Highsea V – 2006-2009

Expedition in October 2008 wih the top-sail schooner Noorderlicht

Research question: Are Icaite crystals formed in the Arctic during the sea ice formation?

Icaite are calcium carbonates, which develop in Antarctica during the sea ice formation in the fall. The Icaite formation leads to the absorbtion of CO2 from the atmoshere into the ocean, since the crystalized carbonates are “missing” in the water afterwards. This “additional” CO2 absorbtion had not been accounted for before – at the time of the expedition it was not known if Icaite crystals are also formed in the Arctic. Depending on the extend of this process, climate models would have to be adjusted.

What did the students do?
The students took ice samples in areas where new ice was forming. Back on board the participants analyzed the ice samples. Found crystals were sorted and preserved. After transport to Bremerhaven, the crystals were given to a cooperating research group for further analysis.

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