PRESS RELEASE


ArcOP – A novel scientific ocean drilling expedition to explore Arctic Ocean paleoceanography and climate

 Tracking Arctic climate change from a Greenhouse to an Icehouse world
The European Consortium for Ocean Research Drilling (ECORD), the Swedish Polar Research Secretariat (SPRS) and Arctic Marine Solutions (AMS) will jointly conduct an expedition
of the International Ocean Discovery Program (IODP), focused on the Arctic Ocean – a key location in global climate change.
 Science behind the ArcOP ExpeditionThe Arctic Ocean is a very sensitive and important region for global climate change, and is unique in comparison to the other oceans on Earth. Due to complex feedback processes (collectively known as “Arctic amplification”), the Arctic is both a contributor to climate change and a region that is most affected by global warming.
 
Despite this global importance, the Arctic Ocean is the last major region on Earth where the long-term climate history remains poorly known. Major advances in understanding were achieved in 2004 with the successful completion of IODP Expedition 302: Arctic Coring Expedition – ACEX implemented by ECORD, marking the start of a new era in Arctic climate exploration. 
The ArcOP expedition will represent another step-change in reconstructing the detailed history of climate change in the central Arctic Ocean over the last 50 million years. ArcOP will explore a critical time interval spanning the period when prominent changes in global climate took place, during the transition from the early Cenozoic Greenhouse world to the late Cenozoic Icehouse world.

An international team of scientists, led by the Co-chief Scientists Prof. Ruediger Stein (MARUM – Center for Marine Environmental Sciences at the University of Bremen, Germany) and Prof. Kristen St. John (Dept. of Geology and Environmental Science, James Madison University, USA), will collect about 900 m of sediment cores at two sites along the Lomonosov Ridge. The expedition will last for about seven weeks offshore and will be followed by intensive investigation and sampling of the cores onshore to unlock their climate secrets.A joint international initiativeThe ArcOP Expedition will be conducted in August and September 2022 by the ECORD Science Operator (ESO) in close collaboration with SPRS and AMS.
 
ArcOP is a unique and challenging expedition. A fleet composed of a scientific drillship supported by  two icebreakers will be used to make drilling possible in this permanently ice-covered region. Such a multi-vessel approach was employed by ECORD for the first time during the ACEX Expedition in 2004.
 
The selection  of  potential  ArcOP  sites  is  strongly  based  on  site-survey  expeditions  led  by  the Alfred Wegener Institute Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Sciences  Bremerhaven,  carried  out  with RV Polarstern in 2008, 2014 and 2018.More information
 About the ArcOP Expedition – https://www.ecord.org/expedition377
About the research programme IODP – http://www.iodp.org
About the European part of the programme ECORD – https://www.ecord.org
About ECORD Science Operator (ESO) – https://www.ecord.org/about-ecord/management-structure/eso/
About the Swedish Polar Research Secretariat (SPRS) – https://polar.se
About Arctic Marine Solutions (AMS) – https://arcticmarinesolutions.se