Polar station “Severny Polyus” has completed its work | Polarjournal
The drift station “Severny Polyus” has left the pack ice and is on its way to Murmansk. (Photo: AARI)

The drift ice station “Severny Polyus” has completed its expedition in the Arctic Ocean. According to the press service of the Arctic and Antarctic Research Institute (AARI) on 2 May 2024, the ice-going, self-propelled platform (LSP) independently left the ice field it had been drifting on for more than eight months and reached open water in the Spitsbergen archipelago.

On May 2, 2024, the drift ice station “Severny Polyus” completed its work as part of the “North Pole-41” expedition in the high latitudes of the Arctic Ocean. The flags were raised once again. (Photo: AARI)

“The ship began to drift in anticipation of favorable weather and ice conditions and started to move towards the port of Murmansk, from where the polar researchers will be flown by plane to St. Petersburg,” the statement reads.

According to the director of the AARI, Alexander Makarov, the “North Pole-41” expedition was a success for Russian scientific teams, designers and shipbuilders.

“For decades, we will be provided with the latest data on the state of the Arctic environment and strengthen our scientific position at high latitudes. The expedition that has come to an end has yielded a great deal of scientific information.”

In the 19 months since commissioning, the expedition “North Pole-41”, which had used the “Severny Polyus” as a base, has covered around 3,000 nautical miles. The general drift from the starting point in the area of the New Siberian Islands amounted to more than 900 nautical miles. The teams completed a program of 50 areas of scientific research, including the study of the natural components of the Arctic region from the bottom of the Arctic Ocean to the stratosphere.

The “North Pole-41” expedition continues the program of drift stations on the ice, which had started in 1937 under the leadership of polar explorer Ivan Papanin. (Photo: Archive)

“North Pole-42” starts in September 2024

The scientific expedition “North Pole-42”, which aims to investigate the processes in the dynamically changing Arctic, is scheduled for late summer 2024. This will be the second drift of the world’s first ice-going, self-propelled platform (ISP) “Severny Polyus” (“North Pole”), Alexander Makarov told the press.

“We are already preparing for the “North Pole 42” expedition. The research program as a whole has already been determined, it will be adjusted taking into account the results of the “North Pole-41” expedition. If there are no technical delays, “Severny Polyus” will start as planned in August, a month earlier than last year, so that it will be frozen in September. This is the best option,” said Alexander Makarov.

From his point of view, it is now important to wrap up the first expedition of the platform, to go through the entire cycle from the beginning to the return of the ship in order to draw all the necessary conclusions to improve the work of the scientists.

“I am sure that the next expedition will be even more productive and in the future we will drift regularly,” Makarov added.

Heiner Kubny, PolarJournal

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