The greatest polar expedition of all time The Arctic mission to the epicenter of climate change

Markus Rex

Book - 2022

"A captain’s tell-all about the world’s largest Arctic expedition--an illuminating account of seafaring adventure, Arctic natural history, and cutting-edge climate science. The book about the Mosaic Expedition: as seen in the documentary film Arctic Drift, Atmospheric scientist Markus Rex recounts the monumental Arctic expedition he captained for one year in this gripping and authoritative book. A groundbreaking step towards understanding the climate crisis, the MOSAiC expedition--launc...hed in 2019 by the Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research--was the first of its kind, journeying deep into the epicentre of climate change, the Arctic, to seek hard-to-find and potentially world-changing scientific data. Rex begins with life aboard the Polarstern, a powerful icebreaker ship that is frozen into fragile ice and carried across the Arctic by the Transpolar Drift. Away from the rest of the world, the team prepares for life under brutal conditions, constructing zcitiesy and ztownsy on the ice where they will study the Arctic ecosystem, its atmosphere, ocean, sea ice, and more. A terrifying feat that had never been attempted before, the team of hundreds of scientists perform their research during terrifying storms, cracking ice floes, frost-bite, and even quarantines as Covid-19 sweeps the globe. But there are heartwarming moments, too, as Markus Rex describes Christmas parties on the ice and polar bears playing with scientific equipment like puppies. He muses on expeditions past, such as the ill-fated Franklin Expedition, and Fridtjof Nansen’s Fram expedition, which he follows as a guide. And he explores answers to the pressing questions facing the Arctic today: How will climate change impact this precious ecosystem--and therefore the rest of the world? What is the best way to protect the Arctic? Interweaving history, science, and memoir, The Greatest Polar Expedition of All Time is a page-turner about the teamwork it takes to complete a risky goal, all in the name of understanding—and responding to--the climate crisis."--

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Vancouver ; Berkeley ; London : Greystone Books 2022.
Item Description
Translation of: Eingefroren am Nordpol.
Includes index.
Physical Description
pages cm
Issued also in electronic format
Main Author
Markus Rex (author)
Other Authors
Marlene Göring (author), Sarah Pybus (translator)
Review by Library Journal Reviews

Rex (atmospheric research, Univ. of Potsdam) writes a fascinating account of MOSAiC, the world's largest Arctic expedition—the culmination of a decades-long international collaboration to put scientists in the Arctic for a full year and collect data during polar winter for the first time ever. The idea was to deliberately trap a ship within an ice floe to float with the Arctic ice and gather year-round measurements about the impact of climate change at the poles. Led by Rex, MOSAiC's Polarstern icebreaker set sail in mid-2019 with high hopes, but potential disaster loomed on the horizon. Rex's expedition diary catalogues the day-by-day events of the entire undertaking. Between diary entries there are diversionary essays on all aspects of the Arctic (polar bears; types of ice; how an icebreaker works) to help readers understand this environment. The format mirrors memorable 19th-century expedition diaries (e.g., Fridtjof Nansen's account of an attempt to reach the North Pole; or the survey of the Pacific Ocean by the United States Exploring Expedition)—first-person accounts combining science with sentiment. VERDICT For those who like reading about the North Pole or oceanic expeditions in general, this is a title that should not be missed.—Laura Hiatt Copyright 2022 Library Journal.

Review by Publishers Weekly Reviews

Rex, the head of atmospheric research at the Alfred Wegener Institute, vividly captures 2019's MOSAiC polar expedition in this show-stopping account. In September of that year, the icebreaker Polarstern set sail from Tromsø, Norway, to spend a year monitoring and measuring conditions in the Arctic Ocean; the mission involved hundreds of scientists, technicians, and crew members. Rex, the director of the project, recounts it in diary format, describing the logistics of finding a suitable ice floe thick enough to support the weight of their equipment, polar bear encounters, and ever-shifting conditions. Research successes large and small come along the way, as when one team had an "amazing" ice coring day, and Rex has a knack for vivid and startling imagery. (On the myriad ice formations, "One looks like a huge mushroom, another like the teeth of a mighty Arctic monster frozen in the ice.") His conclusion that immediate action is needed to preserve the Arctic ice won't be a surprise, but his point that any changes to that effect will need to be relevant and have broad support is well made. This is required reading for anyone interested in seeing science in action. (May) Copyright 2022 Publishers Weekly.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

In this eye-opening journey to the end of the Earth, the leader of a year-long mission to the Arctic, the epicenter of climate change, which involved 20 countries and hundreds of researchers, describes an Arctic that is vastly altered by warming but that still has a chance to be saved. Illustrations.

Review by Publisher Summary 2

??For readers of Madhouse at the End of the Earth, Endurance, and other seafaring adventure stories comes a thrilling account of a 21st-century Arctic mission.“ A contemporary classic!”—Ken McGoogan, author of Fatal Passage “Show-stopping.”­—Publisher’s Weekly STARRED ReviewThe Greatest Polar Expedition of All Time vividly describes one year aboard the Polarstern, a powerful ice-breaker ship that journeyed deep into the Arctic in 2019, carrying over 100 scientists and crew known as the MOSAiC Expedition. Hailing from across the world, they would become the largest expedition to ever survive a polar winter. Their purpose? To understand - and predict - the impacts of climate change on the Arctic.Written by the expedition’s leader, the renowned atmospheric scientist Markus Rex, this page-turner reads like a captain’s log of daily life aboard the Polarstern. Living in one of the most remote, dangerous, and electrifying places on earth, Rex describes incredible sights: polar bears playing with scientific equipment, Christmas parties in the bitter cold, frostbitten scientists, and hair-raising storms that threaten to break the Polarstern’s cables and send it flying across the ice. He also reveals breathtaking science from deep inside the sea ice.Filled with sobering, heart-warming, and bone-chilling moments, The Greatest Polar Expedition of All Time is a testament to Rex’s extraordinary drive to save a precious ecosystem. It’s also an ode to a place that has beguiled sailors and explorers for centuries.