait and see the anticipated results of this expedition that could help us better
    map the future of our planet. Are there any other scientific expeditions
    that you’d like to see us cover, let us know down in the comments. Make sure to subscribe
    to Seeker and thanks for watching.

    If You Don’t Know, Now You Know: Russia & China | The Daily Show
    Articles, Blog

    If You Don’t Know, Now You Know: Russia & China | The Daily Show

    December 7, 2019

    Russia. For decades, the Soviet superpower has been
    America’s number one rival. There was
    the Cuban Missile Crisis, meddling in the 2016 elections, and on Twitter,
    they challenged Tom Cruise to an MMA fight,
    and nobody can figure out why. And just when we thought Russia’s antics couldn’t get
    any crazier, a few days ago, they pulled
    this move on the high seas. We begin this evening
    with a dangerously close call on the high seas
    between a Russian destroyer and a U.S. warship. Those ships coming
    within feet of one another, forcing the Americans
    to take drastic action to avoid a disastrous collision. MAN 2: This image capturing
    just how close the ships came
    to a catastrophic collision. As little as 50 feet,
    according to the U.S. Navy. This video from the deck
    of the U.S.S. Chancellorsville showing the Russian destroyer
    was so close, you could see Russian sailors
    sunbathing on the deck. -(laughter)
    -Sweet lord. (laughter) Russians are hardcore. You realize these ships are
    about to crash into each other. American soldiers are like,
    “Prepare for breach!” And the Russian soldiers
    are like, “Dmitri, take off your shirt.” (laughter) “Let’s get suntan
    before we die, yeah. Don’t want to meet Jesus
    as pasty bitch.” (laughter) But this is pretty crazy, man. This is pretty crazy. A Russian warship
    basically tried to ram into an American ship
    in the middle of the ocean. All right,
    and let’s be honest. That had to be on purpose. What other excuse is there? Do you know
    how big the ocean is? You have to really
    go out of your way to collide with someone. It’s like walking into someone
    at Ted Cruz’s birthday party. There’s no one else there. You did you it on purpose. (laughter) Now the question is,
    the question is, where would Russia get the balls to play chicken
    against America in the Pacific? Well, maybe
    it’s because they’ve got a new and powerful BFF. MAN: Just as President Trump
    was meeting with America’s most important
    allies in Europe, two of America’s
    biggest adversaries were holding court in Moscow. It was a split screen
    tailor-made by Russian president
    Vladimir Putin. Putin hosted
    Chinese president Xi Jinping. Xi calling Putin his
    “best and bosom friend,” saying he cherished
    their deep friendship. MAN 2: The two enjoying
    a leisurely boat ride in St. Petersburg yesterday. That’s right. Xi and Putin
    have gotten so close, they’re even taking boat rides
    together. And not just a normal boat ride. Putin even helped Xi recreate
    that scene from Titanic. He was like, “Yeah.
    I’m king of the world! No. really.
    China’s taking over the world!” So it’s clear, China and Russia
    are really hitting it off, because you only take
    a boat ride with someone if you really, really like them,
    or if they’re enslaving you. But this is “liking.” Oh, and if… if you think Putin giving Xi a boat ride
    is impressive, wait until you see
    what Xi gave Putin in return. The leader’s visit also includes
    some panda diplomacy. MAN:
    During their summit, Putin and Xi showed off
    their friendship with a visit to the Moscow Zoo,
    where they welcomed two new Chinese pandas,
    a gift from Xi to Russia. MAN: I mean, China likes you,
    one of the signs of that, -you know…
    -WOMAN: Alliance? MAN: …good-good alliance
    and good feelings is to present you with a panda.
    Russia got two. That’s right.
    China gave not one, but two pandas to Russia. Which is huge. Yeah. ‘Cause one panda
    can’t make babies. Two pandas also can’t,
    but there’s hope. -(laughter)
    -And remember, China only gives pandas
    to countries when they wish to be
    close allies with them, right? They actually call it
    “Panda Diplomacy.” This is a real thing.
    Panda Diplomacy. Not to be confused
    with Panda Express Diplomacy, where I convince them
    to let me use the bathroom even though
    I didn’t buy anything. And technically–
    this is interesting– technically, China didn’t give
    Russia the pandas, right? The Russians just get to keep
    the pandas for a few years. Yes. Which, by the way, applies
    to every panda in the world. Yeah. China owns
    every single panda at the world. So at some point
    they have to go home. And I guess it’s because China doesn’t want the pandas
    forgetting their Chinese roots. Imagine if you let a panda stay
    in New Jersey for too long, huh? Yeah. Then when the panda
    gets back to China, he’s like, “‘Ey, what the
    (bleep) is this bamboo? ‘Ey! “How about some gabagool
    or a nice fettuccine? Marone!” Anyway, I could talk
    about pandas all day, but the point is, China and
    Russia are getting super close, and the consequences for America
    go beyond boat rides and cute bears. NEWSMAN: While Russia and China
    continue to strengthen their economic ties,
    they’re also expanding their military cooperation. Chinese troops taking part
    in massive drills with Russian forces last year. The level of cooperation
    between Russia and China has not been this high
    since the mid-1950s. They are combining forces
    against us. NEWSMAN:
    They say Russia and China can coordinate cyberattacks and military moves that can
    knock U.S. forces off balance. Oh, man.
    China and Russia teaming up against the United States? I mean, America could probably
    handle China… or Russia, but not both at the same time. Like, imagine if in Rocky IV,
    Ivan Drago was fighting, and then Jackie Chan jumped
    in the ring to help him. Huh? That would be
    the end of Rocky. It would be done.
    There’d be no Rocky V, no Rocky Balboa, no Rocky Goes to Space, no Rocky
    and the Sorcerer’s Stone, and definitely
    no 50 Shades of Rocky. -None of those movies.
    -(laughter) Now, beyond geopolitics, the personal elements
    of this bromance is probably something
    that’s gonna bug Donald Trump. Because, don’t forget, he wants
    to be a part of this club. He loves those dudes. We know how much
    he admires Putin. He talks all the time
    about he and Xi Jinping (like Trump):
    are great friends. So to see his two besties
    make plans without him, that’s… that’s got to hurt. Yeah. And I don’t think that
    he’s dealing with his feelings in the most mature way. NEWSMAN: U.S. President
    Donald Trump is threatening new tariffs on another
    $300 billion in Chinese goods. This if President Xi Jinping
    doesn’t meet with him at the upcoming G20 Summit. -Wow. Really, Trump?
    -(laughter) He’s gonna put tariffs on China if Xi doesn’t
    “hang out” with him? That is so childish. (like Trump): If you
    don’t come over to my house and play video games,
    then tariffs. And I get to be player one
    the whole time. And what is it
    with Trump using tariffs in every legal situation? Have you guys noticed this?
    In every situation, Trump is using
    tariffs now, right? Illegal immigration.
    Tariffs on Mexico. Xi Jinping won’t have
    a playdate? Tariffs on China. Melania won’t hold his hand
    in public. Tariffs on Slovakia! (like Melania): But, Donald,
    I am from Slovenia. (like Trump): I don’t care!
    Pronounce it any way, -still tariffs.
    -(laughter) So look, it’s clear
    what’s happening here. President Trump… you’re feeling neglected
    by President Xi. But instead of lashing out, why don’t you work
    on your relationship, man? You know? Forget tariffs.
    Maybe talk to Xi. Tell him how you’re feeling. And if that doesn’t work, try
    and spice things up, you know? Yeah. Dress up as something
    you know China’s really into. -Yeah.
    -(laughter) Who could resist?