Science - April 16, 2020

Remain in Arctic due to corona

Text:
Tessa Louwerens

A new team of researchers was supposed to take over the work of the current team on board research ship Polarstern. The corona crisis means this probably won’t happen until June.

De Polarstern Alfred-Wegener-Institut / Esther Horvath (CC-BY 4.0) 

‘We were supposed to return this week,’ says researcher Serdar Sakinan of Wageningen Marine Research. But due to the travel restrictions imposed by various European countries new scientists are unable to reach the Polarstern. For the current team, this means they will be relieved six weeks later than planned. Meanwhile, the research continues as usual. ‘The ship has been moored to the ice. Sometimes gusts of wind cause us to drift off, which makes the research more challenging to carry out. Despite these challenges and the added uncertainties due to the coronavirus, we are moving forward with our research,’ Sakinan explains.