Searching for the Barents Sea’s past climate

The Nansen Legacy has left for its first paleo cruise to the northern Barents Sea. Onboard are 24 geologists and oceanographers on the search for understanding the Barents Sea's past climate.
Katrine Husum
Katrine Husum from the Norwegian Polar Institute is cruise leader on the on-going Nansen Legacy paleo cruise. Photo: Malin Alette Hansen / Norwegian Polar Institute

Today the Nansen Legacy paleocruise starts, which will investigate the natural variability, ranges of sea ice cover, and Atlantic Water through-flow in the Barents Sea.  The cruise will collect different marine geological data as multibeam bathymetry and sediment samples from the sea floor along the “Nansen Legacy transect” in the Barents Sea from ca 76N towards to Arctic Ocean ca 82N.

“In recent years there have been major changes in sea ice distribution and thickness in the Arctic. Knowing the past sea ice cover and ocean temperatures are important for establishing natural reference values that are needed for improving the understanding of the causes and consequences of current changes ,” says cruise leader Katrine Husum from the Norwegian Polar Institute.

A total of 24 researchers and technicians from the Norwegian Polar Institute, University of Bergen, University of Oslo and UiT Norway’s Arctic University, as well as visiting researchers from England, participate. The research areas covered during the cruise are paleo climate, palaeoanography, and physical oceanography. The cruise will last for more than three weeks and end on October 20th. “We expect to have the first data ready in 4-5 months after the trip,” says Husum.

Follow the cruise on (Norwegian only).