The Transpolar Drift current – the largest Arctic river – transports materials into the central Arctic Ocean from Siberian Shelf across the North Pole

We passed latitude 87°N in the central Arctic Ocean onboard the RV Kronprins Haakon, not far from the Lomonosov Ridge and only 300 km from the North Pole, hoping to find traces of Siberian Shelf and river water in the Transpolar Drift current. We are sailing against the current, going northward from the Nansen Basin, north of Svalbard into the Amundsen Basin in the search for this specific water or sea ice transported in this current.

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The tiniest do the heavy lifting – Who are they and what do microbes do in the Arctic Ocean?

A microbe? That’s an organism whose body is made of a single cell. Some microbes like bacteria are cells that look completely different from our own body cells, whereas others are built just like our own cells are. The biodiversity in microbes is staggering. Almost all of the genetic diversity we find on Earth is encoded in microbes and their appearance can be as different as worms and elephants! Microbes are everywhere. If you could miraculously remove all other organisms on Earth and at the same time make the microbes become visible with your naked eye, you would still see the contours and whereabouts of all the plants and animals and landscape around them! In the ocean alone, there are a million times more microbes than stars in the entire universe!

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