SWERUS-C3 is a Swedish-Russian-US cooperation aiming to investigate the linkages between climate, cryosphere and carbon. The second leg of the expedition began on August the 20th in Barrow, Alaska.

– During the expedition's second leg, we have studied the warm Atlantic water flows into the Arctic and pockmarks on 900 meter depth and enormous tracks on the ocean floor from the previous ice sheets spread in the central Arctic Ocean, says Martin Jacobsson, Professor at Stockholm University and leader of the second leg.

During the research expedition's first leg, the researchers collected samples from the outer part of the shallow East Siberian Arctic Sea with the aim of increasing understanding how thawing permafrost and gas hydrates could represent a carbon-climate feedback, enhancing the ongoing global warming process.

For the first time, elevated methane concentrations were detected in the seawater all the way up to the surface along the continental slope.

– After several years of planning by the researchers and the Swedish Polar Research Secretariat, it is very gratifying to see how well the expedition passed, says Björn Dahlbäck, director of the Polar Research Secretariat.

About the research expedition

The Research Expedition SWERUS-C3 consisted of two legs. The first leg began on July 5 when the icebreaker Oden left Tromsø in Norway. The researchers then traveled along the Russian Arctic coast to Barrow, Alaska. There the researchers and crew was changed and the second leg began on August 20. The route back to Tromsø has gone over the underwater mountain range, the Lomonosov Ridge.

SWERUS-C3 was the twentieth polar research expedition with icebreaker Oden, which is one of the world's most effective research ships on ice-covered areas. Besides Oden being an excellent icebreaker, it has advanced research equipment; a multi-beam sonar, winches for sampling, sea water intake for continuous sampling, permanent laboratories and communications systems, as well as knowledge and experience of research in both Polar Research Secretariat staff and Oden's crew.

The research has been made possible thanks to the Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation.