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am 7. September 2022
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Expedition to the Greenland Sea – In Search of Ice

Our second week on our expedition aboard the RV Maria S. Merian brought us to northeastern Greenland into Dove Bay. In order to enter this area, we needed a certified marine mammal observer on board. Luckily, a colleague from the benthic ecology group had this certification. We saw groups of seals at the entrance of the Bay and some of us claimed to have seen a few narwhales on the way out. At the innermost station, we conducted several inflatable boat rides to sample ice and water closer to landslide sites as well as kelp from the coastal area. The scenery changed to an almost lake-like surrounding with ice forming at freezing temperatures in the early morning hours while the sun never fully set. We have passed the half-time of the expedition which is traditionally celebrated as the Bergfest as if we had reached the peak of a mountain. We were on our way out of Dove Bay and breaking freshly frozen ice when we enjoyed our first evening off as a group in over 14 days. Until now we were absolutely amazed by the weather conditions with blue skies and sunshine nearly every day.

We held scientific meetings and each group presented their work.

 

With the help of satellite images, we were able to see that the two fjords that we have entered used to be fully covered by sea ice throughout the summer up until 2015. Investigating how these changes influence the environment is the major idea behind the ECOTIP project.

We are currently sailing through the last fjord in which we are sampling: the King Oscar Fjord. The landscape is absolutely beautiful with alp-like mountain ranges and icebergs. Life on board has become more of a routine, the work is going well and the freezers are starting to fill up with samples.

Want to know more about the topic?

In an interview with Rudolphina, the research magazine of the University of Vienna the researchers highlight the importance of this expedition and how ecosystems are in danger.




Expedition to the Greenland Sea – The first days

Within the framework of the international project ECOTIP addressing tipping points in the ecology of the Arctic seas, three members of the working group on microbial oceanography from the University of Vienna were invited to join an expedition investigating major fjord systems in eastern Greenland. The expedition with the German research vessel Maria S. Merian started … Continued


How to make biology research labs more sustainable

Each of us has great power and it gets even greater when we act together. With this message in mind, molecular biologist Riccardo Trapannone and his colleagues started to promote sustainability at the Max Perutz Labs. Their data showed: Up to 50 per cent of the total waste from research labs could basically be recycled. … Continued

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