Recently, the Canadian Research Icebreaker CCGS Amundsen science team announced that they were forced to cancel the first leg of this year’s climate change study. This decision came as, despite all precautions, severe weather conditions prevented the scientists from advancing.
The study has been conducted annually since 2003 and is led by the University of Manitoba and its partners. It looks to monitor and study the impact of climate changes and the changes this brings with it. Also, it analyzes the resource development of the Arctic coastal and marine ecosystems and also the northern communities.
This year, the first leg of the journey was supposed to help 40 scientists coming from five universities in Canada study the BaySys or the Hudson Bay System Study.
Climate Change Study Cancelled Due to Climate Change
BaySys’s scientific team released a statement earlier this week in which it announced its decision to postpone the mission. Study team members were already onboard of the Canadian Research Icebreaker CCGS Amundsen when they reportedly ran into difficulties. The ship encountered unexpected and potentially hazardous southward moving ice.
As the statement points out, the mission had already left a week earlier than in past years to try to escape the unusually harsh climate conditions. But seemingly, this was not enough. The ice conditions encountered along the way raised significant safety concerns and also caused considerable delays.
Upon analyzing the situation as a whole, the team determined that, due to the severe conditions and already existing delays, they would be unable to meet the objectives of this leg of their scientific study.
“Considering the severe ice conditions and the increasing demand for Search And Rescue operations (SAR) and ice escort, we decided to cancel the BaySys mission,” stated Dr. David Barber.
He is the BaySys scientific lead and the expedition’s chief scientist. Together with his colleagues, Barber studied the unexpected ice blockage and determined that this came from the high Arctic. In a somewhat ironic twist, the expedition’s target, climate change led to its cancellation.
The researchers also consider that climate change is increasing the mobility of Arctic sea ice. So its ensuing severe condition could become more common occurrences.
The climate change study of the BaySys has been officially postponed and is now in the plans for the 2018 expedition. Presently, the rest of the 2017 Amundsen Expedition is unaffected and should set out according to schedule. Namely, it will resume on July 06.
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