A research consortium has carried out multiple scientific operations atthe 82nd parallel, in the Nares Strait.

Nares Strait, Arctic, September 21, 2023 – Aboard the unique Canadian research icebreaker CCGS Amundsen, a consortium of 14 academic and governmental institutions in Canada, Denmark and Norway carried out scientific operations at latitude 82°09.32’N as part of the third Leg of the annual expedition. As of September 14, 2023, these operations have resulted in the collection of a unique set of samples and data at the most northerly location ever sampled by the CCGS Amundsen since its inauguration in 2003.

Nares Strait, a marine passage located between Ellesmere Island (Nunavut, Canada) and Greenland, plays an important role in the regional climate system and Arctic biological productivity. During winter, the consolidated ice in the narrow sectors of the strait acts as a temporary barrier for multi-year ice drifting from the Arctic Ocean, thereby contributing to holding the Arctic’s oldest and thickest sea ice in the Lincoln Sea, a region that has been very sparsely studied in the Arctic Ocean. In a warming climate, this area is expected to be where multi-year sea ice persist the longest. It is thus considered the last refuge for sea ice-dependent ecosystems and the region has received interim protection in Canada, through the creation of the Tuvaijuittuq Marine Protected Area. However, due to their geographical location and harsh sea-ice conditions, the Nares Strait and the Lincoln Sea are difficult to access, and only rare scientific initiatives have attempted to study their marine ecosystems.

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